Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Wanted: agricultural service providers keen on a challenge

Dr Marcus J Collier

Interested in a demanding career outdoors with lifelong learning and daily challenges? We are offering full- and part-time positions in land-based agri-food production. Two basic positions are available: livestock farmer and tillage farmer.

Essential skills

  • Livestock farmer: You will have a full working knowledge of breeds, nutritional and housing requirements, grassland establishment and maintenance, and long-term landscape planning and management.

This will include a full understanding of livestock breeding and rearing requirements, milk removal, livestock transport and herding, and a working knowledge of veterinary procedures, general animal physiology and disease management.

  • Tillage farmer: You will have a full working knowledge of integrated cropping systems, crop species and varieties, nutritional requirements, seed and crop storage, and transport requirements. Preferred candidates will have a detailed knowledge of pathogens and diseases, as well as a full working knowledge of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. An interest in plant pathology is desired.

For both positions, you will have considerable historical and current knowledge of soil science and chemistry, hydrology and land drainage, and extensive mechanical expertise.

You will have the ability to alter farming practices on a regular basis in order to satisfy rapidly changing social and economic conditions, local, national and international (random) political decisions, continually modifying farming practices, increasing energy and ecological demands (local, national and global), seasonal weather conditions, supermarket and consumer demands, media reports, and a full working knowledge of expense, salary and revenue accountancy requirements.

Other essential skills include:

A working knowledge of:

  • European water framework, nitrates, pesticides, waste, transport, and wildlife directives.
  • European landscape and planning conventions.
  • Regional and local planning, transport and waste management regulations.
  • International food production and quality control regulations and specific requirements.
  • National farm advisory standards.
  • On-farm (whatever about personal) hygiene.
  • Food storage conditions and disinfection procedures.
  • Complex equipment maintenance.


Also Read

If called for interview, you will need to demonstrate an ability to comply with health and safety requirements, residential and sundry building regulations and vehicular access safety.

You will also need to demonstrate a proficiency in operating heavy machinery of any type (please note: heavy lifting will be required on a daily basis) and the ability to work alone and unsupervised. First aid training will be a bonus.

Desirable skills

Candidates with the following skills will be given a high priority:

  • Skills and abilities in fence and stone wall construction and maintenance; hedge planting and maintenance; vegetation management regimes; and silviculture.
  • A working knowledge of the technicalities of land access and vehicle maintenance and towing (in mud and snow).
  • An ability to deal with Governmental inspectors and agri-advisers who may arrive at unexpected or inconvenient times
  • The skills necessary to negotiate with agri-food companies, farm suppliers, supermarket representatives, farm contractors, occasional or seasonal employees and delivery companies/agencies.
  • Financial skills necessary to negotiate with financial service providers, insurance companies, leasing agents and livestock/seed-stock traders.
  • Experience in managing small business and family incomes. A knowledge of child welfare, training and educational provision would be an added bonus.


You must also be able to demonstrate that you are proficient in managing your personal health, as well as the ability to arrange personal and family income protection, potential unemployment and pension funds, retirement plans and funeral expenses.

It is essential that you have excellent literacy and good IT skills, including knowledge of financial accounting packages, animal registration software, subvention application forms, planning applications, and so on.

Other desirable skills

In some areas of the Irish landscape, you will need to have a working knowledge of:

  • Management of existing natural and semi-natural, on-farm wildlife habitats and specified noteworthy species.
  • Accurately predicting the weather.
  • Dealing courteously with the general public, lost or curious tourists, members of the local community as well as neighbouring farmers, hunters and recently-arrived (non residential) landowners.


This is a job for life which will need to be carried out with patience and due diligence.

The equipment you will be working with must be maintained in a professional, presentable and efficient manner. This is particularly necessary if farming in a protected or noteworthy landscape, adjacent to a public highway or scenic point and anywhere within sight of another residence.

You must make the farm available to all inspections, occasional audits, animal welfare observers, hunting organisations, county planners or surveyors, electrical contractors and other infrastructural developers (particularly those that are in the national interest).

You must make all farm income records and land management plans available to any inspector, and you must retain detailed records of all personal transactions, animal inoculations or veterinary procedures, machinery sales and leases.

You must possess excellent physical strength, good health and have a positive mental attitude and an inexhaustible level of patience and strength of character.

  • Hours: 24/7.
  • Salary: Modest.
  • Security: Little.
  • Future: Under investigation.
  • Promotion: None.
  • Satisfaction: Guaranteed.

Indo Farming