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Career and Education Opportunities for Farm Ranchers in Seattle, Washington

Farm ranchers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington 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 $34 per hour or $70,960 per year in Washington, and an average of $22 per hour or $44,890 per year nationwide. Farm ranchers work in a variety of jobs, including: vineyardist, share worker, and dairyman.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a farm rancher. Given that the most common education level for farm ranchers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a farm rancher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Farm Rancher

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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Farm Rancher Training

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has an associate's degree program in Plant Nursery Operations and Management which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.