Career and Education Opportunities for Farm Ranchers in Rockford, Illinois
There are many career and education opportunities for farm ranchers in the Rockford, Illinois area. Currently, 58,880 people work as farm ranchers in Illinois. This is expected to shrink by 7% to about 54,530 people 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: orchid grower, field crop farmer, and cattle feeder.
There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including two within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career 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 studying to be 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 Rockford 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
Highland Community College - Freeport, IL
Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural Business and Management which graduated three students 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.
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: Rockford, Illinois
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.