Agricultural workers possess a broad range of skills, ranging from unskilled farm laborers through to qualified workers. An increasing proportion of farmers possess a university education in agricultural science. There is increasing emphasis on agricultural workers to use continuing education resources such as specific training courses and attendance of field days and demonstrations. Many consultants and specialists who service agricultural clients have science-based degrees, including agricultural science, environmental science, horticulture, agronomy, animal science, and veterinary science.
Veterinary care delivery is mostly by farm workers. For example, feedlot ranch hands receive basic training in cattle diseases from veterinarians. These ranch hands take charge of identifying and separating sick animals from the group. Often these workers treat the sick animals by using simple treatment and management algorithms derived by veterinarians for dealing with animals with specific signs of ill health. For example, ranch hands may remove cattle with respiratory signs, such as a nasal discharge, wheezing, or coughing, from the main pen to a quarantine pen and begin treatment with a nominated antibiotic. The other commercial animal production systems have similar workers with advanced observational skill sets for the species that they work with. These farm workers develop acute observational skills for the detection of disease within the animals under their care.
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