In Summary - Farm Manager
Farm Managers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Kieran Magee, Farm Manager - Dry Stock
Kieran Magee is a Dry Stock Farmer working in Gigginstown, Co Westmeath. He spent two years in Ballyhaise Agriculture College (Cavan), doing a Vocational Certificate in Agriculture. This was a FETAC accredited course run by Teagasc and recognised all over the world. He then took a 4 year Farm Management Course in Kildalton Agriculture and Horticultural College in Kilkenny, run by FETAC in conjunction with Teagasc.
Bryan Daniels, Farmer - Dairy
After completing his Leaving Cert in Kilkenny College, Bryan went to Kildalton College to achieve an Certificate in Agriculture, and subsequently a Certificate in Farming. Coming from a farming background, Bryan has achieved several awards for the quality of his Farming.
Videos on the Web
- Farm Manager- from: Youtube Search
The Work - Farm Manager
Farm managers are responsible for making the daily decisions required for the smooth and efficient running of a farm. The manager is also involved in forward planning and policy decisions.
Farm manager is a progression from herd manager taking on more responsibility requiring a greater skill set. You are responsible for all aspects of production, stock, environmental and staff management. You have a significant level of farm management responsibility and will generally be involved in the budgeting process. You regularly communicate with the farm owner.
Farm management is essentially commercial, and making a profit is the central aim so budgeting, keeping careful records of financial transactions and making decisions about sales and purchase of farm equipment, agricultural products, crops and livestock, are important elements of the manager's work.
Although they are, in theory, practical managers rather than administrators, farm managers have to handle paperwork. Depending on the size of the farm they may have the assistance of clerical and secretarial staff. Supervisors are often employed to give instructions to farm workers and to ensure that work is proceeding satisfactorily. The farm manager also handles matters of recruitment and dismissal. To cope with problems, farm managers need a good understanding of practical farming.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Change processes such as drying, grading, storing, or shipping to improve efficiency or profitability.
- Determine types or quantities of crops or livestock to be raised, according to factors such as market conditions, federal programs or incentives, or soil conditions.
- Direct crop production operations, such as planning, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, or harvesting.
- Direct the breeding or raising of stock, such as cattle, poultry, or honeybees, using recognized breeding practices to ensure stock improvement.
- Evaluate marketing or sales alternatives for farm or ranch products.
- Hire, train, or supervise workers engaged in planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, or marketing crops, or in raising livestock.
- Inspect farm or ranch structures, such as buildings, fences, or roads, ordering repair or maintenance activities, as needed.
- Maintain financial, operational, production, or employment records for farms or ranches.
- Monitor activities such as irrigation, chemical application, harvesting, milking, breeding, or grading to ensure adherence to safety regulations or standards.
- Monitor pasture or grazing land use to ensure that livestock are properly fed or that conservation methods, such as rotational grazing, are used.
Interests - Farm Manager
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The ability to relate well to people is as important as an interest in agriculture because you will have overall responsibility for staff. Forward thinking, target driven individuals with good interpersonal skills suit this role.
Farm Managers must be capable of carrying out the normal routine duties on the farm and must be able to interpret market demands and fluctuations. They must have detailed knowledge of farm accounting, farm planning and farm financing.
- Administrative herd and farm recording
- Nutrient management planning and soil fertility
- Using reports to review farm performance and target improvements
- Financial management - understanding and maintaining cash flow records
- People - supervise and organise work rotas including daily duties
- Farm (e.g. food safety, hygiene, environmental) and industry (e.g. quality, milk composition) compliance
- Responsibility for grassland, herd management (including nutrition), and milking operation
- ICT skills are increasingly valuable.
Entry Requirements - Farm Manager
- Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management
- Level 7 or 8 degree (majoring in Agriculture)
- 3 to 4 years on-farm experience.
In terms of continuous professional development, suggested training includes business management, strategic planning and human resources and team leadership.
To progress to becoming a farm business manager or owning your own dairy business, you should develop the specific competencies and experiences necessary to fulfil this role.
Agricultural colleges offer relevant courses. Teagasc offers a range of courses at different levels. Check the course lists on this page.
Last Updated: July, 2015
Pay & Salary - Farm Manager
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 23k - 46k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Farm Manager
No skills issues have emerged in relation to farmers.
National Skills Bulletin 2018