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Career and Education Opportunities for Farm Ranchers in Portland, Maine

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for farm ranchers in the Portland, Maine area. The national trend for farm ranchers sees this job pool shrinking by about 8.0% over the next eight years. Farm ranchers generally , on an ownership or rental basis, operate farms, or other agricultural production establishments which produce crops, horticultural specialties, or animal specialties.

The average wage in the general category of Farm and Livestock jobs is $26 per hour or $54,890 per year in Maine, and an average of $22 per hour or $44,890 per year nationwide. Farm ranchers work in a variety of jobs, including: stallion keeper, poultry farmer, and field horticultural specialty grower.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a farm rancher. The most common level of education for farm ranchers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a farm rancher if you already have a high school diploma.


Farm Rancher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, farm ranchers, on an ownership or rental basis, operate farms, or other agricultural production establishments which produce crops, horticultural specialties, or animal specialties. They also may plant, cultivate, harvest, perform post-harvest activities, and market crops and livestock; may hire, train, and supervise farm workers or supervise a farm labor contractor; may prepare cost, production, and other records.

Farm ranchers decide on and purchase supplies and equipment such as seed and farm machinery. They also lubricate and make minor repairs to farm equipment, using oilcans, grease guns, and hand tools. Equally important, farm ranchers have to monitor crops as they grow in order to insure that they are growing properly and are free from diseases and contaminants. They are often called upon to perform crop production duties such as planning and harvesting. They are expected to formulate crop efforts on the basis of factors such as crop maturity and weather conditions. Finally, farm ranchers prepare and operate farm machinery to cultivate and haul crops.

Every day, farm ranchers are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for farm ranchers to evaluate product marketing alternatives, then promote and market farm products, acting as the sales agent for livestock and crops. They are often called upon to maintain financial and employee records. They also obtain financing from lenders to purchase machinery and feed. They are sometimes expected to destroy diseased or superfluous crops. Somewhat less frequently, farm ranchers are also expected to clean and sanitize milking equipment and cows' udders, or insure that procedures are followed to maintain sanitary conditions for handling of milk.

They also have to be able to buy or sell futures contracts, or price products in advance of future sales so that risk is limited and/or profit is increased and purchase and store livestock feed. And finally, they sometimes have to maintain pastures or grazing lands to insure that animals have enough feed, employing pasture-conservation measures such as arranging rotational grazing.

Like many other jobs, farm ranchers must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.


University of New England - Biddeford, ME

University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Rd, Biddeford, ME 04005. University of New England is a small university located in Biddeford, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,939 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of New England has a bachelor's degree program in Aquaculture which graduated two students in 2008.


Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Accredited Farm Manager: Farm Managers offer professional management services to farmland owners to help them optimize the returns from their asset.

For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Ornamental Lanscape Professional: Earn the Certified Ornamental Landscape Professional (COLP) designation by completing the "Principles of Landscape Tree & Shrub Maintenance" self-study course.

For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.


Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.