10 Key Farmer Skills: How To Highlight And Improve Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Farming is the practice of growing crops and livestock, often for selling in the market. Improving your farming skills can benefit you in future interviews and on the job. Understanding what skills a farmer requires and how they apply to their work can help you better understand farming as a career option. In this article, we define farmer skills, provide ten examples of these skills, discuss how they apply in the workplace and offer suggestions on how to improve and highlight them in the job application and interview process.

What Are Farmer Skills?

Farmer skills are the abilities that help you accomplish your daily tasks as a farmer. Skills like problem-solving, interpersonal, farm management and organisational skills are all important for successful farming. You can apply these abilities in various situations, including managing farmhands, cultivating crops and fixing machinery. These abilities can help you grow in the farming industry and properly highlighting them during your job application can set you apart from other candidates.

Related: 9 Popular Agricultural Careers That Are Worth Pursuing

10 Important Farmer Skills

Farmers require diverse skills to perform their tasks successfully. Here are some examples of skills to have for a farmer:

1. Farm operations

Farmers require a thorough awareness of agricultural processes and the farming industry. This knowledge allows them to complete their regular tasks on the farm correctly. Raising animals or cultivating the soil are examples of operational tasks that farmers understand in-depth.

2. Technological awareness

Though a farmer does not require buying or operating every type of new equipment, it is crucial to be aware of new technology breakthroughs in agriculture. A good awareness of current developments in pesticide use, irrigation and strategies to improve cultivation, harvest, storage and transportation can help farmers be efficient at work. Technological awareness also helps them analyse various types of farm equipment and decide which machine matches their exact requirements.

3. Problem-solving

A farmer's job often requires using trial-and-error techniques to solve many problems. For example, farmers are often looking for new ways to increase the yield of crops. Harvesting delays can occur in the event of unexpected weather, so in this type of situation, it is critical for a farmer to know how to respond and make smart decisions. A farmer with problem-solving abilities can assure the best possible harvest for a season regardless of unexpected weather or other scenarios.

Related: Problem Solving Questions For Interview (With Examples And Tips)

4. Mechanical and repairing

Farmers work with a wide range of farming equipment and tools to carry out farming tasks. Their job requires a wide range of mechanical abilities so they can maintain their equipment and supplies. Farmers can avoid relying on a repair specialist by being able to make routine repairs themselves. This can help them save time and money because they don't have to wait to schedule a repair or pay an outside technician.

5. Interpersonal skills

A farmer frequently supervises farmhands as they complete their tasks. They may be more motivated when you communicate clearly and with compassion. Farmhands are also more likely to finish their tasks properly if a farmer has good coaching skills. A farmer also uses interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with customers. It enables them to negotiate better pricing for their crops, livestock or other products. Their interpersonal abilities assist them in forming a community that may share resources, equipment or supplies when needed.

6. Time management

Depending on the farming season, farmers often work from sunrise to sunset. To get the best harvesting output, successful farmers notice new opportunities and act on them promptly. To fulfill market demands and success in their career, a farmer manages their time effectively and consistently.

7. Physical health and stamina

Farmers spend most of their days standing, lifting, hauling and tugging various goods and machinery. Having excellent physical stamina is essential for taking on strenuous activities. They also carry out these responsibilities in different weather, including heat and cold. It is easier to do these tasks efficiently if they are fit and have good physical stamina, regardless of environmental conditions.

8. Organisational

Farmers use organisational abilities to maintain accurate records of various activities. Invoices, equipment manuals, warranties and contracts are examples of such documents. It is especially important to track the validity of your certification documents if you are an organic farmer. Though you can choose to pay someone to handle the paperwork, it is helpful to learn these skills yourself, especially if you are starting in farming or planning to run your own business.

Related: What Is Organisational Behaviour? (Examples And Advantages)

9. Management

Excellent management abilities are helpful in farming, even if you work on or own a small farm with few workers to supervise. Management abilities allow you to communicate and supervise many tasks with greater success and efficiency. Developing your management skills can help you coordinate the harvest, oversee your team's productivity, organise commercial aspects of buying supplies and selling crops on the market.

10. Adaptability

When confronted with unforeseen events or scenarios, being flexible and adaptable can help you be more successful as a farmer. In the farming sector, adaptability helps you adjust to various factors like demand, weather and inflation. Your ability in this area assists you in adjusting to changing industry and consumer expectations. By adopting novel approaches or procedures and anticipating upcoming issues, you can navigate new challenges more effectively.

Related: How To Be Flexible At Work: A Complete Guide

How To Improve Your Farming Skills

Depending on your goals, you can follow a variety of techniques to learn new skills or improve existing ones. Improving your talents can help you stay competitive and successful in the agriculture industry. To help you improve your farming skills, consider the following suggestions:

1. Staying updated

It is important to have professional knowledge of the farming sector as a farmer. Stay up-to-date on everything from marketing methods and field operations to production technologies and machinery. This knowledge can assist you in creating effective plans for both short-term and long-term objectives.

2. Improving your relationships

Try improving your interpersonal skills by strengthening your relationships with coworkers and other business associates. This can help you communicate, handle issues, negotiate, delegate and persuade others. You can practice being clear and concise in your communications and being attentive while listening to others.

3. Building a community

To broaden your knowledge and skills, consider making connections with other farmers. Understanding their farming practices can help you improve your own. Consider what you can learn from your direct or indirect competition. Openly discussing your trade can assist you in identifying and correcting weak areas in your skill set and the farm's processes.

Tips To Demonstrate Your Farmer Skills In The Workplace

As a farmer, you have many possibilities to demonstrate and practice your skills. Use these suggestions to demonstrate your farming abilities in the workplace:

  • Cultivating a teamwork atmosphere: Create a teamwork atmosphere to develop your communication and interpersonal skills. Working with your team toward a similar objective can help you enhance your relationships with them and improve the farm's success and profitability.

  • Practising consistently: Learn how to enhance your talents by practising them regularly. For example, If you want to improve your skill to perform successful machinery repairs, keep performing similar repairs to become more acclimated to them and hone your repairing skill.

  • Being receptive to feedback: When working on a farm, you may receive helpful advice and information from other farmers. Accept any feedback they provide you and use it to advance your career. Even if the input is flawed, strive to be more open and utilise their suggestions.

Ways To Highlight These Skills In A Job Application Process

If you are applying for a job as a farmer, you get several opportunities to highlight your relevant skills during the application and interview process. Follow these tips to highlight your farming experience on your resume, cover letter and during a job interview:

In a resume

You can incorporate your farming skills into your past job responsibilities in the experience part of your resume. For example, as a farmer, you can describe how you used your technical skills to complete a certain task. You can also include a skills section on your resume to highlight your farming skills as they relate to the job you want. You can review the job description to find which specific skills the employer is looking for in candidates.

Related: Guide: The Difference Between CV, Resume And Biodata

In a cover letter

Many employers often ask for a cover letter with the job application. Use your cover letter to go over the talents you highlighted in your resume in greater depth. If you mentioned problem-solving skills in your resume, utilise your cover letter to demonstrate to the hiring manager an example of how this skill helped you be more effective as a farmer.

In the job interview

Mention the relevant skills you have as part of your answers to the hiring manager during a job interview. When they ask you a question, emphasise your skills, particularly any skills listed in the job description. Your behaviours also highlight many soft skills, such as active listening and communication. You can showcase your time management abilities by appearing on time for the interview or show your communication skills by carefully listening to what the interviewer says and asking insightful questions.

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