Ever dreamed of making a tree change, getting out on the land and living the Australian dream or perhaps owning a hobby farm, where you could keep livestock? The cattle farming industry is one of the largest industries in Australia. Beef cattle farming alone employs 77,000 people each year. Currently, due to low immigration numbers there is a shortage of workers in the farming industry so it’s a great time to make the change to the country life and secure a job on the land. If you are interested in starting a career working with cattle, here is some information to get you started.
Types of cattle farming
- Beef Cattle Farming – Raising cattle for beef
- Dairy Farming – Raising cattle for milk production and running the dairy
- Cow-Calf Farming – Raising high quality cattle and selling them at weaning age. Usually sold to feedlots or commercial stockyards
What to expect working in the cattle farming industry
A cattle farmer’s role is varied and the daily tasks will depend on which line of cattle farming you get into. The main focus of the role is to manage the operations of growing cattle for meat and breeding and/or dairy farming. This management will involve many tasks as listed here:
Cattle need enough nourishing food and grazing land keep them growing to a healthy weight. You will be required to move the cattle from paddock to paddock for grazing and to protect the land from damage. In beef cattle farming there are weight targets for the cattle depending on the market they are being sold. This requires additional food such as hay and grain (also known as fodder) to be provided. Therefore you may be required to source the hay and distribute in the paddocks with a tractor or truck. Many farms plant crops to feed the cattle, so helping with the harvest may be included in your position description.
Healthcare of cattle
Maintaining the health of your livestock is vital to running a successful farm as it ensures high quality produce. To keep your animals healthy you will work alongside vets and specialists who are experts in animal healthcare. If you are interested in vet courses, you can get started here.
Providing access to clean water
Making sure clean water is available and accessible for cattle is vital to keeping livestock hydrated. This requires surveying the farm and its water supply to ensure water levels are adequate and suitable for drinking. This could also involve the use of irrigation.
Maintenance of farm equipment
The farm equipment you will use will depend on what kind of farm you work on. If you are working on a dairy farm will assist in keeping milking equipment maintained and cleaning out milking areas.
Maintaining the property / pasture management
Another element of working on a cattle farm is fixing fences, gates, cattle loading ramps etc. Making sure your cattle are safe in their paddocks means ensuring the fences are maintained and the gates work correctly.
You will be required to do some land maintenance. It is important that the soil is not damaged so it can continue to be used for grazing. From experienced farmers and additional training you will learn about the best way to manage land using regenerative techniques.
How do cattle farmers make money?
Cattle farmers make money by either selling their livestock or selling the produce of their livestock (milk etc.). According to payscale.com the average salary of a Farm Manager is AU$64,10 per year and a Farm Hand is AU$50,000 per year. These salaries vary depending on the type of farm you work on, your experience, the size of the farm etc. You may also find that additional non-monetary items are included in your salary like accommodation and bills. Take a look at some of the positions available to understand what salary you could potentially earn. You should also look at jobs you may eventually be qualified to do as well. For instance you may have to start out as a Farm Hand but after gaining valuable, on the job experience, you may become a farm manager or station manager. When starting out in a new career it is worthwhile taking a look at where your career could take you and your potential earning power.
Why would I complete a course in cattle farming?
If you’re thinking of starting out in the cattle industry or perhaps want to have a hobby farm, understanding what is involved in livestock management and cattle farming is essential. Here are some ways that completing a course in cattle farming can help you on your new career path:
- Getting a feel for the industry
When considering making a big move to a new sector it is a good idea to get a feel for the industry. This helps you grasp what is required of a position in this field and gives you a better understanding of the industry.
- Makes you more employable
Completing a course in cattle farming for beginners puts you in good stead with your future employer. Having a cattle-farming course on your resume indicates your dedication to learning about your industry and proves to an employer you have some knowledge of what is required before you begin.
- Helps you decide which area you would like to go into
Enrolling in a course in cattle farming can help you decide which area of the industry you would like to go into. Whether it is beef cattle farming or dairy farming. This will help you decide which farms you would prefer to work on.
- Access to experienced tutors to help you with your applications
Completing a cattle farming course for beginners gives you access to experienced tutors who will be able to help you with your job applications.
What jobs will I be qualified to do after completing a cattle farming course.
- Farm Hand or Station Hand
- Livestock worker
- Cattle Farm Manager
Below are some of the courses we offer in cattle farming and farm management. If you’d like to know more about our animal-related courses, and which one is right for you – speak to one of our career consultants today.