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Should I Get Into Farming As A Career?

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But what does it take to run your own farm, how much could you really get paid here and how can you get started? Let’s look at each of these considerations in turn and help you decide whether this is the right choice for you.
How Many Farming Jobs Are There?
There are over 476,000 people working in the UK farming industry today. It’s important to be aware that doesn’t refer to people who own a farm but those who work in various different positions, both large and small.

The farming industry is bursting with different careers and positions available, but there is a skills shortage.

This means that there are currently not enough workers on the market with the skills necessary to fill the demand for farming in the UK.

The UK as a whole relies largely on foreign imports in the agricultural industry. The government has already stated that this can not be sustained and the country desperately needs to focus on attracting more workers into the farming industry. Reports have even revealed that last year food was left to rot in the ground because there were simply not enough workers to handle the level of production.

One example of skills required would be the Internet of Things (IoT) industry. Analysts believe that introducing the IoT into the farming industry could lead to a revolution in levels of efficiency and ensure that the maximum production levels are reached. Unfortunately, an aging workforce has made the prospects of this difficult without introducing fresh talent.
How Much You Can Get Paid
Farm wages will differ dramatically depending on the job that you are completing. The average for a farm worker is around £24,000. This might seem quite low for a job that requires a considerable level of manual labour and often long hours.

However, for those who own the farm or run it as a manager prospects can be far greater. For instance, a farm manager can earn anywhere up to £45,000. This will depend on the amount of work you put in, the size of your farm and whether you can maintain high levels of efficiency.
What Are The Hours?
The number of hours you will work when running your farm will depend on the type you want to run and your business model. Some will be able to work nine to five each day with a lot of help and support from your staff. On the other hand livestock and dairy farmers will find themselves working far more. This could ultimately end up with an eighty hour week as well as evening checks. Crop farming is far more relaxed at some points through the year but intense during the growing seasons.
Do You Need To Study?
There are degrees that you can take in agriculture, however you do not necessary need one to start your career. If you do opt to study, most of the courses require you to do a placement to give you some practical experience on a farm. This is going to be helpful if you are looking to get a job, as you will already have some experience working in the field.
Where Can You Study?
It is possible to study farming at university as well as agriculture schools. You can find various courses online where you can gain the basic knowledge and get the building blocks in place to start your own farm.

Many universities are now also pushing agricultural degrees and business management qualifications, which could help you learn what you need to run a farm.
How To Get Experience
If you are looking for experience with farming, many courses do provide on the job training. It’s also possible to apply for apprenticeships at farms as well. These apprenticeships can be perfect for younger individuals interested in taking their first steps into farming.

If you are looking to start your own farm, then you are going to need to start out small. For example, you could start with growing lettuce. You are going to need enough room to plant each lettuce around four inches apart, so make sure you have the right amount of space depending on how much you are going to be growing. You will need to buy seeds and fertiliser or even make your own compost.

As your farming model gets larger you will also need to think in terms of both marketing and logistics. While you can start growing and selling lettuce for no more than a couple hundred a year, as you increase in size, this will mean you’ll need to deal with bills ranging in the thousands.
We hope this helps you decide whether farming is the right career path for you.

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