An agricultural manager works very closely with farmers. Their primary duty is to coordinate crop production for corporations, cooperatives, or other owners. They manage and evaluate agricultural factors such as disease, market conditions, soil conditions, weather, production needs, and sometimes even federal programs that are available.
How to Become an Agricultural Manager
Agricultural managers usually are experienced farmers or ranchers that have a minimum of a high school diploma. Though not required, many agricultural managers are beginning to take college courses or earn bachelors degrees at local universities or state colleges. Coursework or degrees usually include agriculture, farm management, agronomy, or botany. You also learn the about the newest technology, farming methods, crop or live stock diseases, and the care of crops.
Some agricultural managers choose to get certified by the American Society of Farm Managers and Appraisers (ASSFMR) (link opens in a new window) to become more competitive in the market, however you must have a bachelor’s degree and no less than 4 years of experience to do so.
Job Description of an Agricultural Manager
Agricultural managers are responsible for numerous tasks and play a major role in the production and distribution of crops and livestock. They must have strong communication skills because they are often conferring with purchasers and sellers. They also assist in the coordination of agricultural needs and activities such as procedural changes, storage, grading, and logistical processes.They negotiate with banks or other credit lenders to get the financing needed for purchasing equipment, crops, grain, and livestock.
Agricultural managers must be detailed oriented, often times they are recording information during the day on processes, agricultural practices, stock, inventory, and reports. They prepare financial and operational documents and analyze market conditions. However, they are also on site looking at the maintenance of machines, analyzing soils, determining correct fertilizers, and ensuring production is on schedule.
Locations and employment opportunities vary for agricultural managers. Some work on farms, however others may work at nurseries, greenhouses, or various agricultural production sites. Agricultural managers work full time and often work irregular hours and more than 40 hours a week, especially during the fall and spring months thus these are planting and harvesting times. Agricultural manager can work in very harsh conditions when out in the field due to weather changes. However, during slow times they are working in an office marketing their crops or planning for the next season.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Farmers, Ranchers, and other Agricultural Managers.