12 April 2002

Farm manager who really enjoys earning his living

Farmlife asks

Simon Thompson about

life as a farm manager

Whats the best part of your job?

Making a living doing what I enjoy. Working in a rural business – and the variety.

Whats the worst part of your job?

A lot of what can control profit is out of my hands – ie grain prices and the weather. It also takes a year if not longer to

see the implications

of any changes you make.

Which skills and attributes do you need to do it well?

The ability to think on

your feet, solve problems before they arise, get on well with people and

juggle several balls

at once.

What are the three items/objects you need most for your job?

Mobile phone, Land Rover and a flask of strong coffee!

How many hours do you work in a typical week?

More than 40! But who cares when you enjoy what you do. And although you may be working long hours some days, there will be other days when its easier.

Whats the pay like?

Varied depending on level of farm management you are at and the size and diversity of business you are managing. You must remember, too, you usually get a house with a job and other perks which can be as beneficial as financial rewards.

How much studying/training did you do?

Three years at Harper Adams obtaining an HND in Agriculture. Working, you learn something new every day – and you are

constantly training to keep abreast of the new

technology.

Would you

recommend it as a career to other people?

Definitely – if youve got an interest in agriculture and the land.

What do you do when youre not at work?

I enjoy field sports.

Which one person would you most like to have tea with?

Whoever was managing this farm 100 years ago because it would be

fascinating to see how

agricultures changed over the century. Or, if no time machine is available, Claire Balding, the horse racing correspondent!