What’s it all about then?
You’ll either run your own farm business or be employed to manage the business effectively on behalf of someone else.
You’ll be responsible for the work of farm staff, administrative issues and all financial aspects of the business.
As the farm manager you will also deal directly with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.
Keeping up with new developments and ensuring compliance with regulations also falls under your areas of responsibility.
Many farms have diversified in recent years and all of these projects will also be overseen by you in your role.
Note that many farms are concerned with livestock as well as arable crops so please check the reference for Farm Manager (Livestock) as well.
What might I be doing?
This will vary with the type of farm but a farm manager looking after the production of crops will have at least some of the following responsibilities:
Planning strategies and setting targets for the production of crops to ensure high levels of profitability
Utilising new technology to minimise cost and maximise crop yield
Recruiting and managing staff and ensuring they work safely
Managing cash flow and developing and monitoring budgets
Ensuring the farm is compliant with various legal guidelines and working to minimise the environmental impact of the business
Monitoring quality and yields of crops and implementing improvement strategies
Marketing and selling the produce to a variety of customers
Negotiating with suppliers
Managing any farm diversification activities
Undertaking practical work as necessary depending on the volume of work
What will be expected of me?
You’ll need to be extremely competent in order to undertake the role of farm management as this a role with many different components
You’ll need to be able to focus on the office based stuff whilst not losing sight of the big picture outside, overseeing and managing farm workers
A lot of pressure comes with this job so make sure you can deal with the stress!
Generally the role is 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.
Of course there will be early starts depending on the time of the year and, whilst you can expect to be contracted to work a 39 hour week, there may be times when this is exceeded, particularly if you are on call out for emergencies.
What about the pay?
In the various UK nations Agricultural Wages Boards set minimum wage levels but you might expect the following levels:
Farm Managers can expect to earn £25k to £30k per annum, rising to over £40k as you gain more experience.
If you’re running a larger scale enterprise then it’s entirely possible to earn more than £50k per annum.
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 farm manager, many people entering this area have relevant degree level qualifications which might include Agricultural Technology, Agriculture, and Land & Property Management 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 crops.
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
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, the job of farm manager is becoming one which requires a really good understanding of new technologies – these include global positioning, satellite imaging and other sensory techniques; all of these mean you’ll be able to plant seeds optimally, use fertilisers most efficiently and so on.