Livestock graders serve the purpose of assuring that accurate grades are placed on livestock or meat that is sold according to standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Grades are determined based on the length of the animal, the degree of muscle, frame size and the amount of visible fat.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?:
- Determine the grade of market livestock with high accuracy
- Weigh livestock using livestock scales
- Assign grades according to USDA standards
- Complete and file grading paperwork
- Be aware of specific livestock markets
- Attend livestock sales
- Visit farms or feedlots where grading is requested
- Collect product information from sellers
- Work closely with marketing specialists and buyers
- Remain up-to-date on industry trends and news
Recommended High School Courses:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, biology, anatomy, business, economics, government and computer skills. It is also recommended that an aspiring livestock grader take part in livestock judging contests.
An associate or bachelor’s degree in animal science, meat science, agriculture, agribusiness or a related field is desired. Often, livestock graders must be certified by the USDA.