Career Development

What Does a Farm Hand Do?

Find out what a farm hand does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a farm hand.

Farmhands are the people who work on farms, ranches and other agricultural operations. They perform a wide range of tasks including planting, cultivating, harvesting, feeding livestock, etc.

Farmhands typically work long hours under difficult conditions for relatively low pay. However, they enjoy working outdoors in beautiful rural areas and often have opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.

Farm Hand Job Duties

Farm hands have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Feeding and caring for livestock, including cleaning stalls, brushing coats, and administering medications
  • Feeding chickens, pigs, or other animals with feed prepared by a nutritionist to meet their dietary needs
  • Collecting eggs from chicken coops and packing them for transport to a processing plant
  • Preparing fields for planting by tilling soil, planting seeds, or applying seedlings or starts to the ground
  • Planting, fertilizing, and harvesting crops such as corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, or rice
  • Operating farm machinery such as tractors or irrigation systems in order to maintain the health of crops
  • Inspecting livestock for signs of illness or injury, and administering first aid or medical treatment when necessary
  • Maintaining farm equipment and machinery in good working order to ensure efficient work flow on the farm
  • Repairing fences and buildings on the farm, sometimes under the supervision of a farm supervisor

Farm Hand Salary & Outlook

Farm hands are typically paid hourly, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors. Some of the most important factors include years of experience, level of education, and size of farm.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of farm hands is expected to decline over the next decade.

The need for farm workers will depend on the overall health of the economy and the demand for food produced in the United States. As the economy grows, more people will be able to afford higher-priced food, reducing the demand for farm workers. However, as the population grows, there will be a greater demand for food produced in the United States.

Farm Hand Job Requirements

A farm hand may require the following:

Education: Most farm hands need only a high school diploma or GED certificate. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed some college courses. Taking classes in agriculture, animal science, biology, nutrition and other related fields can help you learn more about farming and increase your chances of getting hired.

Training & Experience: Most farm hands learn the specific skills and techniques they need for their role while on the job. Training may include learning how to use specialized equipment, how to handle livestock and how to perform certain tasks. Training may last for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the farm and the complexity of the role.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become a farm hand, but they can make you a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Farm Hand Skills

Farm hands need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Farmhands communicate with their supervisors and coworkers to understand their duties and complete their work. They also communicate with their coworkers to share information about their work and ask for help when needed. Communication skills are also important for communicating with customers and suppliers.

Teamwork: Farmhands work with other individuals on a regular basis. They may work with a team of other farmhands or with a team of other employees, such as tractor drivers or other maintenance workers. Regardless of the size of the team, working together is an important skill for farmhands to have.

Time management: Farmhands may have several tasks to complete in a day, so time management skills can help them prioritize their work. This can include knowing when certain tasks need to be completed, such as harvesting crops or feeding animals. It can also include knowing how long each task may take, so they can plan accordingly.

Problem-solving: Farmhands may need to solve problems on the job, such as when a piece of equipment breaks or when a crop is affected by pests. Being able to identify the problem and find a solution can help you complete your work and keep your employer happy.

Physical stamina: Physical stamina refers to the ability to perform physical tasks for extended periods of time. Farm hands often need to have high levels of physical stamina because they often work outdoors and may be required to lift heavy objects or perform other physically demanding tasks.

Farm Hand Work Environment

Farm hands typically work outdoors in all types of weather conditions. They may be exposed to dust, pollen, and other allergens that can cause respiratory problems. They may also be exposed to hazardous chemicals and other materials used in farming. Farm hands typically work long hours, often more than 40 hours per week. They may work early morning, evening, and night shifts, as well as weekends and holidays. Overtime work is often required during planting and harvesting seasons. Farm hands typically work on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift heavy objects.

Farm Hand Trends

Here are three trends influencing how farm hands work. Farm hands will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Agronomists

As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for food. This means that farmers will need to produce more crops in order to meet the needs of their customers.

Agronomists are professionals who specialize in helping farmers increase their crop yields. They do this by providing advice on how to best manage the farm’s soil and irrigation systems. By hiring agronomists, farmers can ensure that they are producing as much food as possible while also maintaining high quality standards.

The Importance of Data-Driven Decision Making

As data becomes increasingly important in agriculture, farmers are beginning to rely on data-driven decision making to help them make better decisions about what to plant, where to plant it, and when to plant it.

This trend is leading to an increased demand for farm hands who have experience working with data and who are able to use it to make informed decisions. In order to be successful in this field, farm hands will need to be able to understand and analyze data in order to make smart decisions about farming practices.

A Growing Interest in Organic Farming

Organic farming is becoming increasingly popular among consumers, who are looking for healthier and more sustainable ways to eat. As a result, there has been a growing interest in organic farming among farmers, who are looking for ways to capitalize on this trend.

Farm hands who are interested in organic farming can take advantage of this trend by learning about organic farming methods and becoming certified in organic farming. This will allow them to find employment with farms that are committed to organic farming, and will give them the skills needed to work in this industry.

How to Become a Farm Hand

A farm hand career can be a great way to get started in the agriculture industry. It’s a good idea to have some experience working on a farm before you start looking for a job as a farm hand. This will help you understand what is involved in the day-to-day work of a farm hand and give you an opportunity to learn about different types of farming operations.

You should also be prepared to travel, as many farms are located far from towns and cities. You may need to be able to drive long distances and work outdoors in all weather conditions.

Advancement Prospects

Farm hands typically start out working on smaller farms with fewer animals. As they gain experience, they may move up to larger farms with more animals. Some farm hands may eventually become farm managers, overseeing the work of other farm hands. Other farm hands may become farmers themselves, either by buying their own farm or by renting farmland from a landowner.

Farm Hand Job Description Example

We are a small, family-owned farm in the heart of the Willamette Valley. We are looking for a farm hand to help with all aspects of running the farm, from planting and harvesting to caring for the animals. No experience is necessary, but a willingness to learn and a strong work ethic are a must. The ideal candidate will be physically fit and able to lift 50 pounds, as well as comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions. This is a full-time, year-round position with benefits.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Operate and maintain farm equipment and vehicles
  • Plant, fertilize, cultivate, harvest, and grade crops
  • Feed, water, and care for livestock
  • Repair fences, gates, and other farm structures
  • Perform general maintenance and upkeep of the farm property
  • Assist with the development and implementation of farm management plans
  • Keep accurate records of crop production and livestock health
  • Monitor weather conditions and forecast to make decisions about irrigation, planting, and harvesting
  • Work long hours during planting and harvest seasons
  • Be available 24/7 in case of emergencies
  • Handle hazardous materials and chemicals safely
  • Follow all safety protocols and procedures

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as farm hand
  • Ability to operate farm equipment
  • Strong physical stamina and endurance
  • Basic math skills
  • Excellent organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in agriculture, horticulture, or related field
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Experience with organic farming practices
  • Experience with animal husbandry


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