What Does a Farmer Do: 8 Responsibilities

Have you ever wondered: what does a farmer do, exactly? Sure, we know they are responsible for producing a lot of the food we eat, whether it’s vegetables, eggs, beef, or milk that will be turned into ice cream. But how do they manage to do it, year after year?

Being a farmer is not just about spending much time in a field or caring for animals. Farmers have a lot of things to manage, and on top of that, they have to make sure their work is sustainable and in compliance with local laws.

Let’s take a closer look at the many responsibilities of a farmer.

1. Managing their crops

Whether they grow grains, vegetables, or fruits, farmers must use their expertise to manage their crops. This involves preparing the soil and planting, irrigating, fertilizing, harvesting, and storing crops.

They know what to plant, when and how to plant it, and how to monitor their crops to ensure they grow as they should.

Farmers spend long hours working in their fields to manage their crops daily, even in the rain or under the scorching heat.

2. Managing their livestock

Farmers are also responsible for managing their livestock. They can be raising dairy cows, sheep, pigs, poultry, goats, or more than one type of animal.

Livestock farmers interact with their livestock daily but can’t afford to get too attached to them, especially if they raise these animals to produce meat.

Of course, they must provide their animals with shelter, food and water. But managing their livestock is also about cleaning their animals, breeding them, monitoring their health, and treating any injury or illness they might suffer.

3. Using and maintaining agricultural equipment

Farmers use agricultural equipment to manage their crops. The ag equipment can involve tractors, plows, harrows, a front-end loader, a cultivator, and hay balers, to name a few.

They also might need a truck, a trailer, and a four-wheeler to help them get around their property.

Farmers must also maintain their agricultural equipment in good working condition. They might need to repair equipment, replace parts, or buy new equipment whenever it needs to be updated.

4. Managing their land and resources in a responsible way

Farmers know and love their land. This is why it’s natural for them to manage their land and resources responsibly and sustainably. They take measures to reduce soil erosion and to improve its health.

They find ways to manage pests without harming biodiversity and use irrigation systems to help minimize water waste.

Every decision they make must be given a lot of thought so they can do their part to protect the environment and promote biodiversity.

5. Marketing and selling their crops or livestock

To be able to keep operating their farm, farmers must make money. Since their main source of revenue is selling their products, they have to know how to properly market and sell their crops and livestock.

They can sell their products to consumers by attending farmer’s markets. Still, they also have to be able to promote their offerings and negotiate prices with buyers, processors, retailers, and wholesalers.

They spend most of their time on their farm, but they also have to meet people and interact with them.

6. Managing their finances

Farmers need to earn money but also to manage their finances. They must make a budget, track all their expenses, and invest their profits wisely to keep growing their farm.

A farm is a business; a good farmer will do what it takes to keep their business profitable. This can mean securing a grant to expand their farm or planting a different crop type to meet demand.

7. Ensuring their compliance with laws and regulations

Farmers can’t just operate their farms however they want. Different laws and regulations are in place in their industry, and they must ensure their operations comply with them.

These laws ensure farmers safely produce and handle food products, manage waste responsibly, and preserve the soil, among other things.

Of course, farmers must also comply with labour laws when they hire and manage their employees.

8. Educating the public about what they do

Finally, farmers can work towards educating the public about what they do. They can play a positive role in their community, promote sustainable agriculture at local events, and share their knowledge with young entrepreneurs considering buying an established farm or starting their own.

They can even collaborate with different organizations that protect the environment to help preserve the quality of their land for future generations.