Farm managers are responsible for rearing farm animals, tending crops, maximizing total yield, managing farm equipment supply, overall budget activities, on-field staff, and administrating the farm activities. They have to provide both technical and practical assistance regarding the farm management and make appropriate business for obtaining higher profitability.
The main component of the farm can be arable, dairy, livestock, or a combination of these. Crops range include cereals, grains, oil seeds, vegetables, and/or salad crops. Livestock includes cows, pigs, sheep, or poultry.
The size of farms is not constant across the land, and it can extend in various regions depending on its ownership status. Many of the farms are run by company management or a corporation, and most of them extend in a large area. Depending on the area and complexity of the farm, farm managers are assigned the area for management. If the size of the farm is small, the manager handles the entire farm management and performs some labor work as well if required. If the farm extends in a larger area, the farm manager is responsible for maintaining only a part of the farm assigned to him like selling the harvest or maintaining the livestock.
The key responsibilities of a farm manager comprise:
Apart from this, farm managers may have to carry out certain supplementary activities like arranging bed and breakfast for holiday stays, overseeing the activities of wind power generation, breeding special herds, processing farm products and selling the same, and managing other supplementary activities like field sports activities, stud farms, riding schools, fishing pools, worm farming, etc., which are required for managing the budget along with extra income generation.
To be eligible to get into this field, the basic educational requirement is a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, agricultural business, agricultural engineering, or an equivalent degree in dairy, crop, or animal science from an accredited agricultural college. Along with this, one also requires a hands-on experience in farm management.
Entry-level aspirants can get experience by opting for farming programs offered by various youth organizations administered by the US Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension System. Also, one can get certification from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers for obtaining a better prospect in farm management.
Apart from this, one also needs to demonstrate certain skills required for getting to this post of management. Skills required for being a successful farm manager comprise working knowledge in food production, organizational skills, time management skills, supervisory skills, marketing skills, negotiation skills, and larger-scale business awareness.
Also, one should have an aptitude in field management and must be committed to farm-related activities for successful accomplishment of one's duties. One must also be aware that one needs to handle various weather situations and has to be constantly on field while undertaking the responsibilities of a farm manager.
The working condition depends mostly on the duties assigned to the farm managers. Some farm managers have to be constantly on field, performing the laborious tasks including physical labor, while some work from the comfort of offices and spend lesser time on fields when they have to conduct certain activities like site inspections and management of on-site laborers.
Most managers work for the entire day from dawn to dusk, and their jobs may be either season based or they may have to work for the entire year as per the requirement. They might also have to travel for carrying out the sales and marketing activities.
Farm managers are involved in directing all the duties related to farm operations, which include monitoring the crop harvest and livestock, supervising the field employees, and marketing the harvested crops and livestock production. Along with this, they are also involved in management of farm accounts, loan management, and handling the government policies related to agriculture based programs and operations.