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Assistant Farm Manager

What’s it all about then?

As the Assistant Farm Manager you’ll be responsible for helping the Farm Manager in the management of all the sections on a farm, and you’ll work closely with the heads of the various sections of the business.

You’ll also very likely be given specific areas of responsibility to head up on the Manager’s behalf such as animal welfare issues, health & safety or possibly managing a farm diversification project etc.

Your role will also require you to deputise for the Farm Manager when dealing with suppliers and customers as well from time to time.

What might I be doing?

Your job as Assistant Farm Manager is likely to involve working with the Farm Manager in at least some of the following areas of responsibility:

  • Planning and implementing budgets and production targets
  • Monitoring the quality of the produce and performance of the sections including health and welfare
  • Keeping up to date and accurate records
  • Ensuring the farm is compliant with various legal guidelines and working to minimise the environmental impact of the business, for instance via waste disposal
  • Helping with product marketing and selling to a variety of customers
  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • Managing any farm diversification activities
  • Undertaking practical work as necessary depending on the volume of work and size of the farm

What will be expected of me?

As the Assistant Farm Manager you’ll be expected to work on your own initiative and be able to work with others as part of a team of farm employees.

As a manager you will have an overseeing role and, as the Manager’s representative, this is particularly important when you are left in charge.

This is a job for someone who is interested in farming as a business enterprise, as well as in science and nature generally.

What can I expect?

  • You can expect an extremely rewarding job where you get to spend lots of time in the open air enjoying nature as you gain experience of business
  • You can expect to learn technical skills on the job but also management skills from the Farm Manager who will have once been in your position
  • Don’t expect 9-5 because you’ll be covering a seven day week on a fully flexible basis; at various times of the year you will have to work loads of extra hours to make sure that all jobs are completed successfully

What about the pay?

In the various UK nations Agricultural Wages Boards set minimum wage levels but you might expect the following levels:

Starting salaries for an Assistant Farm Manager role are at least £20,000 a year.

With experience, an Assistant Farm Manager may earn up to £25,000 a year, or more with increased responsibility.

You might also enjoy rent free accommodation on the farm.

Please note that these figures are for guideline use only and you should always check for the most up to date information possible.

What qualifications do I need to get in?

Whilst there are no formal entry requirements for the role of Assistant Farm Manager, many people entering this area have relevant degree level qualifications which might include Agricultural Technology, Agriculture, and Agricultural Engineering etc.

Alternatively you may have originally commenced employment in a farm business as a farm worker with an Apprenticeship level qualification in a subject such as Agriculture, specialising in livestock or animal husbandry.

Many employers in the sector place much importance on experience so either entry type is equally valid.

Where would I get these qualifications?

Degree level and FE level qualifications are readily available through your local Agricultural College or University and you should check their online prospectuses for further information.

Your local FE College may also have suitable land based courses for you to consider but this will depend on location so you may have to travel to avail of these.

What about further training?

There are loads of post graduate level courses available for those wishing to enhance their learning or potentially specialise and again you should check what is happening at Universities.

With the right qualifications and further experience in other farm businesses and enterprises, you could gain promotion to a Farm Manager.

Anything else I might need to know?

Yes, the size of a farm directly relates to the number of specific roles and opportunities for employees to progress, so relocation may be needed for career progression.

Check the Farm Manager link for more details of your career development.