- Use your organisational and business skills to help farmers run their businesses
- Work can be on a single farm or you could work for several different farmers
- Opportunities to progress into farm management or for flexible and part-time working
As a farm secretary you'll be responsible for budgets, accounting, recording and monitoring, and other financial aspects of a farm business. 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.
- Using tailor-made agricultural business software
- Keeping records of livestock and crops to help with planning future crop and stock levels
- Applying for government grants and subsidies
- Preparing farm 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 may earn less working as a resident farm secretary, but get free living accommodation or other benefits. Part-time or freelance work for more than one employer is more common. You'll need your own transport if you're a mobile farm secretary, to travel between employers.
For this role you'll need IT skills, spoken and written communication skills, organisational skills, accuracy and attention to detail.
You could apply directly for jobs. Employers will usually ask for GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications. You'll also need experience of office administration and knowledge of bookkeeping.
You may find it useful to do a college course in a relevant subject like a Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping, Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts, Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration or Level 3 Certificate in Accounting.
You could also get into this job through a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.
An understanding of farming or rural life will be helpful, particularly if you've lived or worked on a farm before.
Alternatively you could take a training course through a professional body like The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators. These courses can be done whether you're working in the farming industry or are looking for a change of career.
With experience, you could become a farm manager. You could also move into other types of rural business, like stables or countryside management, or use your business and administrative skills in other industries.