Game Farmer

South Africa is home to approximately 10 000 game farms, with the wildlife industry contributing significantly to the national economy through the biodiversity economy. As part of the biodiversity economy, the wildlife economy is steadily expanding to focus on wildlife and game farming for ecotourism, the supply of game meat and associated products and restocking and recovering wildlife populations. Game farming involves the breeding, and management of wildlife species for services and products in the wildlife economy.

Game farmers plan, organise and perform farming operations to breed and raise game. They regularly inspect game, ensuring grazing areas can support the number of animals on the farm. They plan breeding schedules and organise veterinary assistance if needed. They also plan the sale and transportation of animals and can participate in game capture programmes ensuring the well-being of animals during the process.

Game farmers engage with wildlife veterinarians when animals require medical assistance and network with other farmers and reserve managers to ensure the profitability of the game farm. They work between the farm and an office, monitoring game populations.

Skills

Game farmers need to have an intricate knowledge of the biology and environmental ecosystems needed for game species to thrive and will additionally benefit from:

  • Good leadership ability and management capability
  • Extensive biodiversity and game farming industry experience
  • Astute business acumen
  • Organisational and administrative competence

Tasks

Examine the physical conditions of animals to detect illness, for example

Monitor market activity and organise production accordingly

Coordinate breeding plans and assist with animal births

Market and arrange the sale, purchase and transportation of animal stock

Studies

B.Sc.Agric., B.Sc.Agric. (Hons), M.Sc.Agric. in Animal Science at NWU, SU, UFH, UFS, UNISA, Univen, Unizulu and UP

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences specialising in Zoology at all universities

B.Sc.Agric., B.Sc.Agric. (Hons), M.Sc.Agric. in Agribusiness Management or Agricultural Economics at  NWU, SU, UFH, UFS, UKZN, Univen, Unizulu and UP

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Game Ranch Management at NMU and TUT

Employers

Game farms.

Private and public game reserves.

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