Career and Education Opportunities for Farm Ranchers in Aurora, Illinois
Farm rancher career and educational opportunities abound in Aurora, Illinois. There are currently 58,880 working farm ranchers in Illinois; this should shrink 7% to 54,530 working farm ranchers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for farm ranchers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 8.0% over the next eight years. Farm ranchers generally , on an ownership or rental basis, operate farms, or other agricultural production establishments which produce crops, horticultural specialties, or animal specialties.
The average wage in the general category of Farm and Livestock jobs is $15 per hour or $30,380 per year in Illinois, and an average of $22 per hour or $44,890 per year nationwide. Farm ranchers work in a variety of jobs, including: beet raiser, beef farm operator, and livestock rancher.
The Aurora area is home to 175 schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Aurora where you can get a degree as a farm rancher. Given that the most common education level for farm ranchers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a farm rancher if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Farm Rancher
In general, farm ranchers, on an ownership or rental basis, operate farms, or other agricultural production establishments which produce crops, horticultural specialties, or animal specialties. They also may plant, cultivate, harvest, perform post-harvest activities, and market crops and livestock; may hire, train, and supervise farm workers or supervise a farm labor contractor; may prepare cost, production, and other records.
Farm ranchers decide on and purchase supplies and equipment such as seed and farm machinery. They also lubricate and make minor repairs to farm equipment, using oilcans, grease guns, and hand tools. Equally important, farm ranchers have to monitor crops as they grow in order to insure that they are growing properly and are free from diseases and contaminants. They are often called upon to perform crop production duties such as planning and harvesting. They are expected to formulate crop efforts on the basis of factors such as crop maturity and weather conditions. Finally, farm ranchers prepare and operate farm machinery to cultivate and haul crops.
Every day, farm ranchers are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.
It is important for farm ranchers to evaluate product marketing alternatives, then promote and market farm products, acting as the sales agent for livestock and crops. They are often called upon to maintain financial and employee records. They also obtain financing from lenders to purchase machinery and feed. They are sometimes expected to destroy diseased or superfluous crops. Somewhat less frequently, farm ranchers are also expected to clean and sanitize milking equipment and cows' udders, or insure that procedures are followed to maintain sanitary conditions for handling of milk.
They also have to be able to buy or sell futures contracts, or price products in advance of future sales so that risk is limited and/or profit is increased and purchase and store livestock feed. And finally, they sometimes have to maintain pastures or grazing lands to insure that animals have enough feed, employing pasture-conservation measures such as arranging rotational grazing.
Like many other jobs, farm ranchers must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Aurora include:
- Aquaculture Director. Direct and coordinate, through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities of workers engaged in fish hatchery production for corporations, cooperatives, or other owners.
- Crop and Livestock Manager. Direct and coordinate, through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities of workers engaged in agricultural crop production for corporations, cooperatives, or other owners.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Farm Rancher Training
College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL
College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Farm Rancher. They are:
- Ornamental Horticulture, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- Plant Nursery Operations and Management, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Triton College - River Grove, IL
Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Ornamental Horticulture which graduated three students in 2008.
Harper College - Palatine, IL
Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Plant Nursery Operations and Management which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.
Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL
Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has 2 areas of study related to Farm Rancher. They are:
- Ornamental Horticulture, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
- Greenhouse Operations and Management, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL
Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has 3 areas of study related to Farm Rancher. They are:
- Agricultural Production Operations, associate's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
- Greenhouse Operations and Management, associate's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
- Plant Nursery Operations and Management, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.
McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL
McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has a less than one year program in Greenhouse Operations and Management which graduated two students in 2008.
Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.
For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.
Accredited Farm Manager: Farm Managers offer professional management services to farmland owners to help them optimize the returns from their asset.
For more information, see the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.
Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.
For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.
Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.
For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.
Certified Ornamental Lanscape Professional: Earn the Certified Ornamental Landscape Professional (COLP) designation by completing the "Principles of Landscape Tree & Shrub Maintenance" self-study course.
For more information, see the Professional Landcare Network website.
Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.
For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.
CERTIFIED LIVESTOCK MANAGER
Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Environmental Programs
Address: State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 785-2427
Website: Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Environmental Programs
LOCATION INFORMATION: Aurora, Illinois
Aurora is situated in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 171,782, which has grown by 20.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Aurora, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Aurora are valued at $143,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-seven new homes were constructed in Aurora, down from three hundred thirty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Aurora are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 29.9% of Aurora residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Aurora is 10.9%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.
The percentage of Aurora residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church and Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church are all churches located in Aurora. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Aurora is home to the Watkins Hall and the Landmark Industrial Park as well as North River Street Park and O'Donnell Park. Shopping centers in the area include Yorkshire Shopping Center, Village Mart Shopping Center and Fox Valley Mall. Visitors to Aurora can choose from Comfort Suites Aurora, Galena Hotel and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.