In the next 10 years, experts say half of America's ranchers will retire--leaving ample opportunity for those with poultry and eggs education and training. In the last 15 years, fewer and fewer young people have established themselves in ranching. So if you think poultry farming is for you, now is the perfect time to jump on your dream. If you're worried farming has a poor future, bear in mind that poultry is the most purchased protein in the United States, with more than 100 pounds sold per year for every person in America.
Ideally, your education for running a poultry company should begin in high school. Any work time on a ranch or farm is valuable, but also take agricultural courses (if available) and consider joining 4-H. Once high school is over, however, be sure to do the following:
1. Obtain a college education appropriate for the poultry industry.
2. Join organizations for poultry and eggs education.
3. Read periodicals for those in the poultry and eggs industry.
Secure a formal education for those wishing to venture into the poultry product industryA good education gives you a firm leg up in this industry. A two-year college education in poultry science or animal husbandry is essential, but don't neglect business courses as well.
Become a member of organizations for poultry, eggs and related fieldsProfessional organizations do much more than provide business advice and networking. A good organization also provides learning opportunities in the way of journals, books, CDs and DVDs, workshops and seminars. There are a wide variety of associations appropriate for chicken processors and ranchers.
Continue your education through publications for egg and poultry producersThere is a myriad of magazines for professional ranchers and farmers; they include general ranching and farming publications, and magazines targeted to particular fields of interest like organic chicken ranching. Find several publications targeting your field of interest in order to keep up with the latest news, trends and innovations.
- The poultry production industry is competitive. In fact, many poultry processors have waiting lists of farmers and ranchers; as soon as you're ready to begin the business of raising poultry, make sure the poultry industry knows about you.