What they do
Grain, oilseed or pasture growers plan, organise and manage the production of crops such as wheat, oats and barley, oilseeds and ryegrass, and other plant species, that can be used as pasture crops. They manage farming operations including the harvesting and storage of produce, the sale of produce, budgeting and business management, staff management, and property maintenance. In Western Australia, grain, oilseed or pasture growers usually work in rural regions ranging from the north through to the south and south-west of the state.
Grain, oilseed or pasture growers work on the farm in an office setting and outdoors in the fields in all kinds of weather. They work long hours every day and during harvest season these hours can increase substantially. They operate heavy machinery, and chemicals and fertilisers are used in crop production. Adhering to occupational health and safety standards largely reduces the risk of injury.
Tools and technologies
Grain, oilseed or pasture growers use heavy machinery including tractors, header/combine harvesters and mobile plants such as grain silos. Protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, coveralls, high visibility clothing and broad-brimmed hats are generally worn to minimise risks. They also need to be proficient with computers and may need to use specialised farm management software.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can work as a grain, oilseed and pasture grower without formal qualifications. However, entry to into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in agriculture or a related area.
The Certificate II, III and IV and Diploma of Agriculture are offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.
You can also undertake a traineeship in agriculture (level 2 or level 3). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete and the level 2 traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.
You can also complete a degree majoring in agribusiness, agricultural science or animal science. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.