Farmer – Job Description
Farmers fall into one of two categories – arable or pastoral.
If you’re an arable farmer, you’ll be out in the fields growing and tending to crops before you harvest them and start the process all over again.
A pastoral farmer works with animals. You might be rearing them for meat or working as a dairy farmer to supply firms making milk and cheese.
Unless you’ve got a specialist degree from an agricultural college, you’ll usually start at the bottom and work up from there.
Farm labourers will have to turn their hand to whatever’s needed. You could be mucking out, driving a tractor, ploughing or planting, fixing machinery or repairing tumbled-down walls. It’s a varied, hands-on and physically demanding job.
As you gain more experience, so you’ll be expected to master the less physical aspects of the job – planning production, overseeing farm workers, working on budgets and keeping up to date with the many and varied regulations that politicians keep throwing at farmers.
You’ll also need to be a good negotiator if you want to get good prices from suppliers and even better prices from customers.
It’s a calling as much as a job. The hours are long and holidays, depending on the type of farming you do, can be few and far between. If you love the outdoors, the cyclical nature of life and feel horrified at the thought of being desk-bound for the rest of your working life, then farming is for you.
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Other recommended resources:
National Farmers Union
The largest industry association for farmers across England and Wales, providing professional representation and a number of other services.
National Farmers Union Scotland
The representative for farmers in Scotland, aiming to protect the interests of those involved in the sector.
The Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, they offer a wealth of information about government support and latest policy development for those involved in agriculture.
Red Tractor Assurance
A not-for-profit organisation aimed at driving good standards in UK food production, offering a assurance mark of recognised standards. Their online resource offers a wealth of information about food standards and production.
A government-recognised resource for training across all areas of the agricultural sector.
Royal Agricultural Society of England
A research institution aimed at promoting technological advancements for the benefit of the agricultural industry.
Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
An independent organisation involved in promoting and supporting Dairy Farmers in Britain, also offering training, education and awards.
British Poultry Council
A trade association for poultry farmers in the UK.
National Association of Wheat Growers
An organisation aimed at supporting people in the wheat growing industry.
Game Farmers’ Association
A trade organisation for members of the game and shooting industry.
British Cheese Board
UK organisation supporting the interests of cheese producers and promoting the cheese industry.
National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs
A central resource for Young Farmers’ Clubs across the UK offering information and support for young people who want to get into farming.
Organic Farmers & Growers
A UK control body monitoring standards in organic food production, with plenty of information on the website about those either interested or involved in the industry.
Country Land and Business Association
An organisation supporting owners of land and businesses in rural Britain, offering a number of professional services for its members.