Farm managers work in crop or livestock production, or in mixed farming. They are responsible for managing staff, planning production targets, and marketing and selling produce.
If you enjoy working outdoors and want a varied career with lots of challenges, farm management could just be the job for you.
You will need excellent business skills, a good head for figures and the ability to get the most out of your team. You'll usually need a driving licence.
Most farm managers have some farming experience and a qualification in agriculture.
As a farm manager, you could work on one of three main types of farm - livestock (animals), arable (crops) or mixed (animals and crops). Your work would depend partly on the type of farm, but could include:
• planning how the farm will run over the coming year
• setting budget and production targets
• buying and selling animals or produce
• keeping financial records and records of livestock and/or crops
• recruiting, training and supervising staff
• working with vets to monitor animals for infection and disease
• working with officials on areas like habitat conservation.
On smaller farms, you may do practical farm work, such as looking after livestock, driving tractors and other machinery, and harvesting crops.
You could find work with farm owners and tenants, commercial organisations, universities and research institutions.
You may need to change jobs to gain wider experience and promotion. With experience, you may be able to move into other areas, such as agricultural advisory work for government bodies, consultancy or teaching.
You will need practical farming experience to work as a farm manager. This would normally be gained from working as a supervisor, dairy/arable unit manager or assistant manager.
Most farm managers also have a qualification in agriculture. Courses and qualifications are available through agricultural colleges and universities. They include foundation degrees, HNDs and degrees in:
• land management
• farm business management
• crop and livestock production.
There is also a Level 4 Certificate in Work-based Agricultural Management.
Starting salaries for farm managers are around 20,000 to 22,000 a year. With experience, managers may earn between 25,000 and 30,000.
The manager of a large farm with over ten years' experience could earn upwards of 50,000 a year.
Individual employers may pay more according to the manager's skill and experience.
Farm managers may be provided with rent-free accommodation and a vehicle. There may also be other benefits such as farm produce and a pension scheme.