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NOC Code: NOC Code: 8431 Occupation: General farm workers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
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. 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.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read instructions and warnings on labels, e.g. read safe-use and storage instructions on labels affixed to herbicides and pesticides. (1)
  • Read short text entries on forms, e.g. read comments on equipment maintenance and hazard assessment forms to learn about damaged equipment. (1)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read step-by-step instructions to learn how to mix and apply fertilizers. (2)
  • Read notices and bulletins, e.g. read notices from workers' compensation boards to learn about workplace hazards and incidents involving confined spaces. (2)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to learn how to safely handle fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. (2)
  • Read a variety of manuals and guides, e.g. read safety and equipment manuals to learn safe work practices and procedures to assemble, repair, maintain and operate equipment, such as conveyor belts and tractors. (3)
  • Read press releases, newsletters, brochures and website articles, e.g. read press releases from marketing boards and newsletters published by the Department of Agriculture to stay up-to-date on industry trends. (3)
  • Read computer manuals, e.g. read manuals for step-by-step instructions on the set-up, operation and maintenance of satellite-guided tractors and robotic milking machines. (3)
  • Read regulations and standards, e.g. read regulations to learn the rules governing food safety and read standards to understand how to properly handle chemicals, such as pesticides. (3)
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  • Write brief entries in logbooks, e.g. write brief comments in logbooks to describe work that was performed and incidents that have occurred. (1)
  • Write short notes to co-workers, e.g. write short notes to co-workers to inform them about the composition of feed mixes. (1)
  • Write short comments in forms, e.g. describe the need to service balers on equipment inspection reports. (1)
  • Write short reports, e.g. write short reports to describe injuries to livestock and follow-up medical care provided. (2)
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Document Use
  • Identify icons used in Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), fire control and other hazard-management systems, e.g. scan symbols found on fire extinguishers to identify their various classes. (1)
  • View labels on product packaging and equipment to locate data, such as dosages, specifications and identification numbers. (1)
  • Enter data into forms, e.g. enter data, such as dates, times, readings and quantities in equipment inspection forms. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of lists, tables and schedules, e.g. scan lists to locate commodity prices and scan schedules to determine the feeding times of livestock. (2)
  • Interpret charts, e.g. interpret breeding charts to learn about animal lineages. (2)
  • Locate and interpret data in technical drawings and maps, e.g. locate the position of farm equipment parts in assembly drawings and determine the effects of moisture, temperatures, herbicides and pesticides on yields using colour-coded maps. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Operate global positioning system (GPS) devices to locate coordinates. (1)
  • Operate digital equipment, such as scales and protein analyzers. (1)
  • Use electronic navigation control systems on equipment to establish line and reference tracks for steering. (1)
  • Use databases to retrieve contact information, dates, inventory numbers and equipment maintenance schedules. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access bulletins, weather alerts, industry news and equipment specifications. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • Input data, such as times, rates and flows, to program equipment, such as computerized sprayer systems and robotic cow and goat milking systems. (2)
  • Input data into satellite guidance systems for the automated operation of self-propelled tractors and sprayers. (2)
  • Use databases to input data related to the animal husbandry, such as the dates, times and dosages of medications given to ill livestock. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email and attachments with veterinarians, suppliers, co-workers and grain handlers. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software to enter inventory counts and monitor quantities. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Speak to suppliers to learn about products, prices and delivery schedules. (1)
  • Listen to announcements made over two-way radios. (1)
  • Participate in group discussions, e.g. discuss safety, goals, procedures, job timeframes and projects during staff meetings. (2)
  • Exchange information with co-workers and farmers, e.g. talk to farmers to learn about job assignments and to coordinate activities and schedules. (2)
  • Exchange technical information with repairers, e.g. provide descriptions of equipment malfunctions to help farm equipment mechanics troubleshoot faults. (2)
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Money Math
  • Purchase materials and supplies using petty cash. (1)
  • Receive cash payments from customers and provide change. (1)
  • Calculate expense claim amounts for travel and supplies. For example, calculate reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses, such as meals and the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
  • Calculate and verify invoice amounts, e.g. calculate payments to be received from grain handlers for different volumes and grades of wheat, peas and other crops. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Compare prices to purchase equipment and maintenance materials at best value. (2)
  • Establish feeding, watering, cleaning and medication schedules for livestock at particular points in their growth cycle right through to their shipping. (2)
  • Manage supply inventories e.g. reduce inventory counts as herbicides and pesticides are used. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure volumes of feed and dosages of medicine. (1)
  • Take a variety of measurements using basic tools, e.g. measure the dimensions of farm equipment parts using tape measures. (1)
  • Measure the moisture and protein contents of seeds and grains using moisture meters and grain analyzers. (1)
  • Calculate material requirements, e.g. calculate the amount of herbicides needed to treat specified types and sizes of crops. (2)
  • Calculate capacities and loads, e.g. calculate the capacities of rectangular, cylindrical and conical silos. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements and instrument readings to specifications and tolerances, e.g. compare measurements of grain protein to specifications to determine grades and classes and milk bacterial counts to tolerances specified by food safety regulators. (1)
  • Generate and analyze production statistics, e.g. analyze the growth rates of livestock and crops to determine the effectiveness of various farming practices, such as the use of growth hormones and herbicides. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the remaining capacities of grain silos. (1)
  • Estimate the length of time required to complete tasks. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • General farm workers organize and sequence job tasks and co-ordinate with the work of others (e.g. harvesters) as necessary. Their schedules may be disrupted due to equipment failure and inclement weather, requiring them to adjust their work plans. Due to the short summer season it is vital that general farm workers plan and organize their job tasks to maximize daily production. Success or failure to do so impacts efficiency and farm profits. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Select farming methods, e.g. decide how much feed to give to livestock and how much water to apply to crops. (1)
  • Choose methods to operate heavy equipment, such as tractors and combines. Consider the type of equipment you are operating, crops being harvested, weather and soil conditions. (1)
  • Select order of tasks and your priorities, e.g. decide when to feed livestock and perform equipment maintenance. (2)
  • Choose emergency response measures, e.g. decide how to contend with sick livestock to prevent the spread of disease. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Encounter material shortages, e.g. experience feed shortages. Inform supervisors of the shortages and contact suppliers to arrange deliveries. Perform other work until the needed supplies arrive. (1)
  • Encounter unsafe work conditions. Seek ways to reduce the risks and refuse tasks that you cannot do safely. (2)
  • Experience delays due to equipment breakdowns. Inform supervisors and repairers about the breakdowns and perform other work until repairs are completed. Attempt to troubleshoot and repair the equipment as appropriate. (2)
  • Encounter injured and unhealthy livestock. Diagnose injuries and diseases and initiate treatments, sometimes in consultation with veterinarians, and identify contributing factors that may need to be changed, such as hygiene practices. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information needed to identify and control pests by consulting farmers. (1)
  • Find information on the operation and maintenance of new equipment by reading instruction manuals and by speaking with suppliers and co-workers. (1)
  • Find information about new products and equipment. Read trade magazines and marketing materials, such as brochures. Discuss new products with farmers, suppliers, co-workers and colleagues and conduct research over the Internet. (2)
  • Find information about crop and animal diseases by conducting research over the Internet and by speaking with co-workers, farmers and veterinarians. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the safety of work sites and procedures. Observe risks posed by machines, such as conveyors and ensure safety systems, such as guards and automatic switches, are working properly. Consider risks posed by exposure to toxic materials, such as pesticides. (2)
  • Evaluate the condition of equipment. Consider readings, the results of physical inspections and how well the equipment operates. (2)
  • Judge the effectiveness of products, such as feeds, medicines and herbicides. Consider the outcomes of the products’ use. (2)
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