What Does an Agriculture-Fruit Grower Do?

Agricultural Fruit Growers (640F) prepare the land for planting by laying out a land use plan, analyzing soil, tilling the soil, planting and transplanting fruit trees and vines as well as irrigating, weeding, fertilizing, pruning and training plants to ensure maximum growth and harvest yields.

Job Related Skills, Values and Interests

  • collecting soil samples to identify diseases and determine soil fertility
  • reading and interpreting land preparation documents in order to complete a plan for land preparation
  • tilling uncultivated or existing land and preparing for planting
  • selecting and using disease, weed control and drainage techniques
  • planting, grafting, transplanting, staking/trellising fruit trees and vines
  • safely operating farm equipment, buildings and facilities as well as an assortment of tools including specialized pruning and spraying equipment
  • observing and monitoring plant growth and pruning/thinning effects and making appropriate adjustments 
  • harvesting, grading and storing fruit crops
  • acquiring thorough knowledge of relevant government regulations and environmental protocols

You may find additional information about this trade and applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website – follow this sector link:http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/membership/resources/training-standards

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become an Agriculture- Fruit Grower you should complete Grade 12, preferably with  Math and English to meet the requirements of the job. Related community college programs are an advantage. If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enrolling in a Horticulture and Landscaping Specialist High Skills Major program. For more information, please click on the following link:

http://edu.gov.on.ca/eng/studentsuccess/pathways/shsm/landscaping.pdf

Your apprenticeship will be approximately 5520 hours of on-the-job training as well as two 8-week in school training sessions. (480 hours). When you successfully complete your on-the-job and in-school hours you will be awarded a Certificate of Apprenticeship in this trade.  This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as an Agriculture- Fruit Grower?

Most workers in this occupation work seasonally, inside and outdoors, with many hours during planting and harvesting season. Employers in Southern Ontario that may employ Fruit Growers include:

  • Farms
  • Agribusinesses
  • Vineyards
  • Self-employed/ sub-contract basis

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices usually start at a wage rate less than  that of a journeyperson
  • This rate increases gradually as you gain competency and skill
  • Fully qualified Agriculture-Fruit Growers can earn, according to the Ontario Wage Survey conducted by HRDC and OneStep in 1999, between $7.67 - $16.50/ hour sometimes with employee benefits and production bonuses

Self-Rating

Ask Yourself: Is working as an Agriculture-Fruit Grower for You?

Do you enjoy learning about plant material, cultivating techniques and theory and putting that knowledge to use?

Yes      No

Are you physically able to bend, stoop, lift and use a variety of equipment/tools safely?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy analyzing problems and coming up with solutions?

Yes      No

Can you communicate effectively verbally and in writing?

Yes      No

Can you handle a variety of tasks requiring attention to detail during the working day?

Yes      No

Do you work well by yourself, as a member of a team or supervising others?

Yes      No

If you answered yes to most of these questions, a career as an Agriculture- Fruit Grower may be for you!

You may want to explore other jobs that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Horticultural Technician
  • Industrial Woodworker
  • Arborist

 

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