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Farm Labourer - Beef Production

 Krista Connick - Todd

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Beef Farm Labourers perform a wide variety of tasks that depend on the type of operation.

  • Beef Farm Labourers often work outdoors in all kinds of weather, should be agile to avoid getting injured by cattle (e.g. able to climb over gates), do seasonal work, with a variety of tasks performed depending on the season, and should be able to do some lifting and carrying, although most heavy work is done by machines.
  • Farm Labourers are fully supervised, may operate farm machinery, and acquire skills/ knowledge through on-the-job-training.  Typically, farm labourers need no formal education or prior farm experience.

Typical Job Titles

  • Assistant
  • Farm Hand
  • General Farm Labourer
  • Field Hand
  • Herdsperson
  • Hired Hand
  • Pasture Rider
  • Pen Checker
  • Ranch Hand (Feedlot)
Detailed, Customizable Job Descriptions and Interview Guides available

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What are the major tasks associated to this job?

Beef Farm Labourers assists with activities relating to growing, raising, and harvesting livestock.

  • Comply with legislation, regulations and standards
  • Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Maintain health and safety of self and others
  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Maintain biosecurity
  • Assist with maintenance of facilities, pens and pastures
  • Assist with breeding and calving
  • Maintain cattle health and welfare
  • Assist with moving and transporting cattle
  • Handle cattle on horseback
  • Assist with processing cattle
  • Assist with feeding cattle in cow-calf operation
  • Assist with feeding cattle during backgrounding in pasture
  • Assist with feeding cattle during backgrounding in feedlots
  • Assist with feeding cattle in a finishing feedlot
  • Assist with forage and crop production
  • Operate farm equipment, tools and technology
  • Assist with maintenance of equipment and tools
  • Assist with maintenance of farm infrastructure

What competencies are required for this job?

These competencies were identified as most important for successful job performance.

  • Agriculture Health and Safety
  • Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
  • Cattle Production
  • Teamwork
  • Animal Health and Welfare
  • Attention to Detail
  • Interactive Communication 
  • Initiative 

What attracts people to this job?

This job is a good starting point for people seeking temporary or long term employment. In most cases it is not necessary to have farm experience or even any formal working experience, nor is it necessary to have a high school diploma or formal education. This job:

  • Provides people an opportunity to work with animals
  • Gives people an opportunity to work with machinery and equipment
  • Gives rural people an opportunity to work close to home

Are there opportunities for growth in this job?

Beef Farm Labourers who have gained experience usually take on more complex tasks and activities and become experienced Workers. With more experience and some training courses they could become specialized in some aspect of production, or can become farm supervisors to manage a crew.

What are the typical pay rates and benefits for this job?

Depending on the operation and the region of Canada, pay for this job ranges, but tends to be hourly at minimum wage or slightly higher.

  • At this job level, benefits and bonuses are rare.