How to become a Farm Secretary. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about Farm Secretary career in the UK.
What does a Farm Secretary do?
As a farm secretary (also known as an agricultural or rural business administrator), you would run the business side of a farm and give administrative support to farmers or farm managers.
A large part of your job would be to deal with the farm’s budgets and accounts. Your other duties could include:
- keeping records of livestock and crops, to help with planning future crop and stock levels
- completing forms for government grants and subsidies
- preparing business accounts and tax returns
- dealing with wages and personnel records
- costing, ordering and paying for equipment and supplies
- typing, filing and other general administrative tasks
- keeping up to date with farming, health and safety and tax laws.
You might work full-time on a large farm or estate as a resident secretary, or you could be a freelance mobile secretary for more than one farm.
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. However, part-time or freelance work for more than one employer tends to be more common.
As a resident secretary you might live in accommodation provided with the job. If you were a mobile farm secretary, you would travel between employers and so would need your own transport.
How much does a Farm Secretary earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Employed salaries can be around £18,000 to £22,000 a year.
- Freelance farm secretaries could earn up to £27,000 a year or more (charging £15 to £25 an hour for their services).
Resident farm secretaries may earn less, but may get free living accommodation or other benefits.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
To become a farm secretary, you will need good secretarial skills and some knowledge of farming. Previous experience of living or working on a farm would be very useful.
You may find it useful to study for a book-keeping or accounting qualification, such as qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). Courses in secretarial work or business administration could also be helpful, and these are widely available full- and part-time at local colleges.
- Association of Accounting Technicians
You may also have an advantage with a qualification in agricultural or farm management. Relevant BTEC Higher Nationals, foundation degrees or degrees are available at several agricultural colleges and universities.
Training and Development
You will usually develop your skills on the job. Your training may include the use of some specialised agricultural business computer packages.
You may find it helpful to join the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA), which provides networking opportunities and a Continuing Professional Development scheme for you to update your skills. Contact IAgSA for more details.
Skills and Knowledge
- mathematical skills, for working with accounts
- good computer and administrative skills
- the ability to work alone and also as part of a team
- good spoken and written communication skills
- an organised and methodical approach
- accuracy and attention to detail
- an interest in farming and rural life.
You could be employed by a large farm or estate, or you could work part-time for several smaller farms on a freelance self-employed basis. Jobs may be advertised in the local press or in agricultural magazines.
With experience, you could become a farm manager, or move into other types of rural business such as stables or countryside management. Alternatively, you could use your business and administrative skills in other industries.