Job descriptions and industry overviews

Agricultural manager: job description

19 Jul 2023, 09:10

Agricultural managers – also known as farm managers – supervise work on farms and make sure the enterprise is profitable.

Wheat growing in a field.

Agricultural manager: Duties | Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Agricultural managers (also known as farm managers) are responsible for planning, supervising and project managing work on farms so that the business is profitable.

Typical duties include:

  • forward planning to make sure that orders can be met – for example, ensuring that enough farm workers will be available at key times and the equipment needed is in working order.
  • budgeting and maintaining accurate records.
  • organising sales and purchases of livestock, farm equipment, crops and agricultural products.
  • hands-on tasks such as feeding animals.
  • recruiting, training and supervising farm workers.
  • making sure that work is done safely and in time to meet targets and orders.
  • ensuring compliance with government regulations and health and safety standards.
  • keeping an up-to-date knowledge of pests and diseases.
  • responding to emergencies and solving problems effectively.
  • ensuring that the farm is profitable and meets projected financial targets.
  • organising maintenance/repair of farm property, equipment and machinery.
  • advertising and marketing farm products or the work of the farmer.

You’re likely to have to work some unsociable hours, especially during busy periods such as harvesting or lambing, although some times of year will be quieter.

Over time, many farm managers move to larger estates that offer more opportunities to diversify or to take more responsibility. It’s also possible to specialise in a specific type of farming.

Graduate salaries

Farmers Weekly magazine suggests that starting salaries for farm managers tend to be around £20,000 and, that with experience, earnings can build to around £50,000. As part of the role, you may get accommodation and use of a car.

Typical employers of agricultural managers

Agricultural managers can find employment at:

  • Large farm estates and smaller farms.
  • Research institutes.
  • Agricultural colleges.
  • Farm management consultancy firms.
  • Food production/manufacturing companies.

Vacancies are typically advertised via farming media and by specialist recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

You don’t need a degree to become an agricultural manager. However, because the role combines specialist skills (such as maintaining equipment) and business acumen, many aspiring farm managers start out by taking a course that includes a practical element. Courses include foundation degrees, HNDs and apprenticeships in agricultural, horticultural, land or animal-related subjects.

Entry requirements for these courses vary but can start from 48 UCAS points upwards. You also usually need GCSEs (or equivalent) in English, maths and science. Practical experience will also be valuable.

Key skills for agricultural managers

Agricultural managers need to have:

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