Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $69,300
- 2012, number of jobs: 3,970
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: – 8 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers; what they do:
If you appreciate organic foods, working with your hands, growing and harvesting crops and you love animals and enjoy the outdoors, consider a career as a farmer, rancher, or as another type of agricultural manager. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate farms, greenhouses and other agricultural establishments that plant and harvest crops as well as produce livestock and dairy products.
A day in the life of a farmer, rancher and other agricultural manager is a very physically demanding job that starts before the sun rises and ends long after the sun goes down. Their day includes a variety of farming activities from supervising crop production and planting to harvesting and herding livestock, spending countless hours studying market conditions to evaluating how to produce crops and raise livestock.
A farmer, rancher or agricultural manager career may include monitoring potentially available federal funding, buying and organizing farm machinery and other supplies, repairing farm equipment and adapting to changing weather and crop conditions. A farmer, rancher or agricultural manager career may also include monitoring all budgets, financial records and staff members.
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Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers job titles:
- Production Manager
- Nursery Manager
- Greenhouse Manager
- Propagation Manager
- Farm Manager
- Harvesting Manager
- Perennial House Manager
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Typically, farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers acquire skills through on-the-job training or government sponsored training and have at least a high school diploma.
Increasingly farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers have a Bachelor in Agriculture degree, a Bachelor in Agribusiness degree, a Bachelor in Soil and Crop Management degree or a Bachelor in Agricultural Systems Management degree or in a related field as farming equipment and land management has increased in complexity.
Some schools offer an Associate in Agriculture Production Technology degree.
Students attending an agricultural college learn about crops and growing conditions. Conversely, ranchers and dairy farmers learn the fundamentals of veterinary science.
Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers typically gain experience under seasoned farmers and often get federal assistance with programs such as Beginner Farmer and the Rancher Competitive Grants Program.
Certification is not mandatory, however, some farmers acquire the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers certificate to demonstrate greater competency in agricultural management.
Farmer, rancher and other agricultural manager programs cover subjects such as:
- Financial accounting
- Managerial accounting
- Animal nutrition
- Livestock production
- Agribusiness management
- Plant physiology
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers Job Outlook
Forecast: 8 percent employment decline for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers from 2010 to 2020.
Major factors for the decline include the ability of the farming industry to produce more with fewer employees; expensive machinery; land and chemicals and well-capitalized farmers and corporations acquiring farm land. However, new programs such as the Farm Bill help farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers buy more land and offset these market issues.
Conversely, owners of large segments of land need assistance from farming managers to help operate their ranches or farms as actual businesses. The small-scale farmer and their successful organic farmers markets catering to the urban and suburban population have shown promise in the farming industry. The horticultural and organic food businesses have quickly become the fastest growing markets in agriculture.
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $69,300
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $91,380
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $46,590
- Large farms
- Large ranches