What they do
Sheep farmers organise and manage sheep and wool production, which includes wool growing and harvesting, livestock breeding and raising lambs, sale of sheep meat and wool, budgeting and business management, and staff management. They also look after maintenance of the property including fences, equipment and water supply systems. Sheep farmers usually work on farms located in rural regions across the south and south-west of Western Australia.
Specialisations include: Stud Sheep Farmer, Wool Grower
Sheep farmers work on the farm in an office setting and outdoors in all kinds of weather. During breeding seasons and prime sales periods they may work long hours. They work with animals that may bite and kick, and operate heavy machinery. This requires them to adhere to occupational health and safety standards to reduce the risk of injury.
Tools and technologies
Sheep farmers use heavy equipment such as tractors, and hand tools to maintain vehicles and fences. Chemicals are commonly used with farming livestock. Protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, coveralls, and steel toe boots are worn to minimise risks. Sheep farmers need to be proficient with computers and may need to use specialised farm management software.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can work as a sheep farmer without formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry to into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in agriculture or a related area.
The Diploma of Agriculture is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse the Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills websites to find a training provider near you.
You can also complete a degree majoring in agribusiness, agricultural science or animal science.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.