Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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Unit Group

8431 General farm workers

General farm workers plant, cultivate and harvest crops, raise livestock and poultry and maintain and repair farm equipment and buildings. This group includes operators of farm machinery. General farm workers are employed on crop, livestock, fruit, vegetable and specialty farms.

Example Titles

beef cattle farm worker
cattle ranch labourer
dairy farm worker
farm machinery operator
general farm worker
grain farm worker
harvester machine operator
hatchery worker
poultry farm worker
vegetable farm worker

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Main duties


General farm workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plant, fertilize, cultivate, spray, irrigate and harvest crops
  • Feed and tend livestock and poultry
  • Milk cows
  • Operate and maintain farm machinery and equipment
  • Detect disease and health problems in crops, livestock and poultry
  • Examine produce for quality and prepare for market
  • Set and monitor water lines, air flow and temperature in barns, pens and chicken coops
  • Clean stables, barns, barnyards and pens.

General farm workers can become specialized in a particular type of crop or livestock production through experience.

Employment requirements

  • There are no specific education or training requirements. However, a college certificate or specialized courses related to farming, such as farm equipment mechanics, agricultural welding, tree pruning and pesticide application, are available.
  • Basic farm knowledge, usually obtained from working on a family farm, may be required for employment.
  • A course or certificate in first aid may be required.

Additional information

  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Classified elsewhere

  • Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (8252)
  • Harvesting labourers (8611)
  • Managers in agriculture (0821)

Classification Structure - 8