Jobs on ranches are certainly a fun seasonal job opportunity but even though they offer a great experience they can be physically demanding so be prepared for some hard work.
In America, there are almost two millions farms where the workers are employed as ranch workers, they are not only responsible for taking care of livestock but also often responsible for other aspects of the farm such as managing crops and harvesting. Farms generally go through a variety of seasons were they will need varying numbers of staff, during certain parts of the year ranches will employ a high volume of seasonal works to help with all aspects of farm and ranch operations.
There are a number of vacancies for the farm and ranch workers in the different parts of the world especially, in US, parts of South America and Australia. Jobs vary in terms of qualifications and experience needed and lots of farms will offer accommodation and meals as part of your employment package.
So What exactly is a ranch?
The term ranch basically refers to any piece of land that is used for farming but primarily for the purpose of livestock farming where different types of cattle are raised for their wool, in the case of sheep or for meat in the case of cows and sheep. Most people consider ranches to be associated primarily with the United States but you will also find active ranches in Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand. In South America, especially in Argentina you may hear a ranch referred to as an Estancia.
What is the role of a ranch worker?
Well that depends on the type of ranch job you are applying for. Generally however you will be responsible for looking after a variety of different animals, well whatever the ranch raises, this may be sheep, cows, horses or something else. You will usually help feed animals, make sure they have water, clean out barns and other areas of the ranch where animals spend time. You may also be required to help with other aspect of animal care such as branding animals, helping with the birth of new cattle and making sure all animals are well treated.
If you are inexperienced working with animals then don't panic, often you will be partnered up with an experienced rancher who will show you the ropes and train you up so that you understand the different roles and requirements.
The great thing about ranch jobs is that no formal qualifications are required, just the ability to work hard and an eagerness to learn.
What is the pay for a seasonal ranch job?
Well as a seasonal ranch worker you will not earn a fortune that is for sure. You will however earn a decent salary to live off and normally receive accommodation and meals at the ranch you are working on. Most people apply for these jobs for the experience more than the ability to find a high paying career.
When should I apply?
Well that really depends on where you are looking to go working. If you are considering a ranch job at an estancia in Argentina or a sheep farm position in Australia you will be looking at the busiest time for the ranch being in their summer time, which is November to February. For jobs in the northern Hemisphere in the USA and Canada you will be looking at seasonal ranch jobs that are offered between June and September.
It is certainly advisable to start applying a few months ahead of time and also look into the requirements needed to work in that country. Some countries, like the United States have special visa programs for seasonal jobs such as farm and ranch positions as they know there is a huge demand for the workers and that often staff need to be recruited from overseas.
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