Skip to main content
A-Z IndexCalendarsDirectoryMaps

Background Image for Header:

Home / Academics / Careers / Farm and Ranch Managers Career

Farm and Ranch Managers Career

Career Description

Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms, ranches, greenhouses, aquacultural operations, nurseries, timber tracts, or other agricultural establishments. May hire, train, or supervise farm workers or contract for services to carry out the day-to-day activities of the managed operation. May engage in or supervise planting, cultivating, harvesting, financial, or marketing activities.

What Job Titles Farm and Ranch Managers Might Have

  • Dairy Farmer
  • Farm Manager
  • Farmer
  • Rancher

What Farm and Ranch Managers Do

  • Inspect orchards or fields to determine crop maturity or condition or to detect disease or insect infestation.
  • Direct crop production operations, such as planning, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, spraying, or harvesting.
  • Monitor activities such as irrigation, chemical application, harvesting, milking, breeding, or grading to ensure adherence to safety regulations or standards.
  • Plan crop activities based on factors such as crop maturity or weather conditions.
  • Maintain financial, operational, production, or employment records for farms or ranches.
  • Direct the breeding or raising of stock, such as cattle, poultry, or honeybees, using recognized breeding practices to ensure stock improvement.
  • Obtain financing necessary for purchases of machinery, land, supplies, or livestock.
  • Inspect farm or ranch equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Negotiate with buyers for the sale, storage, or shipment of crops or livestock.
  • Analyze soil to determine types or quantities of fertilizer required for maximum crop production.
  • Evaluate marketing or sales alternatives for farm or ranch products.
  • Prepare budgets or financial reports for farm or ranch operations.
  • Determine types or quantities of crops or livestock to be raised, according to factors such as market conditions, federal programs or incentives, or soil conditions.
  • Demonstrate or explain working techniques, practices, or safety regulations to farm or ranch workers.
  • Hire, train, or supervise workers engaged in planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, or marketing crops, or in raising livestock.
  • Select or purchase machinery, equipment, livestock, or supplies, such as seed, feed, fertilizer, or chemicals.
  • Analyze market conditions to determine acreage allocations.
  • Inspect farm or ranch structures, such as buildings, fences, or roads, ordering repair or maintenance activities, as needed.
  • Supervise the construction of farm or ranch structures, such as buildings, fences, drainage systems, wells, or roads.
  • Operate or oversee the operations of dairy farms that produce bulk milk.
  • Plan and direct development or production of hardier or higher-yield hybrid plant varieties.
  • Buy or sell futures contracts or price farm products in advance of future sales to minimize risk or maximize profits.
  • Monitor and adjust irrigation systems to distribute water according to crop needs and to avoid wasting water.
  • Monitor pasture or grazing land use to ensure that livestock are properly fed or that conservation methods, such as rotational grazing, are used.
  • Direct livestock or crop waste recycling operations.
  • Replace chemical insecticides with environmentally friendly practices, such as adding pest-repelling plants to fields.

What Farm and Ranch Managers Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Farm and Ranch Managers Should Be Interested In

  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Farm and Ranch Managers Need to Learn

  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $66,360

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.