28 Feb What’s It Like Being a Cattle Rancher
Cattle (livestock) ranching requires hard and dedicated work. They’re really isn’t any day that can be considered typical and rarely are they the same. Cattle ranches are large and have different locations in sometimes what can be a 50-mile radius, so there is a lot of travel and movement each day.
A cattle rancher performs a huge range of chores each day, which includes but is not limited to cutting and placing hay for feeding, checking the herds for health issues, maintenance of pastures, making sure grazing limits are in place and attending calve auctions.
A cattle rancher will also operate different types of heavy machinery, making it a potentially dangerous job. A cattle rancher that is inexperienced, sleep deprived, or one who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol risks life-threatening, life-changing or even fatal accidents when improperly operating heavy machinery.
In fact, cattle ranching is rated as one of the most dangerous jobs in the US, with 24 fatalities out of every 100,000 workers occurring in 2012. It’s important therefore that ranchers are properly trained on equipment and have to go through the process of passing a urine drug test before employment.
Even the animals being handled can cause injury, as these are powerful animals. An example would be that the horse’s ranch hands ride are not trained properly and they get ridden pretty hard. This results in an unruly horse that is not following the commands they were trained to.
Livestock ranchers work year round and long hours and do not get a lot of vacation time. There isn’t a set education requirement to become a rancher, however, there is so much to learn that can really only be gained by hands-on experience.
But there are trade schools and even colleges that offer education up to a bachelor’s degree in ranching. Many of these schools will teach the business end of ranching which is a great advantage of having to go through the years of experience just simply working on a ranch.