Agri Business

If you want to be involved in the agriculutre industry but you're not so keen to work on-farm, there are many different Agri-business career paths that you could take.

Rural Business

Rural Bankers provide a personalised service, supporting rural customers with their banking and financial service needs including complex lending and financial requirements.

Rural Bankers may do some or all of the following and more: provide personalised service such as on farm visits; supply the lending know-how and analytical skills to give more information and help farmers make decisions about their business; analyse customers' finances, complete cashflows and budgets; approve or get approval for loans; regularly contact customers to see if the bank can provide them with additional services.

Types of Jobs:

  • Rural Banker
  • Rural Banking Consultants
  • Rural Bank Managers

Is it for me?

If you enjoy school subjects like economics, maths and accounting and enjoy working with people then a career in rural banking could suit you.

How to get there:

You must have NCEA Level 3 credits in English and maths and gain University entrance.

You will typically need a bachelor's degree in commerce or agricultural science. It can also help to have some experience working in a customer service role.

Hours:

A Rural Banker will typically work regular hours and a 40 hour week.

Chance of employment:

Chances of employment as a rural banker are still pretty good despite the economic recession.

Pay:

Pay can be very varied if you're working in the rural banking sector. Pay can start at $45,000 for recent graduates but those that perform very well and have a lot of experience could earn up to $120,000.

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Marketing

Marketers promote the different businesses or products they represent through advertising, promotion and publications.

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Farm Consultancy

Farm Consultants help farmers develop their knowledge of soils, crops and livestock, to improve the health, quality and yield of livestock in a sustainable way. They also assist farmers with developing their financial and business management skills to increase farm profitability and growth. Farm Consultants will commonly specialise in specific areas of farming e.g. dairying.

Farm Consultants may do all of or some of the following and more: Visit farmers regularly; give advice on finances, business planning and farm management; take samples for soil and herbage testing and advise on fertiliser use; research to find info requested by farmers; supervise properties on behalf of absent owners; resolve and mediate disputes between farmers and sharemilkers or employees; organise stock to be sold and negotiate prices.

Is it for me?

If you enjoy working with people and are interested in the business side of farming but you don't want to be stuck in an office all day, farm consultancy could be a career for you.

How to get there:

It's preferable that you study the following subjects: English, agriculture, biology, chemistry, maths, computer studies are preferred subjects.

You will preferably need a tertiary qualification in agricultural science, commerce or management. It can also be very useful to have experience of on-farm work.

Hours:

Hours may be irregular and long for self-employed Farm Consultants.

Pay:

A new Farm Consultant may earn between $50,000 to $65,000 a year at the other end of the scale, a self-employed Consultant may earn more than $100,000 depending on the success of their business.

Chances of Employment:

Chances of getting a job as an agricultural/horticultural consultant are good due to a shortage of people in the role

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Wool Industry

Jobs in the Wool Industry are generally concerned with the shearing, sorting and buying or selling of sheep fleece.

There are several different jobs within the wool industry; the most obvious one being shearing. Wool Handlers are needed to pick up and grade the wool, Wool Classers then sort wool into specific categories before Wool Buyers assess and value the wool.

Types of Jobs:

  • Shearer
  • Wool Handler (Rouseabout)
  • Wool Classer
  • Wool Buyer

Is it for me?

If you like working with sheep, are fit and active and don't mind working in what can be sometimes dirty and messy conditions, working as a Shearer or a Handler could be for you. If you enjoy the business side of farming and are interested in sales and marketing, you may enjoy a career as a Wool Buyer.

How to get there:

Skills are often learned on the job if you're working in the shed - but courses are available through training institutions such as Primary ITO. To work as a Wool Buyer you may need a Certificate or Diploma in Wool Science or even a Bachelor of Commerce.

Hours:

People that work in the shed will often start around 7am and work for 8-9 hours; there will sometimes be days off if it's raining. The busy seasons for shearing are normally November to March and July to September. During the peak season a Wool Buyer may work long hours and weekends but will generally work normal business hours at other times of the year.

Chance of employment:

There are high chances of employment in the sheds during the busy seasons. It can be very hard to secure a job as a wool buyer however.

Pay:

A shearer will generally earn around $145 for every 100 sheep they shear. Depending on experience a shearer may shear between 200-500 sheep a day. A Wool Handler earns anywhere between minimum wage and $20 an hour. A Buyer's pay will vary between $30,000 to over $100,000 depending on their experience and the nature of their business if they're self-employed.

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Field Services

Depending on who they work for, Field Services Representatives may sell things like grains, chemicals or farming supplies to farmers - depending on who they work for.

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Rural Valuation

Most Rural Valuers are generalists with a broad knowledge of the rural property market however there are opportunities to specialise further in areas such as dairy, forestry, viticulture and horticulture. This can depend on the region where they work; for example, there are more dairy specialists in Waikato than in Otago.

A Rural Valuer may do some or all of the following: property appraisal and assessing value of land for mortgage or sale/purchase purposes; check planning regulations to see if changes to properties are allowed; assess the potential rental income of an existing or potential building; examine current property prices; write reports; advise clients and make mortgage recommendation; give evidence in arbitrations and court hearings and much more.

Is it for me?

If you enjoy working with people and are interested in finances and the rural property market and want to be involved in farming but not hands-on, then a job in rural valuation could be for you.

How to get there:

You will need to have NCEA Level 3 Maths and English.

You will need a tertiary degree such as a Bachelor of Commerce and a knowledge of farming and rural businesses. There will also be three years training on the job before you become registered and your earning potential will increase.

Hours:

You will generally work quite regular hours - around 40 a week.

Pay:

You will start on $40,000 but once you're registered you could earn up to $150,000.

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Livestock Agent

Livestock Agents/buyers arrange the buying and selling of livestock for slaughter or farming. They also give farmers advice on livestock, farming supplies and livestock market trends.

Livestock Agents may do some or all of the following and more: visit farms to assess the weight and condition of animals that may be ready for sale; telephone work, calling farmers and other clients; assess the value of livestock; draft prime stock for meat processing or export companies; advise farmers about market trends and new stock prices; act as an auctioneer at sales; arrange the sale/purchase of stock for fattening.

How to get there:

NCEA Level 3 maths and English could be useful.

A tertiary qualification in agriculture, commerce or farm management could be useful but many of the skills are learnt on the job.

Hours:

A Stock Agent will generally work very regular hours; around 40 a week.

Pay:

The average wage for a Stock Agent is $67, 300 a year plus benefits like a company vehicle and cellphone. Stock Agents are often paid through a mixture of salary and commission.

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Production Manager

Production Managers are generally based in an office or on the factory floor of a food processing plant. They supervise large groups of factory workers and also deal with suppliers, contractors, customers and members of the public.

Production Managers will do some or all of the following and more: work with factory management and staff to set production goals and budgets; work out the most efficient methods or producing goods; order materials and supplies; write reports on production results and audit production systems; set quality standards and check these are being maintained; meet and liaise with customers; human resources and staff management.

How to get there:

Useful subjects include maths and computing.

Tertiary qualifications such as engineering, manufacturing technology may be required by some employers, but a lot of the skills are learnt on the job. You will need to have experience working in a factory in a supervisory role especially.

Hours:

A Production Manager will generally work 40+ hours a week, and these hours may include shift work.

Chance of employment:

Due to the economic recession and the closure of some factories, there's not a high demand for these roles currently.

Pay:

Production Managers earn between $45,000 and $90,000 a year depending on their individual responsibilities and the scale of production they are managing.

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Agricultural Contractor

An Agricultural Contractor could do anything from preparing soil for crops, harvesting, spraying and fertilisation or even making silage and hay.

Types of Jobs:

  • Spraying Contractor
  • Hay/Silage Contractor
  • Harvesting Contractor
  • Fencing Contractor

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