Farm Manager

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Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingNature or RecreationSkill Level 1Skill Level 2
Skill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Farmers and farm managers undertake farming operations to raise livestock and cultivate crops, fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products. A farmer is a self-employed person who farms their own land Future Growth Static or a leasehold property rented from a landowner. A farm manager is an employee who is paid a salary to manage a farm or group of farms.

Specialisations: Farmers and farm managers may specialise in enterprises such as cropping or horticulture. Others work with animals such as beef or dairy cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry. Many farmers and farm managers conduct mixed farming operations.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • good at planning
  • able to analyse and solve problems
  • good organisational and supervisory skills
  • good communication skills
  • responsible approach and attitude
  • enjoy working outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • able to work both in a team and with limited social contact
  • able to handle animals with confidence and patience
  • mechanical aptitude
  • aptitude for working with computers
  • able to work independently.

Duties and Tasks

Farmers and farm managers may perform the following tasks: Farmers

  • decide or advise on the kind of crops to be grown, the area to be sown or planted and the livestock to be raised
  • plan the type of farming activities to be undertaken, estimate operating costs and order supplies such as seed, fertiliser, livestock fodder and farm equipment
  • recruit and coordinate farm workers, and direct them on crop growing and livestock raising
  • plant, spray, fertilise, harvest and sell crops
  • handle, load and transport livestock for showing, slaughter or sale
  • clean and maintain buildings, sheds, pens, equipment and facilities to maintain health standards and high quality of produce
  • monitor animal health and seek veterinary advice when necessary
  • make sure there is adequate food supply, water and protection from the weather for livestock
  • make sure temperature, ventilation and lighting conditions are comfortable for livestock kept indoors
  • observe and record produce quality or livestock body weight and condition, adjusting management or feeding programs if required
  • manage the strategic direction of the business
  • manage the financial aspects of the business by controlling income and expenses
  • plan activities to minimise environmental degradation, monitor environmental effects of farming activities and repair existing damage through programs such as tree planting.

Working Conditions

Farmers may work on large or small enterprises, or they may need to travel between a number of properties to manage activities. They spend much of their time working outdoors.


Did You Know...

•The Australian dairy industry produced 9.2 billion litres of milk during 2007/08

•There are 7,950 dairy farms located across Australia

•About 1,700,000 dairy cows produce all of Australia’s milk

•On average, cows produce 5,250 litres of milk per year

•The most common dairy cow breed in Australia is the Holstein Friesian

•Approximately 40,000 people are directly employed on dairy farms and in manufacturing plants

(Source: Dairy Australia)
Dairy Cow
Holstein Friesian cow in paddock

Which breed of cow produces the richest milk (highest in milk fats)?

Which breed of cow produces the most milk?

Read the Australian Bureau of Statistics' -
The Australian dairy industry - "Dairy breeds"
Jersey cow
Jersey cow in paddock, NSW


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