Agricultural Work

Working on a farm can be hard work but is also extremely rewarding and fulfilling, especially if you enjoy being outdoors and the natural environment.

As a farm worker you could work on livestock, arable or mixed farms. Work is varied and could include looking after livestock, milking, or planting and harvesting crops.

You could also help with the maintenance and upkeep of the farm equipment and land management.

Day to Day Tasks

Tasks can vary throughout the year and can include:

  • using equipment such as tractors and large machinery
  • feeding and caring for livestock including sick or new-born animals
  • using milking machines for dairy work
  • preparing animals for transport
  • maintaining hedges, fences and land
  • maintaining vehicles and machinery
  • cleaning and repairing buildings
  • working with chemicals and medicines such as wormers, fertilizers etc 

Skills and Knowledge

You’ll need to:

  • be reliable and be on time – critical when working with livestock and the weather
  • enjoy physical, outdoor work in all sorts of weather
  • you must have a good level of fitness
  • have a  keen interest in farming and prepare to be hands-on
  • listen to and follow instructions. Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • be capable of working alone at times
  • be patient and stay calm and sensible in stressful situations
  • calculate out weights and measures accurately
  • work safely at all times around farm equipment and animals
  • driving license and use of a vehicle is a benefit. Basic technical and mechanical skills are useful

Industry Qualifications

There aren’t any specific entry requirements, but it is useful to have at least some experience, even weekend work. Being able to demonstrate a keen interest in farming and all things agricultural is a benefit.

Consider further education courses available on the IOM through UCM or studying in the UK – there are many options in many different disciplines. Short courses such as tractor driving, forklift operation or care of livestock are currently available at UCM or online. Some jobs involve tasks such as operating chainsaws and using pesticides. Relevant certificates of competence are a legal requirement.

UCM and Manx National Farmers Union can offer free advice and guidance on course options and funding, and other matters about farm careers.

As you gain qualifications and experience you could start looking for promotions to farm management or equivalent – this will likely require you to travel to get the job that suits.

Farm experience on the Isle of Man could lead to either having your own farm business, an agricultural contractor, or careers in agronomy, consultancy, and land management. You can also progress to farm manager positions and working further afield such as in the UK or New Zealand!

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