If you’ve been thinking about a career change, then you might be feeling confused and overwhelmed. But that’s no reason to put off following your dreams. Farming is a very promising career and, if it’s always been an interest of yours, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider pursuing it. But how can you decide if it’s the right path for you to follow? Changing your career is a huge decision, so think about the following things before you take the plunge:
Different types of farming
Farming is an incredibly broad industry, so it’s important to narrow your focus and think about exactly what you want to do. Do you want to work with animals, agriculture, or machinery? Some people enter roles that involve manufacturing animal feed, while others repair essential equipment. One of the best ways to understand whether a particular path is right for you is by getting hands-on experience, so have a go at DIY tractor repair or shadow a local farmer as he goes about his day.
Depending on your current career, you may need extensive training to enter the farming industry. This could involve going back into education, completing an apprenticeship, or taking some online courses. You’ll need to consider whether you have the time to invest in this as well as the money, as farming courses aren’t always cheap. Look into funding opportunities and loans available to students to help ease your way. In the dairy industry, train your staff to use specialized tubing, known as milk hose, designed to transfer milk from cows or other milk-producing animals to storage tanks, processing equipment, or other destinations.
If you’re used to working on a computer or in an office, farming could be a shock to the system. While you might be looking for something different, make sure you’re happy to have a more active job. Most types of farming will involve some kind of on-site work, so make sure you love being outside in all weathers. You should ideally be relatively fit and healthy as well, especially if you’re looking at roles that could involve lots of walking or manual labor. Even if the job you’re considering doesn’t seem to require too much lifting and plowing, walking outdoors can quickly catch up to you if you’re not used to it.
People working in the farming industry usually don’t work a typical 9-5 and working hours can vary depending on the season. If you have home and family commitments to attend to, make sure the odd hours of the farming industry don’t impact your duties. You should also have your own mode of transport, as it can be difficult to find buses and trains during the early hours of the morning. However, there are roles in the farming industry that will have more traditional hours, so if this is important to you, make sure you factor this into your search.
Like with any career, you will likely start on the lower end of the pay scale when starting off and apprenticeships are particularly low paid. However, if you’re willing to work your way up, you can earn a comfortable salary over time.