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Career and Education Opportunities for Livestock Farmers in Rockford, Illinois

If you want to be a livestock farmer, the Rockford, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,180 working livestock farmers in Illinois; this should shrink 6% to about 1,120 working livestock farmers in the state by 2016. 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.

The income of a livestock farmer is about $11 per hour or $23,090 yearly on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,070 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Farming, people working as livestock farmers in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Farming nationally.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as a livestock farmer. Livestock farmers usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a livestock farmer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Rockford include:

  • Agricultural Equipment Operator. Drive and control farm equipment to till soil and to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. May perform tasks, such as crop baling or hay bucking. May operate stationary equipment to perform post-harvest tasks, such as husking, shelling, and ginning.


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 Livestock Farmer. 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.



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


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


Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.