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Farm Manager - Mushroom Production

 Lydia Schouten

Mushroom Farming Overview

The ‘greenhouse, nursery, floriculture and turf’ industry includes more than 100 mushroom farms across the country that produce more than 200 million pounds (91,000 tonnes) of mushrooms annually, with 80 million lb. (36,300 tonnes) of fresh mushrooms being exported to the US market.

  • Up to 50% of mushroom farm expenses result from labour costs, and so growers are working with academic institutes and technology partners to develop robotics that could reduce requirements in the future.

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Mushroom Farm Managers and Owners have an overall responsibility for the operation.

  • Farm Managers operate farm equipment and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Education and training can include formal and informal learning experiences, extensive specific work experience, and a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree.

Typical Job Titles

  • General Manager Mushroom Production
  • Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.)
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Mushroom Farm Managers will assign supervisors a variety of week to week and/or month to month objectives, provide the resources needed to accomplish objectives, help with questions or problems, and monitor progress. 

Mushroom Farm Managers manage activities related to planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops.

  • Manage strategic planning 
  • Manage human resources 
  • Manage finances and administration 
  • Manage risk 
  • Manage customer relations 
  • Manage health and safety 
  • Manage food safety and security 
  • Manage production 
  • Manage compliance with legislation and regulations 
  • Develop  standard operating procedures SOPs 
  • Manage food safety and security program 
  • Implement environmentally sustainable work practices 
  • Manage phase I and phase II composting 
  • Manage phase III compost preparation 
  • Manage the transfer of phase III compost to growing room 
  • Manage the preparation and application of casing 
  • Manage facilities, rooms and environmental conditions 
  • Manage irrigation 
  • Implement strategies for integrated pest and disease management 
  • Manage harvest and production 
  • Manage post-harvest activities 
  • Manage equipment, supplies and products 
  • Evaluate production data and records 
  • Apply knowledge specific to growing commercial mushrooms 

What competencies are required for this job?

These competencies were identified as most important for successful job performance.

  • Agricultural Health and Safety
  • Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
  • Mushroom Production
  • Food Safety
  • Problem Identification and Problem Solving
  • Visioning
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Business Perspective

What attracts people to this job?

Managers in agriculture plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations and functions of farms. They are responsible for growing crops, raising and breeding livestock, poultry and other animals and marketing farm products.

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

To become a manager doesn’t mean having to own your own farm or business, there are many opportunities to manage on larger operations.

  • Managers can be recruited to work for companies that provide supplies and support services to agricultural operations (e.g. feed companies, equipment suppliers, etc.).

What are the typical pay rates and benefits for this job?

The Mushroom Industry Wage Survey, conducted between March and May 2017, provides detailed compensation information about current hourly wage rates and piece work for occupations in the mushroom industry.