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.
Typically, ruminant nutritionists will have a master’s or doctorate degree in animal science, ruminant nutrition, forage production or a similar field.