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Farm Manager

by Staff Reporter
If you have a passion for being outdoors and working within the agriculture sector, a career as a Farm Manager could be for you.

Career Overview

Farm Managers are actively involved in day-to-day farming activities. Their responsibilities include managing people, planning, monitoring agricultural production and ensuring that farm procedures run smoothly.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:

  • English
  • Mathematics OR Mathematical Literacy OR Technical Maths (if stated)
  • Physical Sciences OR Life Sciences OR Agricultural Sciences OR Technical Science (if stated)

Recommended subjects:

  • Geography

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in agriculture:

  • University of Fort Hare (UFH): APS of 29
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN): A minimum APS of 33
  • North West University (NWU): APS of 22

Required Qualification/s

To practice as a Farm Manager, you will generally need to have some sort of tertiary education in agriculture. This can range from a Diploma to a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. Being such a labor-intensive job, practical experience is advised.  There are often a range of entry requirements that vary according to the type of qualification and the institution.  The requirements for the different qualifications offered at the abovementioned institutions are as follows:

  • University of Fort Hare (UFH):
    • BSc Agric:
      • English, Mathematics and Physical Sciences 50-59%
      • Life Sciences or Geography or Agriculture or Info Technology 50-59%
      • Life Orientation 50-59%
    • BSc Agric (Agric Econ):
      • English, Mathematics and Life Sciences 50-59%
      • Geography or Agriculture or Info Technology 50-59%
      • Life Orientation 50-59%
    •  BAgric:
      • English 50-59%
      • Mathematics (50-59%) or Mathematical Literacy (60-69%)
      • Agriculture 50-59%
      • Life Orientation 50-59%
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN):
    • BSc Agric
      • NSC degree pass with Maths, English, Life Orientation and Agricultural Science OR Physical Science OR Life Sciences at 50-59% or above.
    • B Agricultural Management
      • NSC degree pass with Maths, English, Life Orientation and Agricultural Science OR Physical Science OR Life Sciences at 50-59% or above.
  • North West University (NWU):
    • BScAgric
      • NSC or NCV for degree studies or with matric exemption
      • Mathematics 50-59%
      • English 50-59%
      • Physical Science OR Life Sciences OR Agricultural Sciences 50-59%

Required Skills

You will need to show the following skills in order to succeed as a Farm Manager:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Determination, hard work, and endurance
  • A true passion for animals and the outdoors
  • Capacity to deal with the stress that comes with a sometimes-unpredictable job

Where you can work

As a Farm Manager, you can specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Dairy farming
  • Forestry
  • Game
  • Beef farming
  • Wine farming
  • Citrus farming
  • Sheep farming
  • And more…

Working Hours

Depending on what kind of farm you work on, your hours can range from a couple of hours a day to working five days a week and being available at night and over the weekend. For example, if you work on a dairy farm where the cows are milked twice a day, your day will begin at 5:30 and end at 17:30, seven days a week.

Expected Salary

According to PayScale, the average pay for a South African Farm Manager ranges between R61k to R430k per year, depending on experience.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Farm Manager:

  • A lot of physical work – be it walking around and checking the fields or working on maintenance
  • Depending on where you work, settings can feel very remote
  • Farm work will involve a lot of teamwork, therefore you need to be prepared to work collaboratively and communicate effectively
  • The most important skills of farm management are gained through practical experience; therefore, students can expect a few years of hands-on farm work before stepping up as manager

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