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Farm Supervisor - 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 Supervisors spend much of their time overseeing work, as well as working in the office.

  • Farm supervisors operate farm equipment and acquire skills/knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience. Typically, Farm Supervisors need some combination of two to three years of post-secondary education; or two to five years of apprenticeship training; or three to four years of secondary school and more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Superintendent
  • Supervisor Mushroom Compost
  • Supervisor Mushroom Grower
  • Supervisor Mushroom Harvest
  • Supervisor Mushroom Packer
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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Mushroom Farm Supervisors supervise activity related to planting, cultivating, and harvesting crops.

  • Supervise the implementation of the strategic plan 
  • Supervise employees 
  • Supervise risk management 
  • Build customer relations 
  • Supervise health and safety 
  • Supervise food safety and security 
  • Supervise production 
  • Comply with legislation and regulations 
  • Verify compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) 
  • Supervise food safety and security 
  • Supervise environmentally sustainable work practices 
  • Supervise phase I composting 
  • Supervise phase II composting 
  • Supervise the preparation of phase III compost 
  • Supervise the transfer of phase III compost to growing room 
  • Supervise the preparation and application of casing 
  • Maintain facilities, rooms and environmental conditions 
  • Apply strategies for integrated pest management 
  • Supervise harvest and production 
  • Supervise post-harvest operations
  • Supervise maintenance of equipment and supplies 
  • Review 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
  • Conflict Management 
  • Developing Others
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

What attracts people to this job?

Leadership and supervisory skills and experience are valuable on mushroom farms, as well as other sub sectors of agriculture and other industries.

  • Supervisors are people who can deal with almost any situation on the farm. On small operations, the owner often works as a supervisor.

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Mushroom Farm Supervisors with extensive training and experience can become Managers. Lateral moves into different technical specialties or to other sites are also possible.

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.