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A step-by-step blueprint to finding the best farm jobs in Canada

WorkHorse Hub April 23, 2019

It’s time for a change. So, you want to find a new farm job, but where do you begin? Finding a new job shouldn’t feel overwhelming. If you’re looking for farm jobs in Canada, you’ve made a good choice! Agriculture accounts for 8% of Canada’s GDP, and currently employs over 300,000 workers.

We created a step-by-step guide with the best processes and tools for finding farm work in Canada. Following our blueprint will streamline and simplify your process. You’ll be working at your new job in no time.

First steps for all job seekers

To begin with, there are a few steps that all job seekers should follow to find the best farm jobs.

  1. Define your ideal job. Be honest with yourself. It will save you time and frustration in your job search. What type of job do you want? What skills do you have? If you’re not sure exactly what type of farm job you want, start by reviewing the types of careers ag offers, and some of the currently open jobs.
  2. Identify your salary range. Each farm has constraints on how much they can pay employees. You need to know the income level needed to pay your bills, and maintain an acceptable lifestyle. Similarly to defining your ideal job, knowing this number ahead of time can save you time and frustration. Jobs may offer non-salary benefits, including housing, that should be considered when evaluating positions to apply for.
  3. Consider geography. Will you move to a different location, or do you want to stay near your current home? If you’re open to other areas of the country, you can broaden your search from the get-go, opening you up to additional farm jobs, and new experiences.
  4. Brush up your resume. All employers, including farms, will carefully review your resume and use that as an initial screening process for new workers. Use our resume tips and template to improve your chances of getting an interview.

You can find other job seeking tips, and information on life as a farm employee to help you understand what your new role might look like. The more you know, the easier it will be to find the ideal farm job.

Geographically speaking

Canada has a shortage of ag workers, and that’s good news for you as a potential employee. Additionally, one in eight jobs in the country are in agriculture. The industry has multiple positions from traditional farm work, to marketing, research, and accounting. You name the type of job, and there is probably a role for it in agriculture.

The biggest production sectors of Canadian agriculture are:

  1. Grains and oilseeds
  2. Livestock and red meat
  3. Dairy
  4. Horticulture
  5. Eggs and Poultry

Each province and territory in Canada has different sectors of agriculture that thrive, given the climate, landscape, and history of the region. We’ve listed each province and territory, and the types of farm jobs you might find there. Understanding the types of farms will help you select areas of Canada for your job search, or the types of skills to pursue to improve your competitiveness as a potential farm employee.

  • Alberta: Farms abound in Alberta, as the landscape and climate allow many types of farms to be successful. These include horticulture, vegetables such as sugar beets, beef cattle, dairy, poultry, grains, and other products. Approximately half of all Canadian beef cattle farms are in Alberta.
  • British Columbia: Types of farms include beef cattle, dairy, poultry, fruit orchards, grains, hazelnuts, horticulture, and vineyards. Seafood and fish opportunities for ag workers can be found along the coast.
  • Manitoba: Manitoba is home to grains, vegetables, poultry, dairy, horticulture, and beef cattle. You’ll also find other types of farms in the province.
  • New Brunswick: Crops in New Brunswick include apples, cranberries, field crops, horticulture, potatoes, small fruits, vegetables, and wild blueberries. Livestock operations include cattle, goats, sheep, swine, mink, and poultry.  Newfoundland and Labrador: There are fewer farm jobs to be found in Newfoundland and Labrador, but you could find work on a dairy operation, poultry farm, or, at the local pick-your-own strawberry farm. The climate is tough for farming, but there are farms making it work.
  • Nova Scotia: Farm types include fruit orchards, potatoes, fish and seafood, dairy, poultry, crops, and vineyards. You’ll also find a thriving forestry industry in Nova Scotia that offers ample opportunities.
  • Ontario: This province has the most farms, and Ontario always needs farm workers. Types of farms include grains, livestock, dairy, beef, horticulture, poultry, fruit orchards, and vegetables.
  • Prince Edward Island: Agriculture is a cornerstone of the rural way of life on Prince Edward Island. There are over 1,300 farms on the island, and they range in size from a few acres to over 3,000 acres. Potatoes are the largest crop for the island, and grown in rotation with grain crops. Other farm types include fish and seafood, vineyards, fruits, cattle, vegetables, dairy, swine, poultry, and mink.
  • Quebec: Quebec leads the country in dairy, maple, swine, and fruit farms. The maple industry is huge, with the United States being a key consumer of all maple products. You’ll also find other farms in Quebec, including vegetables.
  • Saskatchewan is known for grain production, and at one time in history, produced over half of the wheat in Canada. It’s still home to thousands of farms, with the third highest number of farms in the country when ranked by province. While grain and oilseed are a dominant farm in Saskatchewan, you’ll find other farm jobs here as well, including dairy, beef, horticulture, and poultry operations.  
  • Northwest Territories: With only around 30 farms, this will be a tough location for you to find a farm job.
  • Nunavut: Unfortunately, there are no farms located in the Nunavut territory.
  • Yukon: There are about 170 farms in the Yukon, it’s another tough location for farms, but the beautiful landscape makes the challenge worthwhile.

Wrapping up your search

So, you’ve completed the first steps of your search by identifying your dream job and salary needs. Your resume is ready to go, and you’ve identified geographic locations where you want to apply for jobs.

What’s next? Farmers expect to find employees the same way any other business does. You need to create a profile on an online ag job website such as WorkHorse Hub to help farmers find you.

Browse the available jobs, and start applying. WorkHorse Hub will also send your profile to farmers, easing the search process for you. We’ll send you an alert so that you can be prepared, and know the specifics of the job before the farmer contacts you.

Canadian agriculture is diverse, and offers a world of opportunity for potential employees. Farm jobs in Canada are a rewarding way to make a living, and a lifestyle that many aspire too. Say yes to a farm job opportunity in Canada, and help feed the world.

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