Meat tends to be a significant aspect when it comes to the food consumed by both man and animals. The consumption of meat can be dated from the evolution of man whereby he fed on it even before inventing fire. The consumption of meat has evolved whereby it can be taken in different forms or styles. People prefer consuming it in pizza, burgers, pies when roasted, fried and many more forms. It is worth noting that various cultures differ in the type of animals they slaughter for consumption and commercial purposes. Meat consumption brings into perspective the livestock industry that has experienced a lot of changes and progress over the past years. It is among the industries that support the economies of various countries and hence a significant subject of analysis in the agricultural industry. Similarly to any major industry, the livestock industry has brought about several employment opportunities in addition to having plenty of courses in institutions of higher learning that train individuals in various sectors regarding livestock. In other words, it has become a significant field in regards to career and sustenance of life. A significant highlight is the issue of animal rights whereby some people perceive that meat consumption is an abuse of the right of animals as they have the right to life; similarly to human beings. Such perspectives affect the growth of the industry as the basic aspect is consumption. The other challenge is climatic changes whereby some weather conditions limit the survival and growth of livestock. Similarly to any industry, there have been several technology advancements that have boosted the growth of the industry. Developments such as the use of artificial insemination, cloning and also the use of a certain chemical that accelerate the growth of livestock have made it possible to have a frequent supply of meat products. Therefore, the focus of the paper is to review the status of the livestock industry, job opportunities, salaries and wages, education and training, challenges facing the industry, methods and technology and the misconceptions affiliated to the livestock industry.
Status of the Livestock industry
It is important to note that the United States of America is the largest producer in the livestock industry and that in 2010, an approximate amount of 293 million tons of meat were produced from a global perspective. However, the intensification of the industry is making places such as Asia to have an expansive production of meat. From a global perspective, the changes in the consumption of food and dieting are progressively bringing about patterns in the market regarding livestock products. In nations whose population has been gradually increasing over the past years, mostly in nations in Asia, the livestock products market has expanded whereby it experiences an approximate growth of four percent on an annual basis. The same case applies to the dairy farm industry whereby it is experiencing a growth of three percent on an annual basis. It is perceived that such trends are affecting the output associated with aggregate agriculture in regards to the expansion of the production of livestock and the connection between livestock and crop production. It is worth noting that from a global perspective when compared to other sectors in the agricultural industry, the livestock sector tends to occupy the largest part of the land (Okunmadewa, 2010).
Furthermore, it is exhibiting gradual growth because of population increase. However, its expansion implies an expansion of land use which brings about deforestation which is a negative impact to the environment. Also, it results in overgrazing which risks the occurrence of desertification. It is perceived that effluent production in industrial countries and also developing nations result in frequent environmental problems. Another major concern is the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere as a result of the emissions of nitrous oxide and methane that come from animal wastes after grazing. It implies that further expansion of the sector may contribute highly to global warming.
It is important to highlight the fact that there has been a growth in demand of poultry meat which has boosted the growth of the livestock sector. The increase in the supply of poultry meat is also affiliated to population growth in addition to the current patterns of meat consumption. According to analysis, the growth of the per capita income of other forms of meat production that include cattle, goat, sheep and pork is stagnant when compared to poultry meat. The third world countries are yet to experience the changes in livestock production despite them having the highest need for proteins. Some nations in the developing world tend to experience a per capita consumption of meat of less than ten kilograms when compared to the developed nations whose per capita consumption of meat is approximately eighty kilograms. The low per capita consumption of meat in developing nations is mostly associated with inefficiencies in the production process, religious views, and cultural practices. In other words, industrial countries tend to have larger industries and market when compared to developing countries in regards to the livestock sector (Okunmadewa, 2010).
Similarly to any lucrative industry, the livestock industry has created employment opportunities in its associated sectors. From a general perspective, manpower is essential in the delivery of quality goods and services. Farming is a general form of employment for people with livestock whereby they rear them for consumption and commercial purposes. Most large farms have employees who work from the low levels to the higher levels. Factors that also come into perspective include health and macroeconomics whereby there are health officers and accountants who deal specifically with the livestock sector. There have to be suppliers, people working in the slaughter houses, people in the advertising segment, people working in the nurseries, manual laborers in addition to accountants to keep a record of the input, output, and revenue generated from the production of livestock. Furthermore, with the gradual expansion of the sector, there has to be an inflow of manpower to ensure that there is a continuous flow of livestock products in the market. Furthermore, there are public health officers who ensure that the products released to the market do not affect the health of consumers. The health officers ensure that animals receive adequate nutrition such that they remain healthy and productive. It is worth noting that livestock products are not necessarily meat but also products such as eggs, skin, milk, wool and may more. There are people who ensure that the products are of high quality before releasing them to the market and hence their jobs demanding focus on them.
Salaries and Wages
From a general perspective, there are various career opportunities in the livestock sector. Also, there are various courses being offered by institutions of higher learning involving agriculture such that there are areas of specialization on the livestock sector. One of the career opportunities is being an agricultural extension agent. The work of the agent is to pay visits to farmers, youth organizations, and ranchers with the goal of educating them on various section concerning the livestock sector. It is important for agents to familiarize themselves with the various forms of agricultural practices that take place within their region. The basic requirements include a degree in Bachelors of Science and coursework in the graduate level. The United States Department of Agriculture highlights that the agents with the degree earn an approximate amount of $44,293 while agents with a Masters degree earn an approximate amount of $57,889. Another career opportunity is being a livestock appraiser. The profession entails the assessment of animals that require insurance and to be sold in addition to finding approximates market value of the animals. A livestock appraiser also puts down an inclusive report that contains the assessments. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, an appraiser earns an annual salary that amounts to $ 48, 500. For such a profession, there are several options for certification. Similarly to any other agricultural sector, there is an office of an inspector; in our case, its the meat inspector. The inspectors deal with the aspects of quality and safety whereby he or she ensures that the standards of quality of products align with the standards laid out by the government. An inspector carries out a visual assessment of pieces of meat and animals in addition to taking samples from tissues of animals to conduct the analysis. Also, an inspector assesses the animal facilities to ensure that they are clean and that the adequate labeling is done on the products. A minimum of a two-year degree is required for one to be accredited as a meat inspector. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, a meat inspector earns an annual salary of $42, 460 (Wileman, Thomson, Reinhardt, & Renter, 2009).
Another career opportunity is being a livestock judge. A livestock judge carries out assessments and gives positions to animals that are included in competitions. They analyze the quality and how animals are conformed when making their opinions and then announce their verdicts and present their reasons in public. It is important for any judge to be knowledgeable about the breeds under assessment. Some judges are fully into carrying out the rankings as their professional career. However, for some, judging is a part time work that gives extra cash and an opportunity of applying their knowledge. In other words, there is no specific amount of salary given to the livestock as the competitions vary. Another career opportunity is being a livestock auctioneer. As the name suggests, they mostly auction animals in public whereby they prompt bidders to compete for the animals by raising money. Other functions include assigning tags to animals for identification purposes, acquiring records on the health of animals and also issuing of lot numbers. There are actual courses that train people on auctioning whereby individuals receive licenses that allow them to take part in auctioning events. Auctioneers earn between $45000 and $75000 on an annual basis (Agriculture and Consumer Protection, 2015).
An animal geneticist is also another important profession in the livestock sector. The function of an animal geneticist is to work on the transfer of important traits of animals among a species. Some of the significant traits include an increase in weight of meat and high production of milk. Most of the geneticists deal with chicken and cattle and at times deal with the mapping of genomes and studying animal population. Their professional requirements include having a degree in the Bachelor of Science and from the graduate level. Other professions include biological scientists. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, an animal geneticist earns an approximate amount of $62, 220.
Breeders are also other specialists in the livestock sector. The functions of the breeders vary depending on the area of specialization. Some breeders specialize in the production of dairy, others in egg production, others in beef production, others in the production of swine, others in sheep production with others specialize in the production of poultry. It is worth noting that breeders are expected to have adequate knowledge in animal husbandry in addition to technologies used to enhance and support the reproduction processes in animals. Due to the variations in the are...
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