A herdsperson typically manages the day-to-day farm operations for the farm or ranch owner. A herdsperson may take part in the care of a variety of animals including cattle, swine and poultry. Many times, herdspeople will live on the property to be close to the animals at all times of the day. Their duties include caring for sick animals, calling the veterinarian when needed, managing breeding programs, maintaining fences, transporting animals and keeping thorough records to better inform the farm or ranch owner.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Identify sick animals and determine proper treatment with the help of a veterinarian if needed
  • Assist in breeding programs including artificial inseminations and synchronization
  • Maintain and assist in the development of farm infrastructure including fences and barns
  • Work independently and as a team
  • Operate heavy equipment, semi tractor-trailers and maintain up-to-date certification where applicable
  • Assist with birthing and in the tagging and feeding of calves
  • Maintain wells, pipelines, property and equipment
  • Assist and monitor the transportation of cattle to markets or other locations
  • Keep thorough records
  • Communicate with the farm or ranch owner on a regular basis

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education, especially animal science
  • mathematics
  • anatomy
  • biology
  • chemistry

Education/Training Required:

An associate or bachelor’s degree in animal science or a livestock-related field is expected. Experience working with livestock is also needed.

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