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Agricultural Careers Livestock Broker By: Dr. Frank Flanders and Trisha Rae Stephens Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office Georgia Department of Education June 2005
Job Duties & Responsibilities • During slow seasons, a broker may visit farms and fairs, judging shows and purchasing livestock. • Evaluate livestock conditions to establish prices. • Keep records on all livestock purchased. • Advise producers on livestock management practices and the flow of the market. • Represent the meat packers in purchasing livestock. • Watch the market for trends and for changes in supply and demand.
Qualities and Skills • Ability to stand or walk for long periods of time • Ability to work in various weather conditions • Capable of handling stress • Strong communication skills • Enjoy working outdoors and with animals • Organized and analytical • Must be able to make good judgment under pressure
Salary Salary is not based on experience, but on an individual’s ability to buy or sell livestock. A beginner may start out at a wage of $7 per hour until they are earning enough commission to make a living. Commission is determined by the dollar value of the animal which is based on the animal’s weight. Brokers usually make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year, but more knowledgeable brokers with established reputations can earn more than $100,000 per year.
Work Environment • Most work is done outdoors in sales barns and auction arenas • Surroundings may be noisy, dirty, or smelly • A work week is typically 40 hours but varies
Becoming a Livestock Broker • Take college preparatory classes in high school, including as many agriculture classes as possible. • Participate in livestock related contests and activities, such as livestock judging within the National FFA Organization and 4-H. • Participate on a debate or speech team to increase your ability to communicate logically and clearly. • Work a part-time or summer job in a stockyard or on a farm.
Career Resources Livestock Marketing Association 10510 NW Ambassador Drive Kansas City, MO 64153 Internet: http://www.lmaweb.com National Institute for Animal Agriculture 1910 Lyda Avenue Bowling Green, KY 42104-5809 Internet: http://www.animalagriculture.org National Livestock2501 Exchange AvenueOklahoma City, OK 73108 Internet: http://www.nationallivestock.com National Livestock Producers Association660 Southpointe Court, Suite 314Colorado Springs, CO 80906 Internet: http://www.nlpa.org National Grange Of The Patrons Of Husbandry 1616 H Street NW Washington, DC 20006 Internet: http://www.nationalgrange.org