The Modern Cowpoke: Career Options In Modern Cattle Production

When someone mentions cattle farming, the first thing that crosses the layperson’s mind is the image of wide open spaces and cow-herding buckaroos on horseback in an image that wouldn’t be out of place in a Western. And to a degree, some people still cling to that old rusting image of the cowpokes of old, as surprising as it may seem for city folk like me.

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Then as now, cattle farmers face long hours of work and are tasked with supervising the wellbeing of the cattle throughout all stages of their lives. They may oversee such tasks as the impregnation of cows through artificial insemination, inspecting herds for possible illnesses, and marketing and selling the cattle or their milk come market time.

A cattle farmer can expect to work long hours every day, and that includes weekends and holidays. It’s not your typical 9-t0-5 career, though it may have the demands of one. Dairy and beef farmers typically benefit from management experience, especially when managing the massive scales of commercial production.

For the cowboys and cowgirls of the New Old West, however, cattle farming is far from an artifact of the 1800s, something I know all too well. To succeed, they need to be familiar with the ins and outs of mechanized farming. At their disposal are an array of tools that can quickly scale up the production of cattle farms. Dairy farmers, for instance, have large-scale milking machines that cut away hours from milk production.

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Moreover, cattle farming, be it for dairy or beef, is hardly a one-person show, with farmers working closely not only with farmhands but also with veterinarians and other specialists such as livestock nutritionists to ensure the wellbeing of their herds.

I’m Bennett J. Kireker, New York Jets fan and farm equipment dealer and importer from Pismo Beach, CA. For more updates on all things modern agriculture, follow my blog.


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