The Essential Skills to become a Ranch Hand

A ranch hand job falls under the largely diverse career category of farm and ranch workers; whose duties are not limited to animal husbandry, crop production, record maintenance, administration and management among others. It can be a rewarding job, and an adventure, so long as you don’t mind hard work!

Below are some of the requirements and skills you should have to be a ranch hand.

Animal Husbandry
It refers to the care of farm animals, particular livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, poultry, fish, and bees. A ranch hand is responsible for feeding watering, grazing, herding, castrating, de-breaking, branding, weighing, breeding and giving all animal-related care. A ranch hand is also expected to maintain animal records, examine animals for diseases and injuries, administer medications and vaccinations, monitor the animals and assist in birth deliveries. Preparation of animals for sale or slaughter is also the duty of a ranch hand.

Crop Production Basics
A ranch hand should also have basic agriculture knowledge on crop production. One needs to be comfortable handling various farm operations. A potential ranch hand should know mechanics to perform minor repairs on farm equipment. Handyman skills are necessary – as ranch hands might be required to build or repair fences and maintain facilities. Other duties that of a versatile ranch hand include taking care of crops, pasture management, mowing, weed control, irrigation maintenance, preparing haying equipment, machine operation, chopping and collecting firewood.

Administration and Management 
A potential ranch hand should have knowledge of business and management principles for effective resource allocation, strategic planning, human resources modeling, production methods, leadership techniques, and coordination of farm resources. As well, ranch hands are responsible for customer and personal service – these include assessing customer needs, ensuring services meet quality standards and evaluating customer satisfaction.

Food production and processing
A ranch hand should be well-versed with the techniques and equipment used for planting, growing, harvesting and storing plant and animal products. It is also necessary that the ranch hand knows raw materials, costs, and production processes. All these will ensure effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Public Safety and Security
A potential ranch hand should know the use of farm machinery, policies, procedures, and best strategies to promote security operations for the protection of people, property, and data.

Personal Traits
A potential ranch hand should also possess several skills and personal traits to help him perform his duties efficiently. They include complex problem solving, social perceptiveness, critical thinking, coordination, troubleshooting, time management, active learning, management of personnel resources, service orientation and quality control analysis. With these skills, a ranch hand can perform ranch operations efficiently, solve problems, coordinate workers and improve general production in the ranch.¬†Alongside a valid driver’s license, it is important for a ranch hand to have physical strength as the job is demanding.

Check out what a day in the life of a ranch hand is; make sure it’s the job for you!