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Farm Worker

Position Overview

Farm workers often have very dynamic roles, depending on the farm that they work on. They assist with the general farm operations, such as livestock and crop care. For crop care, they may inspect plants for pests or diseases, irrigate, operate farm machinery, spray fertilizer, and harvest. For livestock care, they may feed the animals, clean their pens, inspect animals for injury or illness, and herd livestock to varying enclosures. This would include one or various types of animals, such as beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, or pigs. If the position is specifically an agriculture or greenhouse worker, cropping will be the primary focus of the job. Due to the various duties farm workers complete, they should have a general understanding of agriculture, animals and farming practices. They need to be able to work well on their own with minimal supervision and should be excellent problem solvers. Farm workers spend a great deal of time outside in all types of weather conditions, working extended hours during planting and harvesting season.

Farm Worker Duties

  • Plant various types of crops
  • Use different equipment types
  • Irrigate plants
  • Scout crops, reporting on any pests or diseases
  • Spray pesticides or fertilizer when necessary
  • Weed and harvest crops
  • Herd livestock
  • Administer animal vaccines
  • Feed and care for livestock
  • Fill feeders with appropriate portions
  • Help keep animal and breeding records
  • Clean livestock pens or general living area
  • Watch for peculiar, or unhealthy animal behaviour that could indicate illness

Typical Employers

  • Large and small scale farms
  • Agriculture farms
  • Livestock farms

Required Education and Training

No specific schooling or programs are required to become a farm worker. This work can vary greatly depending on the farm owner and type of farm. This means that all farm workers will receive on-the-job training when they first start, such as how to use the equipment, general cropping practices, and relevant animal care techniques. It is beneficial for farm workers to have a general knowledge of farming and agriculture, although it is not necessary if the candidate is willing to learn.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Work well individually and in a team environment
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Good dexterity
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Mechanical skills
  • Ability to multitask effectively
  • Good problem solver

Average Salary

The average salary for a farm worker in £25,000. This can typically vary from £20,000 - £30,000 depending on the size and type of farm. While almost 70% of farm workers will receive a slight pay increase year-to-year, others may not see this for close to 5 years.