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Become A Herdsman

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Working As A Herdsman

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Herdsman Do

Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

Duties

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other crops. They plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops, and pack and load them for shipment.

Farmworkers also apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. They repair fences and some farm equipment.

Nursery and greenhouse workers prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing horticultural products such as trees, plants, flowers, and sod. They also plant, water, prune, weed, and spray the plants. They may cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack plants to fill orders; and dig up or move field-grown shrubs and trees.

Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. These animals usually are raised to supply meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, or honey.

These farmworkers may feed, herd, brand, weigh, and load animals. They also keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.

Many workers clean and maintain animal housing areas every day. On dairy farms, animal farmworkers operate milking machines.

Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, as well as maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks. These workers also operate machines such as conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers. Workers may make adjustments and minor repairs to equipment.

Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to select and breed animals that will produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For example, they breed chickens that lay more eggs, pigs that produce leaner meat, and sheep with more desirable wool. Other animal breeders breed and raise cats, dogs, and other household pets.

To know which animals to breed and when to breed them, animal breeders keep detailed records. Breeders note animals’ health, size, and weight, as well as the amount and quality of the product they produce. Animal breeders also track the traits of animals’ offspring.

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How To Become A Herdsman

Agricultural workers typically receive on-the-job training. A high school diploma is not needed for most jobs as an agricultural worker; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders.

Education and Training

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders. Some jobs as an animal breeder may require some postsecondary education.

Agricultural workers typically receive some short-term on-the-job training. Employers instruct them on how to use simple farming tools and more complex machinery while following appropriate safety procedures. More experienced workers also are expected to perform routine maintenance on the tools they use.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Agricultural workers need excellent hand–eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery.

Listening skills. Agricultural workers need to work well with others. Because they take instructions from farmers and other agricultural managers, effective listening is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.

Physical strength. Agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops.

Mechanical skills. Agricultural workers must be able to operate complex farm machinery. They also occasionally do routine maintenance on the machinery.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Animal breeders sometimes need previous work experience interacting with livestock. Ranch workers may transition into animal breeding after they become more familiar with animals and learn how to handle them.

Advancement

Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.

Some agricultural workers aspire to become farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers or to own their own farms and ranches. Knowledge of produce and livestock may provide an excellent background for becoming buyers or purchasing agents of farm products. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural or food scientists.

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Farm Rancher 8.5 years
Dairy Farmer 6.4 years
Herdsman 4.0 years
Dairy Farm Worker 3.7 years
Farm Assistant 2.8 years
Ranch Hand 2.7 years
Milker 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Herdsman
Farm Hand 16.3%
Internship 12.3%
Cashier 8.8%
Manager 6.3%
Milker 5.8%
Assistant 5.0%
Supervisor 4.0%
Technician 4.0%
Ranch Hand 3.5%
Owner 3.3%
Welder 2.5%
Top Careers After Herdsman
Farm Hand 10.4%
Manager 8.6%
Technician 7.0%
Cashier 6.8%
Internship 6.5%
Owner 4.2%
Driver 3.9%
Operator 3.9%
Ranch Hand 3.4%
Volunteer 3.4%
Welder 3.4%
Feeder 2.9%

Do you work as a Herdsman?

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Highest Paying City
Gaylord, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Herdsman make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Herdsman in the United States is $79,707 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Herdsman Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Herdsman Daybreak Holsteins Gaylord, MN Dec 01, 2009 $42,100 -
$50,000
Assistant Herdsman Daybreak Holsteins Gaylord, MN Jan 01, 2010 $42,100 -
$50,000
Dairy Herdsman Jerry Nuytten Powderly, TX Sep 16, 2015 $40,934
Dairy Herdsman Jerry Nuytten Clarkfield, MN Sep 16, 2014 $40,934
Herdman Maple Acres Inc. Aurelia, IA Feb 09, 2016 $39,149
Herdsman Double Creek Dairy Merced, CA May 28, 2015 $37,232 -
$57,800
Herdsman Rottinghaus Holstein Farm, Inc. Seneca, KS Sep 20, 2015 $35,000
Herdsman T&K Dairy Snyder, TX Sep 10, 2014 $34,000
Herdsman T&K Dairy Snyder, TX Sep 11, 2014 $34,000
Dairy Herdsman Woodstock Water Buffalo Co. Woodstock, VT Oct 15, 2007 $32,550
Herdsman Catalpadale Dairy Ltd. Marshallville, OH Sep 03, 2015 $29,432 -
$38,188
Dairy Herdsman Pope Brothers Dairy LLC Franklinton, LA Sep 29, 2014 $29,141
Assistant Herdsman Landsverk Dairy Fosston, MN Jul 06, 2016 $27,131
Herdsman Saints, Inc. & Piedmont Dairies, Inc. D/B/A Alliance Dairies Trenton, FL Apr 03, 2009 $21,694
Herdsman Saints, Inc. & Piedmont Dairies, Inc. D/B/A Alliance Dairies Trenton, FL Sep 01, 2010 $21,694
Herdsman Saints, Inc. & Piedmont Dairies, Inc. D/B/A Alliance Dairies Trenton, FL Sep 03, 2010 $21,694
Herdsman Saints, Inc. & Piedmont Dairies, Inc. D/B/A Alliance Dairies Trenton, FL Aug 25, 2010 $21,694
Herdsman Barrington Dairies Montezuma, GA Feb 24, 2010 $21,216

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Top Skills for A Herdsman

  1. Milk Cows
  2. Herd Health
  3. Calf Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Milk cows following all safety standards and regulations.
  • Collect semen-Evaluate and Package Semen-Prepare semen for shipping-Cleaning and sanitizing lab and evaluation-Feed and maintain herd health
  • Care feeding and health of registered cattle including artificial insemination, synchronization, record keeping, flood irrigation, and haying.
  • Drive cattle, Run mill, Guide hunts, Run farm equipment, Repair and maintain vehicles and equipment.
  • HerdsmanManaged equipment maintenance, milking, feeding, harvesting, animal care and supervised staff, approximately 85 hours weekly.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Herdsmen

  1. Iowa
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Louisiana
  4. District of Columbia
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Mississippi
  7. Washington
  8. South Dakota
  9. South Carolina
  10. Ohio
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Herdsman Demographics

Gender

Male

64.8%

Female

29.1%

Unknown

6.2%
Ethnicity

White

73.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Black or African American

7.5%

Asian

5.1%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.0%

Portuguese

16.0%

Dakota

4.0%

Carrier

4.0%
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Herdsman Education

Schools

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

13.8%

Michigan State University

10.7%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

7.5%

Kansas State University

6.3%

State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill

5.0%

South Dakota State University

5.0%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

5.0%

Ridgewater College

4.4%

Northwest Missouri State University

3.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

Iowa State University

3.8%

Dordt College

3.8%

Iowa Lakes Community College

3.8%

College of the Sequoias

3.8%

Cornell University

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.1%

State University of New York College of Agriculture & Technology at Morrisville

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

Tarleton State University

3.1%

Lake Area Technical Institute

3.1%
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Majors

Animal Science

35.8%

Agricultural Business

14.2%

Business

7.4%

Agriculture

5.7%

Medical Assisting Services

4.9%

Agricultural Production Operations

3.8%

Automotive Technology

3.3%

Nursing

3.0%

Management

2.5%

Veterinary Science

2.2%

Plant Sciences

2.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.2%

Precision Metal Working

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

General Studies

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Agricultural Operation And Science

1.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.4%

Drafting And Design

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.6%

Other

31.4%

Associate

16.9%

Certificate

5.3%

Masters

3.9%

Diploma

2.8%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.7%
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