Ruminant Nutritionist

A ruminant nutritionist’s goal is to research and provide advice on feed product selection, maintenance feeding programs and modification of diets to meet certain desired outcomes in ruminants (hoofed animals that chew their cud and usually have stomachs with four chambers). Ruminant nutritionists assist in the care of ruminant animals including cattle, sheep, llamas and goats.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Observe and monitor animals’ behavior and eating habits for any changes or trends
  • Understand current feed rations and nutritional value
  • Formulate balanced feed rations based on nutritional and caloric requirements
  • Assess the body condition of animals (a management tool designed to assess body reserves or fat accumulation of an animal to help monitor animal nutrition)
  • Utilize technology within the industry to assist in regular duties
  • Be involved in research or teaching activities
  • Monitor the level of activity and physiological demands of animals depending on the season, temperature and hair/coat thickness
  • Call on and service company clients and customers and provide technical training to customers and sales representatives
  • Apply the data available to support ruminant performance enhancement technologies
  • Work with feed production team to develop new feed products
  • Ensure the highest level of quality for feeds sold and produced for sale
  • Determine the effectiveness of dietary regimes
  • Assist in implementing sales and marketing strategies to promote products
  • Understand trends in the industry and changes to governmental regulations

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education, particularly animal science
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • mathematics

Education/Training Required:

Typically, ruminant nutritionists will have a master’s or doctorate degree in animal science, ruminant nutrition, forage production or a similar field.