What does the feedlot contain

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Cattle feeding managers oversee the care, feeding and marketing of beef cattle.


Feedlot managers oversee the routine care and feeding of cattle kept in the feeding area environment. You can be responsible for managing thousands of animals at any one time, depending on the size of the facility. Your main concern is to ensure that appropriate housing methods and feeding programs are in place to promote optimal growth for each animal in the herd.

Feedlot managers also need to work within a budget sourcing feed, recruiting, hiring and managing staff, and making necessary repairs to the facility's fence and equipment. They also ensure that the feedlot is clean and well-maintained and guarantee animal welfare in accordance with all applicable laws and government regulations.

They also work closely with the veterinarian to ensure that they are in optimal health, treat minor injuries, and monitor behavior to avoid early-stage health concerns. Additional duties include marketing cattle to buyers, handling sales calls from forage sales representatives, arranging shipping, and keeping detailed records of cattle and expenses.

Career options

A feedlot manager can easily move into many different roles in the cattle industry, including shepherd, expansion agent, ranch owner, ranch manager, forage sales agent, auctioneer, appraiser, and many other support positions on farms or ranches.

Initial and continuing education

Most of the advertised positions for feedlot managers require a two- or four-year degree in animal science, agricultural marketing, agribusiness, or a closely related field. Some employers will consider candidates who have several years of university experience.

All feedlot managers should have an in-depth knowledge of cattle nutrition, ration formulation, feed management, body conditioning, cattle breeding lines, and cattle genetics. You should be very familiar with the specific needs of young, fast growing cattle. You should also have a strong computer literacy for record keeping, research, and marketing.

Aspiring feedlot managers can benefit from doing internships during their college years. A background in livestock evaluation or 4-H representation can give a candidate's résumé a boost.


The Payscale website. In 2015, the average salary for feedlot managers was $ 54,000. Salaries ranged from $ 30,000 (for entry-level feedlot managers) to $ 80,000 or more for seasoned professionals. As with most positions, the salary is based on experience and can also vary based on the geographic area in which the facility is located.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary survey found a similar salary range for the general category of farmers, ranchers, and farm managers (specific data for the niche feedlot manager career was not available). The median wage for this category in the last 2012 salary survey was $ 69,000 per year.

Feedlot manager positions often include a number of fringe benefits in addition to the usual salary package. These additional perks may include items such as free or low-cost accommodations near the facility, incidental expenses paid, use of a company vehicle, paid vacation, and health insurance. In some cases, a feedlot manager may be eligible for commissions on sales he brokers.

Career prospects

According to the data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for the broad category of farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers is expected to decrease slightly from 2012 to 2022. For the particular niche of feedlot managers, however, this isn't that big of a change as the beef industry has developed a lot in recent years.

Feedlot managers with significant hands-on experience, strong industry reputations and strong management skills will continue to secure the best career prospects in the field.