Farm managers are responsible for meeting farm goals, including all aspects of production, stock, environmental and staff management. You are likely to be involved in the budgeting process, but will not set the budget.
Farm managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of the farm.
Monitoring seasonal weather events and assessing how they will affect the farm system (e.g. pasture growth rates and pasture damage). Balancing production and cost to meet farm policy. Planning and implementing pasture improvement programme including deciding which paddocks need re-grassing. Implementing cropping policy on farm.
Organise herd tests as per farm policy. Monitoring records and/or ensuring only quality information goes to the operations manager.
Putting together breeding programmes that maximise genetic gain. Coordinating with breeding company and vet regarding mating plan requirements. Setting and monitoring the calving and calf rearing plan to meet farm policy. Setting annual plans for animal health programmes. Deciding whether to cull or treat stock.
Ordering supplies at most economical price. Organising all contractors to meet farm policies and budgets. Maintaining knowledge of and planning to meet key performance indicators. Monitoring and working within budget guidelines for cost/expenses. Maintaining knowledge of cost of production.
Setting effluent plan and monitoring system. Making sure all plans are implemented, monitored and up to date to meet compliance requirements. Following milk processor’s quality assurance practices.
Creating rosters for staff, including calf rearers or seasonal employees. Allocating role responsibilities i.e. who does what. Monitoring performance. Conflict resolution. Allocating the appropriate training relevant to the budget and individuals training needs. Building a team culture that supports the farms goals and values. Staff gap analysis and assessing/implementing training requirements.
Ideally you will have a minimum of five years’ experience working on farm and will have gained an overview of all the required elements needed for farm management. You will also have experience managing staff.
“Anyone who grows up in town and has no background in farming can go into dairy farming and become successful.”
Hayley Hoogendyk, Farm Manager
* Average farm manager salary, Farming Salaries 2018, Remuneration Summary Report 2017/18, Federated Farmers.
Dairy farming is many jobs.
STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU
“I love seeing healthy cows eating grass and producing quality milk, as well as working in a team to put all the factors of farming together and achieve great results.”
Sam Kirk, Manager
WHAT AND WHERE TO STUDY
Additional to the skills and experience you’ve gained, and the training and education you’ve completed in previous dairy farming roles (up to assistant manager), formal and informal training may include the following.
- Diploma in Agribusiness Management
- Human Resource Module
- Resource Management and Planning Module
- Financial Planning and Management Module
- Mastitis Management
- Diploma in Farm Management
- Bachelor of Agriculture
- Bachelor of Agricultural Science
- Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture)
- QuickStart Recruitment Kit – A simple starting point for farmers when employing staff
- People Productivity Kit – Your solution to managing employees for great performance
- Body Condition Scoring – Information about Body Condition Scoring (BCS) including how-to guides, videos, and the certified assessors list.
For a comprehensive list of training and industry-agreed dairy farm role descriptions visit DairyNZ.
WHERE TO STUDY
A number of training providers offer courses, from taster courses to New Zealand Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. Check out the interactive map.
Dairy Training works with Primary ITO to deliver off-job courses throughout New Zealand for NZQA levels 2-6. Training is vocational, meaning you learn while in employment.
Primary ITO organises training and qualifications in your area. Courses range from starting out, to 1-2 years’ experience and management.
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A mentor is someone already working or familiar with the career you choose; someone you respect and can use as a sounding board for your ideas.
EMPLOYEE AND SELF-EMPLOYED CAREER PATHWAYS