Agricultural/Horticultural Field Representative Māngai Taiao Ahuwhenua

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives sell products such as farm equipment, and advise clients on crop and livestock management. 

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Agricultural/horticultural field representatives may do some or all of the following:

  • advise clients about product usage, pasture, and crop and livestock management 
  • negotiate the sale of agricultural/horticultural products and services 
  • buy and sell seeds and grains on farms.

Physical Requirements

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives need to be fit and healthy, as they may walk around farms for inspections.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for agricultural/horticultural field representatives includes:

  • merchandise sales for a retail servicing company   
  • general farm work, including farm management
  • work on agricultural or horticultural crop farms.

Personal Qualities

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives need to:

  • have good communication skills, including the ability to relate to a wide range of people 
  • be able to build and maintain relationships
  • be hard-working, friendly, patient and able to inspire confidence
  • be good negotiators
  • be accurate and able to use good judgement
  • have good planning, organisational and problem-solving skills
  • have record-keeping skills.

Skills

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives need to have knowledge of:  

  • animal handling   
  • stock breeds, stock health and nutrition  
  • soil types and fertility 
  • pasture and crop species and varieties
  • environmental impacts
  • performance of products such as farm equipment and agrichemicals
  • market values and trends, profitability and how climatic conditions affect market prices
  • how to sell agricultural products and services
  • legislative requirements. 

Self-employed agricultural/horticultural field representatives running their own business also require small business skills.

Conditions

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives:

  • usually work a 40-hour week but may work longer and irregular hours in summer and autumn during harvest seasons
  • work on farms and in offices
  • work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • travel frequently between workplaces.

Agricultural/Horticultural Field Representatives can earn around $55K-$90K per year.

Pay for agricultural/horticultural field representatives varies depending on their position in the company, ability, experience, and incentives or profit-sharing arrangements.

  • Cadet or trainee agricultural/horticultural field representatives usually start on about $55,000 a year. 
  • Agricultural/horticultural field representatives with two to three years' experience usually earn between $70,000 and $90,000.
  • Agricultural/horticultural field representatives with more than three years' experience can earn from $90,000 to $120,000. 

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives with over three years' experience sometimes earn a base salary and commission.

Sources: PGG Wrightson Seeds Limited, 2019; and PGG Wrightson, 2019.

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives may progress to work in territory sales management or move into senior management roles.

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives may specialise in working within a particular sector of the agricultural industry such as sheep, beef and dairy, or with seed and grain production. 

Agricultural/horticultural field representatives may also specialise in working within a particular sector of the horticultural industry such as fruit, nut or vegetable crop production.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become an agricultural/horticultural field representative. However, a diploma or degree in agriculture, horticulture, commerce or farm management is recommended. Knowledge of farm management and farming techniques is an advantage. 

A Growsafe Agrichemical Supplier Certificate may be useful for agricultural/horticultural field representatives involved in the supply of agrichemicals to farmers, and a New Zealand Certificate in Rural Servicing (Level 4) may also be useful. Both can be completed while working on the job.

A driver's licence is usually required.

Agricultural/Horticultural Field Representative

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