Mixed crop and livestock farmers are responsible for farm operations including growing crops (fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products) and breeding and raising livestock.

Where mixed crop and livestock farmers are employed

Farmers and farm managers may specialise in enterprises such as cropping or horticulture. Others work with animals such as beef or dairy cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry. Many farmers and farm managers conduct mixed farming operations and may work on large or small enterprises, or they may need to travel between a number of properties to manage activities. They spend much of their time working outdoors.

Specialisations include:

Permaculturalist - cultivates plants and crops through the use of sustainable practices and renewable resources to minimise the impact upon local ecosystems.

Production Horticulturist - involved in the cultivation and maintenance of berries, nuts, fruit, vegetables and other crops. These products can be exported as either fresh or dried produce.


Full-time mixed crop and livestock farmers in South Australia generally earn less than $600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 4,722 people employed full-time as mixed crop and livestock farmers in South Australia compared with 5,541 in 2006.

How to become one

You can work as a mixed crop and livestock farmer without formal qualifications, although skills in farm management, crop management and/or animal husbandry are considered essential. You may learn these skills from an experienced farmer or farm manager or formally by undertaking vocational education and training (VET), university or an agricultural college course. Courses may focus on specific areas of agriculture or all aspects of farm management.

See courses related to this occupation.

You can also become a mixed crop and livestock farmer through a traineeship in agriculture, agribusiness or rural operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require year 10. For more information see traineeships. Ask your career adviser about starting this training at school. Alternatively, you can become a mixed crop and livestock farmer by completing a degree in agriculture, agribusiness, animal science, agricultural science or rural science.

To get into these courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, chemistry and mathematics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and have basic farm skills. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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