Mixed farmer

A mixed farmer and an ox

Description

Mixed farmers are responsible for managing all aspects of livestock and crop production as a small enterprise or for self-sufficiency.

The duties of a mixed farmer include, but are not limited to:

  • planning and coordinating the production and marketing of crops and livestock
  • breeding and raising livestock for the production of meat, wool, skins, milk or eggs, and growing grain, seed crops, vegetables, fruit or nuts
  • monitoring and maintaining the health and condition of livestock
  • providing pastures and fodder to maintain appropriate nutritional levels
  • selecting and purchasing seed for planting, planning and implementing breeding programs
  • directing and overseeing general farming activities such as fertilising, and pest and weed control
  • maintaining farm buildings, fences, equipment and water supply systems
  • organising the sale, purchase and transportation of livestock and produce
  • maintaining and evaluating records of farming activities, monitoring market activity and planning production accordingly
  • managing business capital, monitoring market activity and planning production accordingly
  • may select, train and supervise staff and contractors.

Working conditions

Mixed farmers typically work long hours, often more than 60 hours per week. They are up early to milk cows, feed animals, and do other chores, and they may work late into the night to finish up work that couldn’t be completed during the day.

Mixed farmers work outdoors in all kinds of weather, so they must be prepared for hot sun, cold winters, and everything in between. They also work with large, powerful machinery, which can be dangerous if it’s not used properly. Despite the long hours and challenging work, farmers take great pride in their work and feel a strong connection to the land they work on.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to mixed farmer:

crofter
working farm manager
smallholder

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as mixed farmer. However, many mixed farmers choose to pursue a post-secondary education in agriculture or a related field. Courses in agriculture, biology, chemistry and math can help farmers understand the science behind farming and increase their knowledge of the industry.

Most mixed farmers will receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training will teach them how to operate the machinery and equipment used on the farm. They will also learn how to care for the animals and crops.

Mixed farmer training may also include instruction on how to handle animals and crops. For example, a farmer who works with livestock may learn how to handle the animals and how to care for them. They may also learn how to slaughter the animals.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Mixed farmer is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Mixed farmer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to mixed farmer.

farm manager
vineyard manager
agronomic crop production team leader
poultry sexer
crop production manager

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of mixed farmer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of mixed farmer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

agricultural inspector
footwear quality control laboratory technician
projectionist
biotechnical technician
footwear quality technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of mixed farmer.

  • Livestock reproduction: Understand natural and artificial reproduction techniques, gestation periods and birthing for livestock. Understand the humane destruction of relevant animals in accordance with national legislation.
  • Environmental legislation in agriculture and forestry: Awareness on environmental legislation, policies, principles relevant for agriculture and forestry. Awareness of the impact on the environment of local agricultural procedures and practices. Means to adjust the production to new environmental regulations and policies.
  • Crop production principles: Principles in growing crops, the natural cycle, nursing of nature, growth conditions and principles of organic and sustainable production. Quality criteria and requirements of seeds, plants and crop.
  • Agronomical production principles: The techniques, methods and principles of conventional agronomical production.
  • Agricultural production principles: Principles and conditions of organic and sustainable agricultural production.
  • Livestock farming systems: The allocation of farming resources in relation to livestock farming and husbandry systems.
  • Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the sector of particular activity.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of mixed farmer.

  • Operate agricultural machinery: Operate motorised agricultural equipment including tractors, balers, sprayers, ploughs, mowers, combines, earthmoving equipment, trucks, and irrigation equipment.
  • Supervise hygiene procedures in agricultural settings: Ensure that hygiene procedures in agricultural settings are followed, taking into account the regulations of specific areas of action e.q. livestock, plants, local farm products, etc.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of mixed farmer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Agricultural business management: Understand business principles behind agricultural production and the marketing of its products.
  • Dairy animal production: Understand the life cycles of the animal in relation to milk production and the technical and economical aspects of milk production.
  • Agritourism: Aspects of agritourism involving agriculturally based activities to bring visitors to a farm.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of mixed farmer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Manage production enterprise: Organise and instruct staff, plan production strategies and programmes including sales. Carry out input purchase orders, materials, equipment and manage stocks etc. Awareness of demands of the businesses customers and adjustments accordingly to plans and strategies. Estimate resources and control budget of enterprise applying business economics, production development and project management principles.
  • Manage farm products: Manage the farm products by making contracts with customers and business partners to ensure the optimal production, taking into account the farms production plans and purpose.
  • Manage the health and welfare of livestock: Assess the current health status of your livestock. Manage any existing disease or disorder, including the requirements for isolation of livestock. Plan and manage a livestock health and welfare plan including clearly defined targets, consulting with specialists/advisers where appropriate. Work closely with the veterinary surgeon and other specialist consultants/advisers.
  • Market farm products: Market the products of the farm. Make sure that the product is ready for marketing and introduce the products to customers by using appropriate marketing methods.

ISCO group and title

6130 – Mixed crop and animal producers


References
  1. Mixed farmer – ESCO
  2. Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer | Your Career
  3. General Farm Workers – Labour Market Information
  4. Farmer Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  5. Featured image: By FranHogan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on October 24, 2022

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