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