Agricultural/Horticultural Consultant Kaitohutohu Ahuwhenua
Agricultural/horticultural consultants advise farmers, growers and organisations on business, production and land management solutions.
Agricultural/horticultural consultants may be registered with the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM) as farm systems certified consultants.
- New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management website - information on registration and certification
Agricultural/horticultural consultants may do some or all of the following:
- advise farmers and growers on how to improve the profitability, efficiency and sustainability of farm management systems
- assist farmers and growers in developing and implementing business plans
- advise on or oversee budgets, cashflow and production targets for clients
- research and report on factors that affect crop production, pasture growth, and animal breeding
- advise farmers and growers on fertiliser and nutrient use to improve productivity and environmental performance
- investigate, plan and advise on methods for coping with the effects of pests and diseases and natural disasters such as floods
- provide advice on compliance with current legislation such as the Resource Management Act
- prepare property and environmental management reports for clients.
Agricultural/horticultural consultants need to be reasonably fit and healthy as their work includes walking around farms and orchards.
Useful experience for agricultural/horticultural consultants includes:
- work on farms or orchards
- sales, marketing or other work dealing with customers or clients
- work within the agribusiness sector
- work in an agricultural or horticultural research institution or laboratory.
Agricultural/horticultural consultants need to be:
- able to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people
- good communicators, with listening and public speaking skills
- hard-working, friendly, patient and able to inspire confidence
- good negotiators
- skilled in analysis and decision making
- skilled in planning, organising and problem solving
- able to work under pressure with good time management skills.
Agricultural/horticultural consultants need to have:
- in-depth knowledge of the area of agriculture or horticulture they work in
- knowledge of farm or orchard systems management
- competency in business planning and financial management
- understanding of production methods and how to apply these to real-life situations
- knowledge of current government and council regulations and legislation.
- may work irregular and long hours
- work in offices and on clients' farms or orchards
- work in all weather conditions
- may travel within New Zealand or overseas to attend conferences or visit clients, factories, banks or export marketing firms.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include agricultural and horticultural science, biology, business studies, chemistry and maths.
Agricultural/horticultural consultants who work for companies may progress to supervisory or management roles, or start their own consultancy business.
Most agricultural/horticultural consultants specialise in one area. For example, agricultural consultants can specialise in dairy, sheep or beef farming, and horticultural consultants in a particular fruit or vegetable crop. However, consultants are increasingly working across both sectors, specialising in areas such as:
- environmental planning
- irrigation and water quality management
- infrastructure planning and management
- financial and insurance management
- legislative advice about resource management and consent
- strategic business planning, budgeting and financial reporting.
With more experience and training, agricultural/horticultural consultants may become agricultural/horticultural or environmental scientists, financial advisers, management consultants, farmers/farm managers or orchard farmers/managers.
Years Of Training3 years of training usually required.
To become an agricultural/horticultural consultant you usually need a Bachelor's degree in one of the following:
- agricultural or horticultural science
- environmental science.
A driver's licence is usually required.