Jamie Ward

Job: Agricultural Contractor     Area: Hinds - Mid Canterbury

The Agricultural Contractor

Jamie completed a Diploma in Farm Management at Lincoln University, and is now the Contractor Operations Manager - Silage/Transport Division for Quigley Contracting.

Can you describe what you do?
I am responsible for running the transport and forage division. I liaise with the farmers and offer to do the entire job: mowing through to wrapping or stacking.

How did you become an Agricultural Contractor?
I was raised on a farm, so I knew how important timing and work quality are. I got 12 years' hands-on experience in NZ and overseas, and worked my way up.

What are the hours like?
Long! The job is seasonal and weather-dependent. You could be working 100+ hours one week, 30 the next. On average, the guys work 50-60 hours a week throughout the year. But with hard work you can climb the promotion ladder.

What are the most important skills needed?
Time management. Delegation. Patience. But problem-solving and planning are the most challenging. You also have to be able to communicate really well with staff and clients.

What do you love most about your job?
Following a job from start to completion and doing it with pride. This work is extremely competitive and it's important I get my guys to do the job spot-on.

Do you need a degree?
No, but University is great! I recommend Uni or Polytech courses - you'd be mad not to do something. My diploma was two years of theory and one year of practical work.

What advice would you give young people wanting to do this?
Learn as much as you can at school. Get work experience before Uni. Do the whole lot at Uni - dairy, sheep and beef, arable - and you'll soon know what is for you.

Back to The Real World
"Get out there and try it. Until you do it, you don't know."

How did I get here:

School - NCEA: Agriculture, Economics, Science

University: Diploma in Farm Management