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Details for Farmers and Ranchers


Description

On an ownership or rental basis, operate farms, ranches, greenhouses, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural production establishments which produce crops, horticultural specialties, livestock, poultry, finfish, shellfish, or animal specialties. May plant, cultivate, harvest, perform post-harvest activities, and market crops and livestock; may hire, train, and supervise farm workers or supervise a farm labor contractor; may prepare cost, production, and other records. May maintain and operate machinery and perform physical work.

Tasks

  • Assist in animal births, and care for newborn livestock.
  • Breed and raise stock such as cattle, poultry, and honeybees, using recognized breeding practices to ensure continued improvement in stock.
  • Clean and disinfect buildings and yards, and remove manure.
  • Clean and sanitize milking equipment, storage tanks, collection cups, and cows' udders, or ensure that procedures are followed to maintain sanitary conditions for handling of milk.
  • Clean, grade, and package crops for marketing.
  • Control the spread of disease and parasites in herds, by using vaccination and medication, and by separating sick animals.
  • Destroy diseased or superfluous crops.
  • Determine types and quantities of crops or livestock to be raised, according to factors such as market conditions, federal program availability, and soil conditions.
  • Evaluate product marketing alternatives, then promote and market farm products, acting as the sales agent for livestock and crops.
  • Harvest crops, and collect specialty products such as royal jelly, wax, pollen, and honey from bee colonies.
  • Install and shift irrigation systems to irrigate fields evenly or according to crop need.
  • Maintain pastures or grazing lands to ensure that animals have enough feed, employing pasture-conservation measures such as arranging rotational grazing.
  • Milk cows, using milking machinery.
  • Monitor crops as they grow in order to ensure that they are growing properly and are free from diseases and contaminants.
  • Negotiate and arrange with buyers for the sale, storage, and shipment of crops.
  • Perform crop production duties such as planning, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, and harvesting.
  • Plan crop activities based on factors such as crop maturity and weather conditions.
  • Purchase and store livestock feed.
  • Remove lower quality or older animals from herds and purchase other livestock to replace culled animals.
  • Select and purchase supplies and equipment such as seed, fertilizers, and farm machinery.
  • Select animals for market, and provide transportation of livestock to market.
  • Set up and operate farm machinery to cultivate, harvest, and haul crops.
  • Transport grain to silos for storage, and burn or bale any straw that is left behind.
  • Assemble, position, and secure structures such as trellises, beehives, or fences, using hand tools.
  • Buy or sell futures contracts, or price products in advance of future sales so that risk is limited and/or profit is increased.
  • Demonstrate and explain farm work techniques and safety regulations to workers.
  • Grow out-of-season or early crops in greenhouses or cold-frame beds, or bud and graft plant stock.
  • Herd cattle, using horses or all-terrain vehicles.
  • Hire, train, and direct workers engaged in planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, and marketing crops, and in raising livestock.
  • Lubricate, adjust, and make minor repairs to farm equipment, using oilcans, grease guns, and hand tools.
  • Maintain facilities such as fencing, water supplies, and outdoor housing and wind shelters.
  • Maintain financial, tax, production, and employee records.
  • Obtain financing from lenders to purchase machinery, fertilizer, livestock, and feed.
  • Keep hens in order to produce table eggs for eating or fertile eggs for breeding.
  • Maintain colonies of bees to produce honey and hive byproducts, pollinate crops, and/or produce queens and bees for sale.
  • Manage and oversee the day-to-day running of farms raising poultry or pigs for the production of meat and breeding stock.
  • Operate dairy farms that produce bulk milk.

Interests

Education, Training, Experience

Knowledge

Skills

Related Careers

  • Agricultural Inspectors
  • Aquacultural Managers
  • Crop and Livestock Managers
  • Farm and Home Management Advisors
  • Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care Workers
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Aquacultural Workers
  • Fishers and Related Fishing Workers
Wages for this career
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