What are the skills required to be a farmer?

What are the skills required to be a farmer?
2 April 2022 Express Farming
Eleveur bovins

The breeder ensures the health and development of the animals he is responsible for, until their commercialization. As a true business manager, he knows about animals and breeding methods, but also business management (and personnel), as well as computer tools for the management of animals, the commercial follow-up, as well as for administrative and accounting tasks. This is therefore a profession that requires a very wide range of skills.

Where does a breeder work?

The necessary skills for a breeder depend on various factors, including his place of work. The most versatile is the breeder who is self-employed He often takes over the family farm, but he can also buy a farm from a retiring farmer, unless he prefers to create his own farm from scratch.

Many farmers choose to group together with others, which allows them to join forces and rationalize the administrative tasks.

Finally, the breeder can work as an employee in various settings: farm (cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, etc.), stud farm, kennel, animal park, etc.

The tasks and skills of the breeder

Species selection

The breeder can work with a multitude of animals. He can specialize, but also manage multiple species. In France, the main farms are those for cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, ducks, and chickens. There are other rare species, some of which are exotic and constitute niche markets that require specific skills depending on the animals: deer, ostriches, etc.

Daily care of animals

The breeder divides his day according to the seasons, the species he raises, and the type of breeding. He must in any case ensure the feeding and care of animals, which requires specific qualifications for each species.

The reproduction of livestock

This professional is also in charge of reproduction. To do so, he must be trained in the selection of breeding animals and in the breeding process. He then assumes the follow-up of the gestation, as well as the births. Large animals require continuous monitoring until the birth of calves, lambs, kids and piglets.

Maintenance of the farm and equipment

The breeder must be able to do everything on the farm. He ensures the integrity of the infrastructure and often has to make repairs. He also repairs and maintains his agricultural equipment.

He must be visionary and invent new ways to improve the functionality of his farm and the living conditions of the animals so as to produce quality.

Knowledge in new technologies

Nowadays, new technologies concern all sectors of activity, including farming. The use of drones for extensive livestock farming and remote monitoring is increasing.

Meanwhile, surveillance cameras allow monitoring the birth of calves, lambs and other large herbivores.

Commercial and administrative activities

The breeder develops its commercial activities and performs administrative tasks related to regulation or management of its operation. He must master the computer tools, know the regulations, accounting, treasury management, etc.

In summary, the breeder has technical, scientific, practical, veterinary, computer, technological and administrative skills. If he hires employees, he must also deal with human resources management.

Finally, the farmer does not count his hours of work. His activity is influenced by the hazards of nature and climate. As for the animals, there are no holidays since they require continuous attention.