Livestock - Practical Training

Cow in field


Beef

  • Description: Cow-calf or feedlot operations. Size ranges from small beef/crop farms (50-200 head) to large beef/crop farms (200-1000 head) to large beef operations or ranches (200-1000+ head). Smaller farms are mostly in the Midwest, with large ranches located in western states. Most beef farms also grow crops; therefore most students work in the field. There are a very limited number of beef placements without crops.
  • Activities: General care and feeding of cattle, calving, treating disease and injury, castrating, branding, artificial insemination, fencing, building and equipment repair, and activities related to crop production.
  • Time of year: Typical placement period is from January/February to December. Limited number of placements at other times.

Dairy

  • Description: Farm size ranges from small family farms (50-150 cows) to medium size farms (150-400 cows) to large dairy farms (400+ cows). Large farms have milking parlors while small farms have either milking parlors or pipeline milking systems (tie-stall). Some dairy farms grow crops; however in most placements students do not work in the field. Each farm may have a different focus (i.e. milking, nutrition, genetics, herd health, or a combination of these), so be sure to indicate the area of skill development in which you are most interested.
  • Activities: Milking, calving, ration formulation, treating disease and injury, feeding, artificial insemination, cleaning barns, building and equipment repair.
  • Time of year: Typical placement period is 6-12 months beginning in January or August. Some placements are available at other times.

Equine Husbandry

  • Description: Great variety in horse placements. Types of placements include racehorses, pleasure horses, or western horses. Most placements do not include riding. Each operation is highly specialized (i.e. stud farm, thoroughbred racing, boarding of dressage or western horses, etc.), so be sure to indicate the area in which you are most interested.
  • Activities: Foaling, general care and feeding, ration formulation, treating disease and injury, cleaning, exercising horses, preparing animals for sale, building and equipment repair.
  • Time of year: Typical placement period is 6-12 months beginning in January or August. Some placements are available at other times.

Swine

  • Description: Confinement operations in breeding, farrowing, and finishing. Some swine farms also grow crops; however in most placements students do not work in the field. On many small farms students take part in all activities; large farms have separation of duties.
  • Activities: General care and feeding, cleaning, treating disease and injury, artificial insemination, castrating, building and equipment repair, taking animals to sale.
  • Time of year: Typical placement period is 6-12 months beginning in January or August. Some placements are available at other times.

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