Livestock management requires strong business sense and a firm understanding of how farms and ranches operate. If you enjoy working with animals and leading people, you might find a rewarding career in this field.
Livestock managers are responsible for running the business of poultry farms, dairy farms, cattle ranches or other livestock-related agribusinesses. They must keep accurate financial records, supervise workers and ensure proper care and feeding of animals. Managers on smaller farms may be responsible for doing some physical labor as well, like assisting with animal births or repairing machinery.
In the past, many livestock managers gained the necessary skills by working on a farm or ranch. However, with modern technological advances being made so quickly within the field of agriculture, completing a postsecondary program may be necessary. According to a U.S. Department of Labor poll, 86% of agriculture managers hold a bachelor's degree in a field like animal husbandry, animal science or dairy science (www.onetonline.org). Classes in business, accounting and marketing are also useful in this career field. Learn more about relevant degree programs here.
Distance Learning Options
Some schools offer animal science and livestock management classes online. However, completion of some campus-based coursework may be required. Learn more by reading the articles listed here.
Livestock managers are essentially business overseers of ranching or livestock operations. This could be a good career path if you enjoy supervising other people and working in a rural setting. Aside from livestock management, workers in this field may find related jobs as ranch or agriculture managers. You can learn more about job responsibilities for these occupations by reading the articles below.
A livestock manager can further enhance his or her credentials by pursuing the Accredited Farm Manager designation offered by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Certification requirements include completion of a bachelor's program, some professional work experience and an exam.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs available for farm or ranch managers was expected to decrease by 19% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS notes that farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers earned a median salary of $69, 300 as of 2012.