Ruminant Nutritionist

Ruminant Nutritionist

Ruminant nutritionists determine feed rations, conduct research and consult farmers and ranchers regarding feeding practices for their animals. Ruminant animals include cattle, sheep, llamas and goats. They assess the condition of animals (level of fatness) as well as the level of activity and physiological demands (productivity performance, reproductive needs, growth and/or lactation requirements, or the need for weight gain or loss) depending on season, temperature, and hair coat thickness.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?: 
  • Consider the varied nutritional needs of the animals in question
  • Formulate balanced feed rations based on nutritional and caloric requirements
  • Assess condition of animals (level of fatness)
  • Assess level of activity and physiological demands
  • Utilize computer programs specially created for particular species
  • Be involved in research or teaching activities
  • Call on and service company clients and customers
  • Provide technical training to customers and sales representatives
  • Apply the data available to support ruminant performance enhancement technologies
  • Work with feed production team to develop new feed products
  • Ensure highest level of quality of feeds sold and produced for sale
  • Build and maintain relationships and influence with others
  • Determine the effectiveness of dietary regimes
  • Carry out sales and marketing strategies to promote products
  • Understand trends in the industry and changes to governmental regulations 
Recommended High School Courses: 
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, animal science, biology, chemistry and mathematics.
Education/Training Required: 
Typically, ruminant nutritionists will have a master’s or doctorate degree in animal science, ruminant nutrition, forage production or a similar field.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Ruminant nutritionists can work for both large and small animal production companies or animal health/feed companies. State and national governments may also employ ruminant nutritionists.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • American Society of Animal Science
  • American Sheep Industry Association
  • National Cattleman’s Beef Association
  • American Feed Industry Association
  • National Grain and Feed Association 
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$85,000
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.