The Search for Stockmen

Stockmen with cattleBy Kylee Kohls

The future of food is in our hands, but do we have enough hands to help feed the world?

Courtney Daigle, assistant professor of animal welfare at Texas A&M University, shares ideas on the narrowing supply of quality stockmen and how cattlemen might find more top hands.

“There are fewer people working in agriculture, so there’s a limited awareness that stockmanship is a potential occupation,” she says. “A lot of our workforce is made up of immigrants, and some of the challenges we have in retaining and recruiting are influenced by our current policies associated with immigration reform.”

Once a stockman is hired and gets good at their job, it’s hard to keep them because of the low pay and long workdays.

“But it’s really important to keep them in place because a critical component of quality care is consistent animal care,” Daigle says. “The animals notice whenever stock people change; not just who’s working, but what kind of relationship they had” and the individual animal history.

Quality and consistent care help drive profit and acceptance rates for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, which climb highest for calves that never had a bad day.

“A good stock person is worth their weight in gold, but a bad one can break the bank,” Daigle says.

One issue is typically low pay for long, hard days, and it matters if one is paid by the hour or by the number of animals handled.

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Via source Drovers | The Search for Stockmen

For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Kaitlyn Harkin at or (979) 845-1542.

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