Farmers generally specialize in two or three types of grain.
Many grain farmers own their land and work for themselves.
Some farms are owned by large corporations that hire farm managers to oversee the operation.
Grain farms range in size from 375 acres to more than fifteen hundred acres.
1. Grain/livestock Buyer
Livestock farmers raise animals for profit.
The most important livestock are cattle, swine, sheep, and goats, raised for food, their hides, or their hair.
A few livestock farmers raise horses, mules, or donkeys as draft animals—animals that pull loads or machinery.
Livestock farmers may work on many acres—on farms, ranches, or rangeland—raising more than one type of animal.
Large operations may employ several laborers or technicians.
Most smaller farms are operated by families.
2. Grain/livestock Buyer
Grain farmers grow crops used for animal feed or as food for people.
Because grain farming is highly mechanized, farmers invest heavily in equipment, land, and buildings.
Grain farming is outdoor, seasonal work. Farmers are busiest during planting and harvesting times.
At other times of the year, they may work at jobs away from the farm to earn a living.
3. Grain/livestock Buyer
Which are neutered bulls—for the meat and leather industries.
Purebred cattle farmers breed registered cows and bulls.
They work to improve strains of cattle so the best cattle is sold to the meat industry.
Purebred farmers also sell their cattle to ranchers who wish to strengthen their own herds.
They allow herds of cattle to roam these large tracts of land where they graze on wild plants.
During roundup the ranch hands drive the animals together and count the herd.
They also select the animals to be sent to the meat market.
4. Grain/livestock Buyer
Grain farmers must know the best way to prepare fields and understand the varieties of grain they plan to grow.
They select planting times and the depth at which seeds should be planted.
They generally use chemical sprays and dusts for
Some farmers hire private contractors for specific jobs, such as harvesting or threshing.
5. Grain/livestock Buyer
Marketing the crop wisely is the key to successful grain farming.
Even with a good crop, the farmer can lose money if demand or prices are low.
Some farmers sell their crop through farmers’ cooperatives.
Grain is generally stored after the harvest. Some farmers have their own storage facilities.
Some take their harvest to terminal grain elevators located near railroads or other means of transportation.
At the grain elevator farmers are given a receipt for the grain.
They can exchange the receipt for cash when the grain is sold.
Farmers try to store their harvest and sell it when prices go up.
6. Education and Training Requirements
Almost all sizable grain farms are heavily mechanized and require good management skills.
As a result, many grain farmers are college trained.
Many four-year colleges offer programs in agriculture.
Two-year colleges also offer useful courses.
7. Getting the Job
To start a grain farm, a prospective farmer must have or be able to borrow a great deal of money.
One way to get into the field is to start as a hired hand or technical worker on a farm.
With many years of experience, a farm hand can become a farm manager.
Others beginning in this field start as tenant farmers.
So they can gain experience and earn an income.
That may eventually allow them to own and run their own farms.
Career offices and teachers in agricultural colleges can offer job leads and placement assistance.
8. Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Grain farmers often buy more land to increase the size of their operation.
Because of improved farming methods.
However, farmers will be able to produce bigger crops on fewer acres.
The total number of farms and farmers is expected to decrease through the year.
9. Working Conditions
Grain farmers lead active, outdoor lives.
During their busy season farmers may work long and irregular hours.
For example, a stretch of bad weather may delay the scheduled planting or harvesting.
To be successful, grain producers must keep careful records.
Fill out forms, and study the latest developments in farm journals or classes.
Crop yields and market prices are variable and uncertain.
However, grain farmers take pride in running their own businesses.
10. Grain/livestock Buyer
Livestock farmers with great amounts of land may also raise sheep for meat and wool.
These grazing animals need large amounts of pasture.
The sheep move from one pasture to another as they eat all the grass in one area.
11. Grain/livestock Buyer
Goats are also grazing animals.
Farmers lead the flock to pasture in the morning.
And return them to the corral at night where they are milked.
They sell the goat milk to hospitals or other buyers and shear the hair to make mohair.
12. Grain/livestock Buyer
They feed them corn and other grains.
Since these animals do not graze.
Farmers keep them in buildings that house ten to twenty or more swine.
In good weather they keep the swine in an outdoor pen.
13. Grain/livestock Buyer
Some livestock farmers grow the hay and grain needed to feed their animals.
All livestock may need supplemental feedings of minerals or other nutrients.
Livestock must be protected against disease.
The animals may be vaccinated or washed and then bathed in insecticide.
Livestock farmers assist in the delivery of newborn animals.
They brand the animals for the grade or type of animal or for ownership.
Many livestock farmers specialize in developing finer breeds of their animals.
14. Grain/livestock Buyer
To be a successful livestock farmer.
Candidates need a good understanding of livestock production.
Business practices, and management techniques.
Growing up or working on a farm is good preparation.
Another way to obtain experience is to join a Future Farmers.
And help with projects that deal with livestock.
A college education is becoming more important.
Both two-year and four-year colleges offer courses in agriculture.
Students should also study animal husbandry and business subjects.
15. Grain/livestock Buyer
To start a farm or ranch, prospective farmers must have or be able to borrow a great deal of money.
Candidates may enter the field of livestock farming as a hired hand on a farm or ranch.
They should attend a school for formal training.
And inquire at the placement office for openings for farm managers or workers.
16. Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Livestock farmers may wish to increase their acreage or add more animals to their operation.
They may improve the quality of their livestock for increased profits.
The trend toward fewer and larger herds is expected to continue.
All livestock farmers must have sufficient funds.
This is to withstand problems caused by the weather and increasing operating costs.
The financial risks are high, and not all farmers succeed.
A decrease in the number of livestock farmers is expected through the year.
17. Grain/livestock Buyer
Livestock farmers perform physically strenuous work.
They are outdoors in all kinds of weather and care for their animals seven days a week.
In addition, they are involved in crop production in order to provide feed for the animals.
Ranchers ride horses and travel in jeeps and helicopters.
Working particularly long hours during roundup.
Farmers must comply with state health and grazing regulations for their animals.
Livestock farmers face economic uncertainty.
However, they take pride in being their own bosses and they enjoy outdoor life.