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How to become a farm manager

farm manager careers

What does a farm manager do?

Farm managers/farmers oversee the general running of farms to ensure that they are efficient and profitable. There are three main types of farm - livestock, arable and mixed. A farm manager's work depends partly on the type of farm. Farm managers may run a whole estate or just part of it, such as an arable unit.

Responsibilities may include:

  • organising and supervising - planning the running of the farm, setting the budget and production targets; staff management; planning livestock breeding and deciding when to plant crops; buying materials, such as fertilisers and animal feed; selling the crops or animal produce
  • keeping records - of the development of livestock and/or crops and financial records
  • practical work - managers of smaller farms are likely to undertake some of the day-to-day practical work on the farm. This can include looking after the livestock, driving tractors and other machinery, spreading fertiliser and harvesting crops. It can also include maintaining and repairing farm buildings and machinery
  • responsibility for other activities - many farms do much more than just raising livestock and crops. For instance the farm may have a farm shop, horse riding facilities or provide accommodation for tourists. Farm managers may be responsible for these.


What's the working environment like for a farm manager?

There are no set hours for farm managers and the demands of the job vary at different times of the year. At busy times long hours are likely, with early morning, evening and weekend work required.

Practical work on the farm is usually outdoors in all weather conditions. The work involves lifting, carrying, bending and standing. When dealing with paperwork, time is spent indoors in an office.

What does it take to become a farm manager?

To be a farm manager you should:

  • be fit, energetic, strong and be willing to work long hours in all weather conditions
  • have business management skills and the ability to organise and motivate staff
  • have the ability to find and develop new activities to keep the farm profitable
  • be good with figures for budgeting and keeping financial records
  • be computer literate
  • have good communication skills
  • have practical abilities
  • be capable of working under pressure.

A driving licence is usually required.


Farm manager career opportunities

There are opportunities for farm managers throughout the UK. Most farms are in rural areas. Employers include farm owners, commercial organisations, universities and research institutions.

Large farms have promotion possibilities. Movement from farm to farm to gain experience and promotion is usual. With experience of farm management it is possible to move into other work such as agricultural advisory work for government bodies, consultancy or teaching.

Further information

If you would like to know more about becoming a farmer that isn't mentioned on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Tel: 0845 707 8007

Lantra career advice sites:








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