Animal Caretaker / Operations Manager

Animal Caretaker / Operations Manager

An animal caretaker/operations manager oversees a production facility or facilities where animals are raised for food consumption. They are responsible for learning and overseeing all aspects of an animal operation, which may include a processing plant, feed mill and live production. Animal caretakers/operations managers also plan, organize, staff, direct, and control activities to achieve cost effective production including animal husbandry duties such as bedding, feeding, watering, medicating, lighting, vaccinating, natural breeding, artificial insemination, and pregnancy-checking.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?: 
  • Responsible for learning and overseeing all aspects of an animal operation
  • Plan, organize, staff, direct and control activities to achieve cost effective production
  • Maintain farm records, such as mortality, individual flock/herd records, maintenance schedules, estimated operating costs and monitoring of animal health/feeding requirements
  • Manage personnel in order to produce a quality product in an efficient manner
  • Responsible for the coordination of information and communication between all personnel
  • Identify and improve all areas of operation efficiencies
  • Work closely with contract growers to ensure that procedures and processes are consistent with the overall goals of the organization
  • Direct relations with all governmental regulatory agencies and management and resolution of issues
  • Work with all support departments such as quality assurance/quality control, maintenance, human resources and accounting
  • Develop and adhere to operational budgets
  • Provide feedback to management regarding cost of inputs and suggestions for selling price points
  • Perform administrative duties that include team time cards, scheduling, training and safety responsibilities
  • Assist with on-farm duties as needed 
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, mathematics, and a focus on sciences such as animal science and biology.
Education/Training Required: 
An associate or bachelor’s degree in animal science or related major is usually required.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Animal caretakers/operations managers can be employed by food production companies, contract growers with integrated production facilities and university research farms. There are also some opportunities for self-employment.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • American Poultry Association
  • American Society of Animal Science       
  • National Pork Producers Council 
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$35,713
?
Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.