General Farm Worker

General Farm Worker: A Comprehensive Guide to Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills


In the agricultural sector, the role of a General Farm Worker is pivotal. These workers are the backbone of the farming industry, ensuring that the operations run smoothly and efficiently. This article provides an in-depth look at the responsibilities, skills, and daily tasks of a general farm worker, aiming to offer valuable insights for those interested in pursuing this career.

Job Description:

Position: General Farm Worker: 14
Salary: $15.85 hourly for 40 to 60 hours per week
Employment Type: Full time, Seasonal employment
Location: La Salette, ON
Shifts: Day, Evening, Night, Weekend, Early Morning and Morning
Work setting: Rural area
Work site environment: Candidates should work in dusty, hot, cold/refrigerated, wet/damp and outdoors


Languages: Candidates must have knowledge of the English Language
Education: Candidates don’t need standard educational qualifications
Experience: Candidates don’t need experience, training will be provided

Key Responsibilities of a General Farm Worker

Crop Cultivation and Harvesting

One of the primary responsibilities of a general farm worker is crop cultivation and harvesting. This involves preparing the soil, planting seeds, and ensuring that the crops are properly cared for throughout their growing season. Workers must be adept at using various tools and machinery to aid in these tasks, such as plows, seed drills, and harvesters.

Livestock Care and Management

Livestock care is another critical aspect of a general farm worker’s duties. This includes feeding, watering, and monitoring the health of animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. Workers must be knowledgeable about animal behavior and welfare to detect any signs of illness or distress early on. Proper record-keeping of breeding and health treatments is also essential.

Maintenance of Farm Equipment and Facilities

Ensuring that farm equipment and facilities are in good working condition is vital. General farm workers must regularly inspect and perform maintenance on tractors, irrigation systems, and other machinery. They also need to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in barns, storage areas, and other facilities to ensure a safe and efficient working environment.

Irrigation and Pest Control

Managing irrigation systems and controlling pests are essential to the success of crop production. Workers must set up and monitor irrigation equipment to ensure crops receive adequate water. Pest control involves the application of pesticides and herbicides, requiring knowledge of safe handling practices to protect both the environment and the worker’s health.

Soil and Fertilization Management

Understanding soil health and fertilization techniques is crucial for maximizing crop yield. General farm workers need to test soil regularly to determine its nutrient content and pH levels. Based on these tests, they apply appropriate fertilizers to enhance soil fertility and promote healthy crop growth.

Essential Skills for General Farm Workers

Physical Stamina and Strength

Working on a farm requires significant physical stamina and strength. The tasks are often labor-intensive, involving lifting heavy objects, operating machinery, and working long hours, sometimes under harsh weather conditions.

Technical and Mechanical Aptitude

A strong technical and mechanical aptitude is necessary for operating and maintaining various types of farm equipment. Understanding how to troubleshoot and repair machinery can save time and reduce costs associated with equipment breakdowns.

Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Farming presents numerous challenges that require effective problem-solving and decision-making skills. General farm workers must be able to assess situations quickly and make informed decisions to ensure the continued productivity and efficiency of the farm operations.

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is critical in tasks such as planting, harvesting, and applying chemicals. Even minor errors can have significant impacts on crop yield and animal health, making precision and careful observation indispensable traits for a general farm worker.

Adaptability and Flexibility

The ability to adapt to changing conditions and flexibility in performing various tasks are essential in farming. Weather conditions, market demands, and unforeseen challenges can all require quick adjustments in plans and priorities.

Daily Routine of a General Farm Worker

A typical day for a general farm worker begins early in the morning and can vary greatly depending on the season and type of farm. Here is an overview of a typical day:

Morning Tasks

  • Feeding and checking livestock: Ensuring that all animals are fed and healthy.
  • Inspecting crops: Checking for signs of pests, disease, or irrigation issues.
  • Equipment preparation: Ensuring all machinery is ready for the day’s tasks.

Midday Activities

  • Planting or harvesting crops: Depending on the season, this might involve planting seeds or harvesting mature crops.
  • Maintenance work: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and facilities.

Afternoon Duties

  • Irrigation management: Adjusting and monitoring irrigation systems to ensure crops receive adequate water.
  • Pest control measures: Applying pesticides and herbicides as needed.

Evening Responsibilities

  • Final livestock check: Ensuring all animals are safe and accounted for.
  • Record keeping: Documenting the day’s activities, including any issues or notable occurrences.

Career Path and Opportunities

Entry-Level Positions

Many general farm workers start in entry-level positions with little to no prior experience. Training is often provided on the job, covering the basics of crop and livestock management, equipment operation, and safety protocols.

Advanced Roles

With experience, general farm workers can advance to more specialized roles such as farm manager, equipment operator, or livestock supervisor. These positions come with increased responsibilities and often higher pay.

Specialized Training and Certifications

Pursuing additional training and certifications can open up further career opportunities. Certifications in areas such as pesticide application, animal husbandry, or agricultural technology can make a worker more competitive in the job market.

Challenges Faced by General Farm Workers

Weather-Related Issues

Farming is highly dependent on weather conditions, which can be unpredictable and severe. Droughts, floods, and storms can significantly impact crop yields and livestock health, posing major challenges for general farm workers.

Physical Demands

The physical demands of the job can lead to fatigue and injury if proper precautions are not taken. Workers must be mindful of their physical limits and utilize proper techniques to prevent strain and injury.

Market Fluctuations

Agricultural markets can be volatile, with prices for crops and livestock fluctuating based on supply and demand. This economic uncertainty can impact the financial stability of farm operations and, by extension, the job security of general farm workers.

Long Hours and Seasonal Work

General farm workers often face long hours and seasonal work, which can lead to burnout. The nature of farming means that certain times of the year, such as planting and harvest seasons, require extended hours and intense labor.


The role of a general farm worker is multifaceted and demanding, requiring a diverse skill set and a strong work ethic. From crop cultivation to livestock management, these workers are essential to the functioning and success of agricultural operations. By understanding the responsibilities and challenges faced by general farm workers, one can better appreciate the critical contributions they make to the farming industry.


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