Farmworkers & Laborers, Crop
Also called: Farm Laborer, Field Irrigation Worker, Harvester, Orchard Worker
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Agricultural workers need physical strength and stamina to keep up with their tasks, but they also need technical skills and strong teamwork. These workers maintain crops and tend to livestock, under the supervision of farmers and ranchers. Although some agricultural workers do all types of work around a farm, many focus on a few tasks. Agricultural equipment operators use tractors, combines, conveyor belts, and other farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, then maintain and harvest crops. They also perform minor repairs on the equipment. Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers grow fruit, nuts, trees, flowers, and other crops through every phase from planting and pruning, to harvesting and loading for shipment. Farm and ranch animal farmworkers feed and care for animals, including cattle, pigs, goats, fish, and bees. They monitor their health, clean shelters, and administer medications or insecticides. Animal breeders select and breed animals to produce offspring with desired characteristics, such as chickens that lay more eggs. Some raise cats, dogs, and other pets. Many agricultural workers have seasonal schedules, with longer hours during planting or harvesting times. The work is nearly all outdoors in all kinds of weather, and involves lifting, crouching, and carrying heavy tools. Risks include exposure to pesticides, and injury from farm machinery or farm animals. Typically, specific education is not required, and on-the-job training is provided. Animal breeders need a high school diploma or equivalent, and must be licensed in some states. A valid driver’s license is required for some jobs.
What they do:Manually plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables, fruits, nuts and field crops. Use hand tools, such as shovels, trowels, hoes, tampers, pruning hooks, shears, and knives. Duties may include tilling soil and applying fertilizers; transplanting, weeding, thinning, or pruning crops; applying pesticides; cleaning, packing, and loading harvested products. May construct trellises, repair fences and farm buildings, or participate in irrigation activities.
On the job, you would:
- Set up and operate irrigation equipment.
- Operate tractors, tractor-drawn machinery, and self-propelled machinery to plow, harrow and fertilize soil, or to plant, cultivate, spray and harvest crops.
- Repair and maintain farm vehicles, implements, and mechanical equipment.
Engineering and Technology
- human resources (HR)
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- talking to others
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
- use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Hand and Finger Use
- hold or move items with your hands
- keep your arm or hand steady
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Stress Tolerance
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
- BCL Landview Systems WinCrop
- Farm Works Software Trac
Mobile location based services software
- Global positioning system GPS software