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Become A Farm Owner Operator

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Working As A Farm Owner Operator

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $62,400

    Average Salary

What Does A Farm Owner Operator Do

Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

Duties

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other crops. They plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops, and pack and load them for shipment.

Farmworkers also apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. They repair fences and some farm equipment.

Nursery and greenhouse workers prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing horticultural products such as trees, plants, flowers, and sod. They also plant, water, prune, weed, and spray the plants. They may cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack plants to fill orders; and dig up or move field-grown shrubs and trees.

Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. These animals usually are raised to supply meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, or honey.

These farmworkers may feed, herd, brand, weigh, and load animals. They also keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.

Many workers clean and maintain animal housing areas every day. On dairy farms, animal farmworkers operate milking machines.

Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, as well as maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks. These workers also operate machines such as conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers. Workers may make adjustments and minor repairs to equipment.

Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to select and breed animals that will produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For example, they breed chickens that lay more eggs, pigs that produce leaner meat, and sheep with more desirable wool. Other animal breeders breed and raise cats, dogs, and other household pets.

To know which animals to breed and when to breed them, animal breeders keep detailed records. Breeders note animals’ health, size, and weight, as well as the amount and quality of the product they produce. Animal breeders also track the traits of animals’ offspring.

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How To Become A Farm Owner Operator

Agricultural workers typically receive on-the-job training. A high school diploma is not needed for most jobs as an agricultural worker; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders.

Education and Training

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders. Some jobs as an animal breeder may require some postsecondary education.

Agricultural workers typically receive some short-term on-the-job training. Employers instruct them on how to use simple farming tools and more complex machinery while following appropriate safety procedures. More experienced workers also are expected to perform routine maintenance on the tools they use.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Agricultural workers need excellent hand–eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery.

Listening skills. Agricultural workers need to work well with others. Because they take instructions from farmers and other agricultural managers, effective listening is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.

Physical strength. Agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops.

Mechanical skills. Agricultural workers must be able to operate complex farm machinery. They also occasionally do routine maintenance on the machinery.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Animal breeders sometimes need previous work experience interacting with livestock. Ranch workers may transition into animal breeding after they become more familiar with animals and learn how to handle them.

Advancement

Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.

Some agricultural workers aspire to become farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers or to own their own farms and ranches. Knowledge of produce and livestock may provide an excellent background for becoming buyers or purchasing agents of farm products. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural or food scientists.

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Farm Owner Operator jobs

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Farm Owner Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

70.1%

Female

28.8%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

85.6%

Hispanic or Latino

6.9%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

1.2%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

French

28.6%

Spanish

28.6%

Kabyle

14.3%

Arabic

14.3%

Italian

14.3%
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Farm Owner Operator Education

Schools

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

6.0%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

6.0%

Texas Tech University

6.0%

University of California - Davis

6.0%

Iowa State University

6.0%

Oklahoma State University

6.0%

Michigan State University

6.0%

Purdue University

6.0%

Kansas State University

6.0%

Mississippi State University

6.0%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

4.0%

Spokane Community College

4.0%

Northwest Missouri State University

4.0%

Humboldt State University

4.0%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

4.0%

University of Kentucky

4.0%

North Dakota State University -

4.0%

South Plains College

4.0%

University of Idaho

4.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.0%
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Majors

Business

18.0%

Agricultural Business

9.0%

Education

6.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

6.0%

Animal Science

5.3%

Health Care Administration

5.3%

Computer Science

4.5%

Agriculture

4.5%

Graphic Design

4.5%

Law

4.5%

Accounting

4.5%

General Studies

3.8%

Automotive Technology

3.8%

Management

3.0%

Plant Sciences

3.0%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Theology

3.0%

Marketing

3.0%

Drafting And Design

2.3%

Nursing

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.5%

Other

25.7%

Associate

10.5%

Masters

9.3%

Certificate

8.9%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

2.1%

License

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Farm Owner Operator

AcreageAllocationsDairyOperationLivestockFarmFarmEquipmentFarmOperationDairyFarmAcreFarmBeefCattleEquipmentMaintenanceSuperviseFamilyFarmFarmMachineryFertilizerHeavyEquipmentHerdHealthAnimalHealthSmallFarmDailyOperationsCSACustomerService

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Top Farm Owner Operator Skills

  1. Acreage Allocations
  2. Dairy Operation
  3. Livestock Farm
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyze market conditions to determine acreage allocations.
  • Purchased, operated, and maintained farm equipment; marketed grain and livestock.
  • Designed and developed a commercial blueberry farm operation.
  • Managed a family dairy farm including business finances, daily operations and coordination of labor.
  • Raised Angus beef cattle on 800 acre farm in western Kentucky.

Top Farm Owner Operator Employers

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