May 7, 2011

Agricultural Jobs for Animal Lovers

Working in agriculture is a great choice if you love animals. The two may seem counterproductive, since most animals are raised for food, but you don’t have to see your furry friends off to the slaughterhouse to work in a farm job. In fact, there are a number of agriculture jobs that are perfect for animal lovers, and many of them are hiring right now for the busy summer season. Here are a few that you can consider:

An apiary is a very special farm that raises just one type of animal – bees! The goal of an apiary is to produce honey, so if you’re interested in insects, this might be the right place for you. Apiaries are most active when flowers in your area start to bloom, though you can work at one of these locations year-round if you’re lucky enough to land a full-time position. Some of your duties at an apiary could include checking the health of the colony, planting and maintaining flowering plants near the hives, harvesting honey, and preparing the honey for the table or for shipment to a plant.

While most people think of dogs or cats when they think of breeders, agricultural breeders are important too. As an agricultural breeder, you might work with horses, sheep, or any number of other animals to produce the best livestock. Animals are bred to perpetuate certain characteristics, so if you’re highly interested in this field, a degree in biology or genetics will help you advance in your career.

Vets don’t just treat pets. When you get your veterinarian degree, you can specify your interest – and many schools offer a specialty in livestock, horses, or other large agricultural animals. Treating these animals is often slightly more difficult than treating smaller animals, since a sick or injured animal is easily frightened. You’ll also be a vet on the road, visiting farms to treat animals, since it’s almost impossible to bring a cow into an office!

Equine jobs allow you to work in a more traditional agriculture environment, but you don’t have to watch your favorite animals get sold for steak and pork chops. Horse farms might work in a more agri-tainment sense, providing riding trails for visitors, or they could breed animals for shows and racing. You can also work in more nontraditional horse-related jobs, such as caring for the animals in a police mounted unit or providing trained horses for films.

Like horse farming, working on an egg farm is a way to work in a more traditional agricultural job, but without preparing animals for food purposes. Egg farmers care for chickens, providing the best conditions possible to ensure that the farm produces eggs on a daily basis. There are also egg farms that raise birds other than chickens – quail, geese, and emu also produce eggs that farmers can sell either independently or to processing plants.

Of course, these are just a few of the jobs you can consider if you’re an animal lover who also wants to work on a farm. Take some time to consider all of your options, along with more traditional crop farming, if you want to work in agriculture. Don’t wait to apply – many farms are hiring temporary workers now for the summer months, and these positions can turn into full-time year-round positions if you do a good job.

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