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Being a farmer is a really hard job and not everyone can do it. A person who wants to work on a farm or a ranch must be a hardworking person that loves nature, but also a person who knows a lot about farm management and many other things concerning animals and fruits and vegetables. Not everyone knows what are the farmer’s duties. So, what does a farmer do on the farm during their workday?
Farmers have a lot of responsibilities to their crops and animals on their farms. They must have a wide knowledge base in agriculture to incorporate it into their work. Besides all that, they must know how to use mechanisms that have become essential tools at the farm or ranch.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of things a farmer needs to know when working on a farm. Farmers need to get up late and get a lot of things done during the day. Being a farmer requires a lot of time and dedication to the ranch and the animal and plants as well. Some people think that the farmers only have work experience and a high school diploma, but more and more of them continue their studies and get a Bachelor’s degree.
What Is A Farmer?
A farmer is a person who works as an agriculturist and who produces a wide variety of food products for both human and animal consumption. Some farmers raise animals and those who grow crops. A farmer is also a person who loves nature and spends most of their time working on a farm or a ranch.
Farmers love to work with animals and love to spend their time outdoors. The main goal of any farmer is to produce good crops and healthy animals which is how they make a living. Farmers produce the food we’re eating and they work hard every day to produce the best product they can.
These hardworking people must possess all the knowledge regarding their field of expertise to produce the best animals or plants they can.
What Do Farmers Do on A Farm?
Being a farmer involves loads of work. You will need to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the highly demanding labor. And from planting to harvesting to tending animals, they all consist of intricate processes. It is one of the most rewarding jobs you could have!
Common Tasks on a Farm
- Produces livestock, grains, fruits, and vegetables
Perhaps the most common type of farmer which most people are highly familiar with – popularly called the organic farmer. He produces grains, crops, and livestock without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Instead, the living organisms are given access to the outdoors and fresh air. Artificial hormones and flavorings are strictly constrained when breeding livestock. Organic farmers and regular farmers share the same responsibilities. Except the former needs to check the soil conditions and maximize the biological efficiency of the land.
- Produces dairy products
Or what they call dairy farmers. Its principal duty is to oversee dairy cows so they produce an adequate amount of milk. Some own a cowherd while others work on a big farm either owned by a corporation or family. In addition to feeding cows, cleaning waste, and directing medication, dairy farmers are also responsible for ensuring all the milking and farming equipment is well-maintained.
- Raises cows for the production of dairy products
Known as the grain and forage crop producer who grows various types of grains and forage crops. These include wheat, canola, flex, and oats. Whereas for specialty crops, these could be birdseed, spices, medicinal crops, or others. The farmer cultivates, plant, use fertilizers and harvest the crops. He is also responsible for taking care of farming equipment and machinery.
- Raises livestock
From the popular livestock such as sheep and cattle to the less common ones like alpacas and elk, ranchers guarantee their safety and health. Just like managing a farm, raising these types of livestock that require a large amount of work. Ranchers are involved in maintaining the herd’s health and maintaining the ranch in general.
- Raises domesticated poultry
Domesticated poultry are comprised of geese, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. They are raised to sell their eggs and meat as well as for consumption. Chickens are what you can usually found on the poultry farm. Typical functions of a poultry farmer include providing feed and water, monitoring humidity and temperature, cleaning out the living area, and implementing certain hygiene standards.
- Keeps honey bees
People who keep honey bees are known as bee farmers or beekeepers. You may feel intimidated with this job, but once you get used to the tricks to stay the bees on loop and avoid those stings, you can earn a good amount. All you have to do is handle honey bee colonies whether in apiaries or hives. Then, harvest royal jelly, honey, or beeswax. Expect to become busier in the summer and spring seasons.
- Operates a wide variety of farming machinery
Most farms these days are highly automated. We have harvesters, tractors, and plows, to name a few. Not only farmers are required to learn and master how to operate that equipment and tools but are also projected to do some necessary repairs and maintenance.
What do the livestock farmers do on their farms? Well, some of them might breed and rais their animals while others concentrate on buying animals at a young age and then raise them for sale, slaughter, or show. Livestock includes food animals such as cattle, sheep, and pigs. Some exotic animals used for pleasure are included, such as horses and bison as well. What is important to mention is that each type of animal requires certain expertise, knowledge, and management. For example, dairy farmers must know how to milk their animals and handle the milk.
On the other hand, animals like horses require certain training. Farmer’s task is to have all the expertise to take good care of the animals they’re breeding. The animals on the farm also need routine vaccinations or other care, so the farmers need to manage it or perform as well.
There are more and more modernized farms and ranches that use modern equipment and tools to enhance productivity. Farming machinery often makes farmer’s work easier and enables them to work faster. That being said, every farmer must know how to operate a wide variety of farming machinery. Some of the farming machinery used almost every day are tractors, trucks, plows, milking machines, harvesters, and much more. This has become essential equipment for almost every farmer.
On the other hand, some farms still use draft animals rather than tractors, and farmers must know how to drive, handle, and care for the team as well. There are also smaller tools and equipment that is being used daily on every farm, such as pumps, garden trillers, and chain saws.
Most of these types of equipment and tools, especially those modernized farming machines, are very hard to use. Farmers must specialize in working with these tools and farming machines because it has become essential for their work. They use it daily and thanks to it, their products offer better quality which is the ultimate goal.
Small And Large Farms
Farmer’s duties may vary whether they’re working on a small farm or a big one. Logically, there will be more duties and tasks on bigger farms and ranches for each worker individually. For example, on bigger farms, the farmers might be managers who direct other farmworkers in their duties. On the other hand, on small or family-operated farms, farmers usually perform all or most of the tasks themselves.
One thing that farmers must know about when working on family-operated farms is how to market their crops to the customer. A farmer must know how to sell their products successfully which can be a hard task sometimes. It is important to say that the farmers are business owners and have to know the regulations and laws regarding farming and agriculture. Some of their jobs as business owners are bookkeeping and record-keeping as well.
There are a wide variety of farmers that specialize in a certain field. For example, some farmers specialize in fish farming. Those farmers will manage a large fishery or even specialize in one variety of fish. They specialize in the raising of fish that are meant for consumption or to be released in lakes or rivers in the attempt to repopulate a dying waterway.
Farmers that work in the area of fish farming need to have great knowledge of the specifics of the certain species they’re raising. One more important thing that these farmers need to know is the environmental requirements placed upon them by the state or local governments. Knowing and researching all there is about a certain variety of fish is hard and can be a lot of work and that is why the farmers need to specialize in it.
Cash Crop Farming
We already mentioned that there are farmers that specialize in a wide variety of crops. These farmers will raise different crops to market for consumption, animal food production, medical use, and many other things as well. Farmers that work in this field need to have all the knowledge about the planting, fertilization, and harvesting of the crops. Also, farmers need to take care of the transport of the crops to the proper production elevators for sale.
The cash crop farmers must know all there is about harvesting times, and weather patterns in order to succeed a good footing in the field. Most of those farmers process the crops to be sold back to other farmers for future use. They sell them first to the seed companies who treat the crops and process them and later sell them to other farmers to use the seeds for the next season to plant their fields.
There are a wide variety of fields that certain farmers can specialize in. The main goal of a farmer is to produce good products whether it’s animals or plants, and that is why they must possess all the knowledge in order to succeed. The main goal is to sell their product directly to the customers or a certain company.