With the increase in the complexity and size of the farms, the demand for farm managers has also increased considerably. These days, more and more competent farm managers are wanted for overseeing and coordinating the various farming operations. The duties and responsibilities of the farm managers depend largely on the size of the farms they are in charge of and the nature of operations that are undertaken by them.
Farm Manager's Job Profile
The major duties of the farm managers include tending the animals, raising crops, planning strategies for ensuring maximum production, taking care of the farm administration, organizing the associated business and lastly, managing the staff.
It is extremely essential for the farm manager to possess the necessary technical expertise and practical competence together with the ability for making sound decisions and running the farm effectively.
The farm managers have to take care of the complete farm and the various activities that are carried out on the farm. The nature of the job of each farm manager depends upon the type as well as size of the farm. They may have to supervise both small and large farms. The smaller farms generally involve manual day-to-day farming work while on the larger farms; there are a multiple number of tasks that are considered the duty of the farm manager. There might be more than one farm manager, each having a specialization in a separate area. The farm managers may also have to manage many sides of the business. The large farm managers must be proficient in various farm activities such as crop management, livestock management and the other duties that can include marketing and sales.
Farm managers are also hired for supervising the operators of rented farms. These farm managers might work for a particular corporation, farm management firm or also for an individual farmer.
Some of the basic duties and responsibilities that have to be performed by the farm manager include taking a decision which crops have to be planted and in what quantity, drawing up of the planting and also taking care of the harvesting schedules. Other than this the farm manager also has to co-ordinate with the other farm operators so that the work is carried on smoothly.
At the time of harvesting, the manager is responsible for taking the right decision about the sale of the crops for availing maximum profit. The manager is held responsible if the production goals are not met. It is the duty of the manager to identify problems in the entire farming process and take corrective measures so that maximum profits can be made from the harvested crops and also ensure that the farm runs as efficiently as possible.
Skill Sets Required
Having keen interest in farming and other agricultural activities is extremely essential for the job of a farm manager. They also must be capable of handling the team and motivating the people.
Working long hours is also one of the necessities that have to be fulfilled by the people who wish to take up a career as farm managers. Some of the other requirements of a skilled farm manager include excellent organizational skills and great business sense.
Training and Qualifications
The employers generally prefer candidates having a college education, especially in the cases where they are not from the agricultural background. A bachelor's degree in agricultural science is required along with the verified knowledge of various farm related courses in finance, law and business. Several years of practical experience is preferred.
There are two to four-year degree programs that are offered by the agricultural colleges in farm management as well as in the other specialized areas that can include agricultural economics, crop, dairy, animal science or business. Work experience on farms is also considered as one of the significant assets for getting the job as a farm manager.
Job Prospects and Salary
Working on large farms and handling more responsibilities can be a lucrative career prospect for farm managers as it is always a higher paying job. Getting promotion becomes easier in such cases if one puts in hard work with good focus. They can either have the responsibility of supervising a single portion of farm, be responsible for a particular field of operation or be in charge of managing the entire farm. Working in a smaller farm may also be suitable if there is enough growth potential there. A new candidate may also start work with a reputed farm management firm.
The salary paid to fresh graduates in this field is considerably low but it increases with experience and training. The median salary that is provided to the farm managers is $54,900 annually.
The demand for farm managers is increasing with new developments taking place in the field of farm management and new concepts in harvesting coming of age. For a candidate who has the passion to perform with a liking for the rural environment, the job of a farm manager is highly suitable.
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