Livestock Farm Foreman

Livestock farming is South Africa’s largest agricultural sector and includes the production of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, and ostrich. Meat, especially red meat is widely a South African favourite. Meat is also a key export product. Export markets for meat products are stringent and require adherence to specific health and quality standards. The sustainable production of livestock needs careful consideration to meet market standards and consumer health and safety needs.

Livestock farm foremen plan, organise and perform farming operations to breed and raise livestock. They cultivate pastures and provide and monitor fodder and water supplies to maintain the nutrition of livestock. They supervise the caretaking of animals and the control of illnesses and direct the breeding or raising of stock using recognised breeding practices to ensure stock improvement. Livestock farm foreman also maintain and clean farm facilities.

Livestock farm foremen can work closely with veterinarians and other professionals in the breeding and health maintenance of livestock. They mainly work outdoors or in farm buildings, working longer hours when animals are bred and born.

Skills

Livestock farm foremen need a solid understanding of animal production systems and principles and the health and safety standards of a farm. They will also benefit from:

  • Good organisational and planning competence
  • Ability to troubleshoot basic machinery issues
  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Effective communication skills

Tasks

Distribute feed and water to livestock, monitoring level of supplies

Monitor and examine animals to detect injury, illness or disease

Maintain, clean farm buildings, machinery, equipment and structures

Store and process animal and dairy produce

Studies

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

Diploma in Agriculture in Animal Production at CPUT, CUT, Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Training Institute, MUT and TUT

Livestock farm foremen can benefit from National Certificate or Further Education and Training Certificate in Primary Agriculture: Animal Production at National Qualifications Framework Level 1 to 4 at most Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges and Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute. However, most training takes place on the job with mentoring by experienced foremen.

Employers

National and provincial government.

Commercial and small-scale farms.

Agricultural cooperatives.

Research institutions.

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