What does a farmer do?

Farmers are responsible for sowing and harvesting of crops and monitoring the wellbeing of livestock on a farm. There are many different approaches to farming, from large scale commercial monocropping, mixed or rotational (polyculture) farming, raising livestock or choosing an organic certification. Famers are responsible for conducting operations to aid in whichever processes suit the scale and output of the farm. Daily duties may include: animal wrangling, monitoring soil, performing checks on the health of livestock, planting trees and crops, maintaining budgets, fertilising and spraying crops, and performing harvest duties.

Tasks:

  • Oversee operations on a farm
  • Implement systems that increase production
  • Monitor wellbeing of animals
  • Fertilise crops and perform soil checks
  • Harvest crops and transport stock

What skills do I need to be a farmer?

Being a farmer requires a few specialised skills and personality traits. Farming is generally considered to be quite a difficult, yet rewarding, vocation. Farming requires a personality that is not averse to dealing with problems of a financial, logistical or environmental nature. Farmers need also be very fit, as the physical demands of the job require someone who possesses quite a high level of physical fitness. Farmers must also be able to work in all weather conditions.

Skills/attributes
  • Physically fit
  • Logical and methodical problem solver
  • Confident around animals
  • Can work independently for periods of time
  • Enjoys working outdoors

Specialisations

There are a number of specialised roles within the agriculture industry that, with the right experience, you may consider as potential career options. 

Shearer

Shearers work on farms and specialise in harvesting wool from sheep. Shearers work in very tough physical conditions physically restraining sheep to remove wool for processing and sale. This wool will often be sent to clothing manufacturers and Australian wool is famous for its quality.

Farm hand

Farm hands provide assistance to senior farmers and graziers. Depending on the type of property they work on, farm hands will engage in crop cultivation or livestock wrangling. Farm hands work provide assistance in a number of different areas, aiding the farmers in their daily duties.

Production horticulturist

Production horticulturists are farmers that work specifically with the cultivation of nuts, vegetable and fruit products. Production horticulturists implement strategies to encourage the growth of all these crops for their eventual sale in bulk. They are responsible for devising methods and processes of increasing yields and improving soil and produce quality.

Study pathways for farmers

Farming is intense work that requires not only physical strength but an understanding of the processes, methods and approaches to farming that underpin the work. 

Getting Started

Choose a course that builds your knowledge of agricultural practices

Skill Building

With targeted study options, develop your credentials to maximise your strengths and interests

Professional Development

Learn the logistical and financial requirements for operating a successful farm

Industry Recognition

You can enter the agricultural sector without formal training, however to be a desirable candidate for senior or managerial roles, completing a course of study is your best option.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your agriculture career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Job prospects and salaries are highly dependent on your specialisation as a farmer.