Get more details about the varied careers in managing livestock. See what the employment outlook is and what you might earn. Keep reading to find out what degree programs can prepare you to work in livestock management.
The need for livestock management can be found in a variety of fields, from food production to rangeland preservation. There is a broad range of animals that can fall into the livestock category, each with its own specific needs and challenges. Cattle and poultry are a couple of examples.
With proper training in livestock management, you could pursue a career in food production, livestock processing, agricultural extension services, rangeland management or farm management. You might be a farmer, livestock farmer, rancher or agricultural manager. Should you decide to further your academic training, you might pursue a career in agricultural education, livestock research or veterinary science.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of farm, ranch and other agricultural managers is projected to decline 19% between 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The median salary for this occupation was $70,110 in 2013, per the BLS.
You have various degree options in this field, beginning with an undergraduate degree program in farm and ranch management or an agribusiness associate's degree program. You could choose to major in animal science, which not only may cover livestock management but also animal science and agribusiness. You can find these types of programs at community colleges and universities.
Educational programs in the above areas usually focus on the management of livestock in specific agricultural businesses. You'll have studies in dairy farming, beef production, poultry production and equine breeding. You'll also study various aspects of livestock care, such as nutrition, healthcare, behavior and growth. You may also learn agricultural practices in soil conservation, animal waste management and food production. Some programs also include courses that focus on the business side of livestock management, such as accounting, marketing and small business management.