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Top 10 Ranch Hand Certifications

This article covers the best ranch hand certifications available, and their benefits for those looking to work in the ranching industry.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for a ranch hand can be extremely important in the job market. They demonstrate to potential employers that the individual has gained knowledge and experience in a particular area of ranching, and can be considered a valuable asset to any ranch. Certifications show prospective employers that the individual has worked hard to gain knowledge and experience, and is committed to their profession. This can help them stand out from other applicants who may not have taken the time or effort to become certified. Additionally, certifications provide employers with assurance that they are hiring an experienced and knowledgeable professional who can handle the tasks assigned to them on the ranch.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Ranch Hands and explains how they can help to advance a ranch hand's career.

What are Ranch Hand Certifications?

Ranch Hand Certification is a training program designed to teach individuals the skills necessary to safely and efficiently work on a ranch. It provides comprehensive instruction in areas such as animal husbandry, equipment maintenance, pasture management, feed storage and conservation, safety procedures, and other related topics. The certification is offered by organizations such as the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

The certification can be beneficial for individuals looking to gain employment in the ranching industry or those who are currently employed but need additional certifications. With this certification, employers will be able to trust that you have the knowledge and skills needed to perform tasks related to ranching. Additionally, having a ranch hand certification can also help you stand out from other applicants if you are looking for a job in the field. Finally, having this certification can give you confidence when working with animals or performing tasks on a ranch.

Pro tip: When applying for a ranch hand certification, make sure to research the requirements and training needed in your state or region to ensure you meet all of the necessary criteria. Also, take advantage of any available resources, such as online courses or seminars offered by local universities or agricultural organizations, to help you prepare for the certification exam.

Related: What does a Ranch Hand do?

Top 10 Ranch Hand Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Ranch Hands today.

1. Crop Production

Crop production is the process of growing crops for commercial or subsistence purposes. It involves a variety of activities, including soil preparation, planting, fertilizing, irrigating, harvesting, and post-harvest handling. Crop production typically takes place over a period of several months to a year or more depending on the type of crop being grown and the climate in which it is grown.

Soil preparation is an important step in crop production and involves tilling the soil to loosen it up and remove weeds. Fertilizers may also be added to improve soil fertility. Planting is done by hand or with machinery such as tractors and combines. Irrigation may be necessary during dry periods to ensure adequate water supply for the crops.

Harvesting is done when the crop has reached maturity and can be collected from the field. Post-harvest handling includes cleaning, sorting, packaging, and storage of the harvested crop.

The cost of crop production varies depending on many factors such as type of crop grown, size of operation, location, equipment used, labor costs etc. Generally speaking, larger operations tend to have lower costs per unit due to economies of scale but smaller operations may have higher yields due to better management practices.

2. Livestock Care and Management

Livestock Care and Management is the practice of providing for the health, safety, nutrition, and welfare of livestock. This includes providing proper housing, food, water, veterinary care, and exercise. It also involves monitoring the animals to detect signs of illness or injury as well as providing preventative care such as vaccinations and parasite control.

It typically takes several months to get certified in Livestock Care and Management. The process usually involves taking a course or classes that cover topics such as animal husbandry, nutrition, anatomy and physiology of animals, animal behavior, disease prevention and control, record keeping and management practices. After completing the coursework or classes, you may need to take an exam to become certified.

To get certified in Livestock Care and Management you will need to contact your local agricultural extension office or a school that offers courses in this field. You can also find online courses that offer certification in Livestock Care and Management.

The cost of getting certified in Livestock Care and Management varies depending on the type of course or classes taken. Generally speaking it can range from $100 - $500 for online courses or classes at a local college or university.

3. Irrigation System Maintenance and Repair

Irrigation system maintenance and repair is the process of ensuring that your irrigation system is running properly and efficiently. This includes checking for any leaks, clogs, or other problems that could cause the system to not function correctly. Maintenance and repair should be done on a regular basis in order to keep your system working correctly.

How long does it take to get it?

The amount of time required for maintenance and repair will depend on the size of your irrigation system, as well as the complexity of any repairs needed. Generally speaking, most small repairs can be completed within an hour or two, while larger repairs may take several hours or even days to complete.

How to get it?

In order to get maintenance and repair services for your irrigation system, you will need to contact a local professional who specializes in this type of work. Most local hardware stores or home improvement centers will have a list of qualified professionals who can help with this type of work. You can also search online for companies that specialize in irrigation system maintenance and repair services.

How much does it cost?

The cost of maintenance and repair services will vary depending on the size and complexity of the job. Generally speaking, smaller repairs such as replacing broken parts or cleaning out clogged lines will cost less than larger jobs such as replacing entire systems or installing new components. The cost may also depend on the experience level of the technician performing the work.

4. Equipment Operation and Maintenance

Equipment Operation and Maintenance is the process of ensuring that all equipment used in a facility or workplace is properly maintained and operated correctly. This includes inspecting, testing, troubleshooting, repairing, replacing, and calibrating equipment to ensure it meets safety standards and performs as expected. It also involves keeping records of maintenance activities for future reference.

Getting started with Equipment Operation and Maintenance typically takes about two weeks to complete. The first step is to assess the current state of the equipment in the facility or workplace. This includes identifying any potential hazards related to operation and maintenance, such as electrical shock or fire hazards. Once identified, appropriate safety measures should be implemented before any work begins.

The next step is to develop an operational plan for each piece of equipment. This includes determining how often it will need to be inspected, tested, repaired, replaced or calibrated. It also involves developing a schedule for preventive maintenance activities such as lubrication and cleaning.

Once an operational plan has been established, personnel must be trained on how to safely operate and maintain the equipment according to the plan. Training typically covers topics such as safety protocols, proper use of tools and materials, troubleshooting techniques and proper recordkeeping procedures.

The cost of Equipment Operation and Maintenance depends on several factors including the type of equipment being used, its age and condition, the number of personnel who will need training and other associated costs such as materials or parts needed for repairs or replacements. Generally speaking though, most facilities can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars per year on Equipment Operation and Maintenance depending on their specific needs.

5. Fencing Installation and Repair

Fencing installation and repair is the process of installing and repairing fences on a property. Fences are typically used to provide security, privacy, and aesthetic appeal to a home or business.

The installation process for fencing varies based on the type of fence being installed. Generally, it takes about two days for an experienced contractor to install a basic fence. More complex fencing projects may take longer. The cost of installation also varies based on the size and complexity of the project, as well as any additional features such as gates or lighting that may be included.

To get started with fencing installation and repair, you will need to contact a local contractor who specializes in this type of work. Ask for quotes from multiple contractors so that you can compare prices before making your decision. Make sure to ask about any warranties that may be included with the job and inquire about any additional services they may offer such as staining or painting the fence after installation is complete.

In terms of cost, most fencing projects range between $1,000-$5,000 depending on the size and complexity of the project. This includes labor costs as well as materials needed for installation such as posts, panels, gates, etc. Additional services such as staining or painting may add to the overall cost of the project.

6. Weed Control/Herbicide Application

Weed control/herbicide application is the process of applying a chemical or natural product to a specific area in order to prevent or reduce the growth of weeds. This process can be done manually by hand, with a sprayer, or with an automated machine. The goal is to kill existing weeds and prevent new ones from growing.

How long does it take to get it?

The amount of time it takes to get weed control/herbicide application depends on the type of product being used and the size of the area that needs treatment. Generally, manual applications can take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on how large the area is and how much work needs to be done. Automated machines may take less time, but they are typically more expensive than manual applications.

How to get it?

Weed control/herbicide application can be purchased at most garden centers, home improvement stores, and online retailers. It is important to read the label carefully before purchasing any product as some products may not be suitable for certain types of plants or areas. Additionally, professional services may also be available for larger areas or more difficult problems.

How much does it cost?

The cost of weed control/herbicide application will vary depending on the type of product being used and the size of the area that needs treatment. Generally, manual applications will cost less than automated machines, but they may take longer to complete. Professional services may also cost more but provide better results in difficult situations.

7. Pasture Management

Pasture management is the practice of managing grasslands for the purpose of grazing livestock. This includes selecting and maintaining suitable forage species, controlling weeds, and providing proper nutrition for animals. Proper pasture management can help to increase animal health and production, reduce feed costs, and improve soil fertility.

It typically takes several months to get a pasture established and ready for grazing. The first step is to select a suitable site with adequate drainage, sunlight exposure, and soil type. Next, the soil should be tested to determine its nutrient content so that it can be fertilized as needed. After that, appropriate forage species should be chosen based on local climate conditions and the needs of the livestock being grazed. Once these steps are completed, the pasture should be seeded or planted with the chosen species.

Once established, regular maintenance is required in order to keep pastures productive. This includes mowing or grazing when necessary to control weeds; fertilizing as needed; rotating animals between paddocks; monitoring water sources; controlling pests; and removing manure from the area regularly.

The cost of establishing a new pasture will vary depending on factors such as size of the area being managed, soil type, climate conditions, and choice of forage species. Generally speaking though, it can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars just to get started with pasture management.

8. Animal Health Care and Treatment

Animal health care and treatment is the practice of providing medical care and treatment to animals. This includes preventive care, such as vaccinations, as well as diagnosing and treating illnesses or injuries. Animal health care can involve a variety of different treatments, including surgery, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, and medications.

How long does it take to get animal health care?

The amount of time it takes to get animal health care depends on the type of treatment needed. For preventive care such as vaccinations, it may take just a few minutes for an appointment. However, for more complex treatments like surgery or physical therapy, it could take several weeks or even months to complete all necessary steps.

How to get animal health care?

In order to get animal health care, you will need to find a qualified veterinarian in your area who can provide the services you need. You can search online for local veterinarians or ask friends and family for recommendations. Once you have found a qualified veterinarian, you will need to make an appointment for your pet’s visit.

How much does animal health care cost?

The cost of animal health care can vary depending on the type of treatment needed and the complexity of the procedure being performed. Generally speaking, preventive treatments such as vaccinations are less expensive than diagnostic tests or surgeries. Additionally, some veterinarians may offer discounts or payment plans if needed.

9. Hay Production and Storage

Hay Production and Storage is the process of harvesting, storing, and preserving hay for future use. The process begins with the harvesting of grasses and other plants that are used to make hay. Hay is then dried in the field before being baled and stored in a barn or other storage facility.

Harvesting hay typically takes about two weeks, depending on the type of crop being harvested and the weather conditions. During this time, farmers cut down grasses with a mower or scythe, rake it into rows, and turn it over to dry in the sun. Once dry, they bale it into large bundles that can be easily transported to a storage facility.

Storage facilities vary depending on what type of hay is being stored. Some types of hay require special temperature-controlled storage environments while others can be stored in a more traditional barn or shed. The cost of storing hay will depend on the size of the storage facility needed and any additional costs associated with temperature control systems or specialized equipment needed to store certain types of hay.

The cost of producing hay will also vary depending on factors such as land costs, labor costs, fuel costs, and any additional supplies needed for harvesting or baling. In general, however, it is estimated that producing one tonne (2200 pounds) of hay will cost between $30-$50 USD per tonne.

10. Feedlot Management

Feedlot management is the practice of managing and caring for livestock that are kept in a confined area, such as a feedlot. It involves providing adequate feed, water, shelter, and medical care to the animals, as well as monitoring their health and growth. Feedlot management also includes managing waste and controlling pests.

It typically takes several months to get a feedlot up and running. This process includes obtaining the necessary permits from local authorities, building or purchasing the necessary infrastructure (such as pens, shelters, fences), selecting appropriate breeds of livestock for the feedlot environment, procuring sufficient feedstock (such as hay or grain), and hiring staff to manage the daily operations of the feedlot.

The cost of setting up a feedlot depends on several factors including size of operation, location, type of livestock being raised, and type of infrastructure needed. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from several thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on these factors. Additionally, ongoing costs associated with operating a feedlot include labor costs for staff members who manage daily operations; costs associated with purchasing feedstock; veterinary bills; taxes; insurance; and other miscellaneous expenses such as repairs or maintenance.

Do You Really Need a Ranch Hand Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your specific situation. If you are looking for employment as a ranch hand, then the answer is usually yes. A Ranch Hand Certificate is a document that proves you have been trained in the necessary skills and safety protocols needed to work on a ranch. This certificate serves as proof that you have completed the required training and can be used by potential employers when considering you for a job.

Having this kind of certification can give you an edge over other applicants who don't have it, since it shows that you are knowledgeable about ranching and ready to work. It also demonstrates your commitment to learning new skills and taking initiative in your career path.

On the other hand, if you already possess the necessary skills and experience to work as a ranch hand, then having a certificate may not be necessary for getting hired. However, obtaining one still has its benefits—it shows potential employers that you are dedicated to your profession and willing to invest in training yourself further.

In conclusion, if you are looking for employment as a ranch hand, then it is highly recommended that you obtain a Ranch Hand Certificate in order to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and commitment to professional development.

Related: Ranch Hand Resume Examples

FAQs About Ranch Hand Certifications

1. What is a Ranch Hand Certification?

Answer: A Ranch Hand Certification is a certification program that provides comprehensive training and certification in the safe handling of livestock, equipment and farm operations. It enables individuals to become certified ranch hands, capable of safely and effectively managing all aspects of a ranch.

2. Who should get a Ranch Hand Certification?

Answer: Any individual who wishes to pursue a career in ranching or livestock management should consider getting a Ranch Hand Certification. The certification is also beneficial for those involved in the agricultural industry, such as horse trainers, farriers, feedlot operators and more.

3. How long does it take to become certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified varies depending on the type of certification chosen and the individual's prior experience. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete the necessary coursework and obtain certification.

4. What are the benefits of becoming certified?

Answer: Becoming certified as a ranch hand offers numerous benefits including increased job opportunities, higher pay rates, recognition from employers, improved safety on the job site, and greater confidence in one's own abilities as a rancher or livestock manager.

5. Are there any prerequisites for getting certified?

Answer: Yes, most certifications require applicants to have some prior experience working with livestock or related activities such as grooming or feeding animals. Additionally, many certifications also require applicants to have completed certain courses or programs related to animal care or agriculture before applying for certification.