A vegetable farm supervisor has management responsibilities such as leading staff and creating budgets, but may also engage in physical farming tasks. While no formal education is required, a degree in a related field might be helpful. Knowledge of vegetable production, markets, and management are key skills.
Many vegetable farms hire supervisors to oversee employee productivity and farm profitability. The job may involve tasks such as managing employees, marketing products, keeping records, and overseeing the farming process from tilling to harvesting. Degrees in agricultural science or farm and ranch management may help prepare potential supervisors for the job, but a degree is not a requirement.
|Required Education||No formal education required; associate's or bachelor's degree in agricultural science or farm and ranch management may be helpful|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-2% (for all farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers)|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$69,880 for agricultural managers working in crop production|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Vegetable Farm Supervisor Job Description
Supervisors on vegetable farms are responsible for overseeing the many tasks that must be completed for profitable and efficient farming. The supervisor is in charge of a team of workers that perform a variety of duties.
Formal education is not required to become a vegetable farm supervisor; however, a college degree is becoming more widely expected and may lead to better job opportunities and higher pay. A number of relevant degree options are available at both the bachelor's and associate's degree levels. Many schools offer a program in farm and ranch management, and this program provides students with the basic principles of management, marketing, soil analysis, record keeping, and the physical sciences. Other potentially relevant degree titles include agriculture production technology, agriculture sciences, and general agriculture.
The duties of vegetable farm supervisors vary depending on the size, geographic location, and types of vegetables grown on the farm. The supervisor is responsible for keeping workers on task and ensuring the vegetables are properly grown, harvested, and distributed. Vegetable farm supervisors may work in the fields with their crews and often have business tasks like scheduling, budgeting, and record keeping. They may also be in charge of marketing the products and finding buyers.
The physical duties of a vegetable farm supervisor may include assisting in preparing the soil, tilling, planting, fertilizing, and harvesting the crops. Preparing the product for the market may require a supervisor to oversee the washing, packaging, and storing processes.
The salary of a vegetable farm supervisor will vary greatly based on the size of the farm, types of vegetables grown, market fluctuations, climate, and qualifications of the supervisor. The BLS reported the average (mean) annual salary of agricultural managers working in crop production to be $69,880 in May 2015.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the employment of 929,800 farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers in 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted a 2% decline in this job field between 2014-2024. This decrease is attributed to the consolidation and streamlining of new farms.
Farm supervisors are responsible for ensuring the success of the business and must have excellent leadership skills in addition to knowledge of farming practices. A degree in a relevant field may be helpful in gaining these skills. Jobs for farm and ranch managers are predicted to drop from 2014-2024, and the average salary for these positions was almost $70,000 in 2015, but pay depends on many variables.