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A penrider monitors and moves cattle around a feeding operation. Most of their daily duties are completed on horseback.




What responsibilities will I have?

  • Utilize a horse to ride through assigned pens daily and identify sick animals by observing outward signs of distress
  • Segregate sick cattle for treatment by driving them to nearest hospital pen
  • Assist in shipment of cattle by opening gates, driving cattle to shipping areas for weighing; counting cattle and separating strays; checking withdrawals
  • Move/drive cattle from one area of the yard to another by utilizing humane low stress techniques including slow movement of cattle
  • Return treated cattle to home pens from hospitals
  • Return stray animals to home pens
  • Ride horse safely by awareness of surroundings and exercise of caution in dangerous situations.
  • Maintain appearance of break room by properly disposing of trash, wiping feet upon entering and sweeping/mopping according to posted schedule
  • Maintain cleanliness of horse facilities by sweeping floor and cleaning stalls
  • Report observed pen maintenance issues to appropriate yard employee for repair (broken water tanks, bunks, holes, etc.)
  • Alert supervisor to possible problem pens through observance of unusual trends (including concerns about feed, conditions of cattle received, etc.)
  • Comply with all applicable safety and animal welfare rules and policies


What education and training is required?

A high school diploma and knowledge of cattle and horses as well as basic mathematics are key for being a successful penrider.


To pursue a career as a penrider:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, animal science, biology and mathematics.


Where can I work?

Large livestock production companies and feedlots employee penriders.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for a penrider will be fair over the next five years.


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • State Cattleman or Feeders Organization
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