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Poultry Farm Supervisor: Job Description, Outlook and Requirements

Sep 20, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a poultry farm supervisor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and employment growth to find out if this is the career for you.

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Poultry farm supervisors oversee chicken farms and handle sales and shipping of chicken-based products to food manufacturers. Those interested in advancement in this career may be interested in an associate's or bachelor's degree in a field such as animal science. Jobs may be hard to come by, though, as the outlook for farm managers as a whole is expected to shrink over the next decade.

Essential Information

Poultry farm supervisors collaborate with other farm personnel to develop farm schedules and meet processing goals. Their duties can include hiring and training personnel, ordering supplies and budgeting.

In general, a farm supervisor needs to have strong leadership and communication skills. Experience is the primary factor in landing a job as a poultry farm supervisor, but college courses or a degree in a relevant field, such as agribusiness or animal science, is recommended.

Required Education No specific requirements, but postsecondary study in animal science, agriculture or business can lead to career advancement
Projected Job Forecast (2018-2028)* -1% decline for all types of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
Median Salary (2018)* $67,950 for all types of farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Description

A poultry farm supervisor ensures the safety and efficiency of poultry farm operations. In consultation with the farm manager, a poultry farm supervisor prioritizes tasks and decides on the necessary amount of machinery and number of workers. A poultry farm supervisor also records data and creates reports on worker attendance, budget, supplies and animal growth. Poultry farm work is usually year-long, and poultry farms can be found in most parts of the country.

A poultry farm supervisor assigns duties to farm workers and ensures that they are carried out in an efficient manner; for example, duties might include feeding poultry, shipping eggs or maintaining buildings. In larger hatcheries, a poultry farm supervisor might oversee the machinery that performs certain tasks, such as egg collection. Other responsibilities might include training new workers, providing care to injured or ill livestock and enforcing workplace sanitation practices to prevent the spread of disease.

Outlook and Salary

Statistics specific to poultry farm supervisors are not currently available. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a decline in employment in the farming industry from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The need for farm workers was expected to decrease due to technological advances that continue to improve farm productivity. Larger, well-off farms might be fit to survive this projected decline since they can purchase necessary equipment and supplies and possibly obtain smaller farms that go out of business. In 2018, farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers earned an annual mean salary of $79,940, per the BLS.

The BLS reports that organic farming is one of the fastest-growing specializations in agriculture. Small farms that specialize in a niche of growing popularity - such as organic farming or co-ops - might provide opportunities for aspiring poultry farm supervisors.

Requirements

Previous experience in a farm setting is generally required for a poultry farm supervisor. Farm workers with enough experience might advance to supervisor positions. In some cases, one might enter the industry as a farm supervisor with sufficient postsecondary coursework in agriculture or animal sciences.

Poultry farm supervisors who wish to advance to farm managers might need a bachelor's degree with some study in business. Other relevant coursework might include animal husbandry and veterinary medicine.

Poultry farm supervisors manage chicken farms, overseeing tasks such as caring for the chickens, maintaining records on animal growth and developing budgets. A high school diploma may be sufficient for this job, but pursuing a degree in the animal sciences may enable a poultry farm supervisor to advance in a declining job market, as can learning about organic farming practices.

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