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Career and Education Opportunities for Livestock Farmers in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for livestock farmers. About 1,180 people are currently employed as livestock farmers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 6% to 1,120 people employed. Livestock farmers generally attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, and bees.

Livestock farmers earn about $11 per hour or $23,090 annually on average in Illinois and about $10 hourly or $21,070 per year on average nationally. Incomes for livestock farmers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Farming in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Farming category nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a livestock farmer. Livestock farmers usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a livestock farmer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Livestock Farmer

Livestock Farmer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, livestock farmers attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, and bees. They also attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, and honey.

Livestock farmers feed and water livestock; and monitor food and water supplies. Finally, livestock farmers move machinery or livestock from one location to another, manually or using trucks or carts.

Every day, livestock farmers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for livestock farmers to clean stalls and machinery, using disinfectant solutions and/or pumps. They are often called upon to inspect and repair equipment, machinery and fences. They also examine animals to uncover illness or disease, and to check physical characteristics, such as rate of weight gain. They are sometimes expected to drive trucks and other machinery to distribute feed to animals. Somewhat less frequently, livestock farmers are also expected to groom and/or castrate animals; dock ears and tails; and/or shear coats to collect hair.

Livestock farmers sometimes are asked to order food for animals, and manage its delivery. and maintain growth and cost records. And finally, they sometimes have to segregate animals in line with weight and physical condition.

Like many other jobs, livestock farmers must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Farm Labor Contractor. Recruit, hire, and supervise seasonal or temporary agricultural laborers for a fee. May transport, house, and provide meals for workers.
  • Greenhouse Assistant. Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Livestock Farmer Training

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 2 areas of study related to Livestock Farmer. They are:

  • 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.

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 Livestock Farmer. 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.

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.

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.

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.

LICENSES

AQUACULTURIST

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Address: One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Phone: (217) 785-3423
Website: Illinois Department of Natural Resources

EGG PRODUCER-DEALER/PRODUCER-PACKER/GRADER/DISTRIBUTOR/JOBBER-BROKER

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Address: Division of Agricultural Industry Regulation, State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL 62794-9281

Phone: (217) 782-2895
Website: Illinois Department of Agriculture Division of Agricultural Industry Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.