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How to become a Farm Secretary

farm secretary careers

What does a Farm Secretary do?

Farm secretaries, or rural administrators, are responsible for the smooth running of the business side of a farm, and assist with the large amount of paperwork involved with modern farming and rural businesses. As well as general secretarial work, responsibilities may also include:

  • keeping records and accounts of livestock and crops, in order to help farmers to make future cropping or stocking plans, and to control pests and diseases
  • preparing and completing forms for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) or the Scottish Executive (SEERAD)
  • keeping farm accounts and dealing with budgeting or VAT and tax returns
  • dealing with wages and employment records
  • arranging quotations for the purchase, hiring and maintenance of machinery and buildings.

What's the working environment like working as a Farm Secretary?

The work is mainly office-based. Farm secretaries may be employed full-time on one particular farm or estate as a resident secretary, or be freelance and work for more than one farm, as a mobile farm secretary.

Most resident secretaries live near to the farm, and often have a cottage or furnished flat provided with the job. They usually work 39 hours a week full-time but weekend work may be required.

Mobile farm secretaries need their own transport to travel between farms. They are usually self-employed so hours can vary.

What does it take to become a Farm Secretary?

To be a farm secretary you should:

  • be interested in farming and rural life
  • be numerate
  • be computer literate
  • be able to work on your own and as part of team
  • have good spoken and written communication skills
  • be well organised and have an eye for detail.
A driving licence is essential for most jobs.

Farm Secretary Career Opportunities

Farm secretaries working in a large estate office may get the opportunity for promotion to managing the finances and day-to-day running of the business.

Self-employment is possible.

The knowledge and skills gained as a farm secretary can be used in businesses that are connected with agriculture, such as stables, seed, feed and fertiliser merchants, agricultural colleges and research establishments. A wide range of rural industries need administrators.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Farm Secretary that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA)
National Agricultural Centre
Tel: 02476 696592

National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC)
Stoneleigh Park
Tel: 024 7685 7300

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
154 Clerkenwell Road
Tel: 020 7415 7500

Courses to help you become a Farm Secretary