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Livestock Buyer

Position Overview

As the name suggests, a livestock buyer is often in charge of the purchasing and / or sale of livestock for a business. This livestock could include beef cattle, poultry, dairy cattle, goats, sheep, or pigs. The companies they purchase for could be small or large, depending on the livestock buyer's animal specialty. Livestock buyers should have a good understanding of the animals that they deal with, know where reliable suppliers are within the region, and be knowledgeable regarding appropriate pricing for each animal. This ensures their client will pay or receive an appropriate value. Individuals who hire a livestock buyer either do not have the time to source livestock, or lack the knowledge to do so. Therefore, livestock buyers are depended on to make the right decisions. They may work for a specific farm, a food production company, or other associations that value animal production.

Livestock Buyer Duties

  • Negotiate livestock pricing with suppliers
  • Continuously seek out opportunities for livestock acquisition
  • Provide advice for the proper care of livestock, leading to more successful production
  • Develop reports on competitor's actions, such as buying trends
  • After the purchase or sale of animal(s), arrange for appropriate transportation
  • Inspect animals to ensure they have good health and good potential
  • Keep current on animal supply and overall market conditions
  • Maintain records of all transactions
  • Estimate animal value

Typical Employers

  • Dairy UK
  • National Beef Association
  • British Poultry Council
  • The National Pig Association
  • Food production companies
  • Growers
  • Self-Employed

Required Education and Training

Livestock buyers should have a bachelor's degree in agribusiness, marketing, or animal science. An associate's degree will also be considered; however, a bachelor's degree is preferred. No matter the degree, livestock buyers should have a general understanding of animals. If they have experience working within the industry, this will provide them with a competitive edge.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Good negotiation skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • The ability to follow and forecast future trends
  • Capable of making decisions quickly while under pressure
  • Good relationship building and people skills

Average Salary

Entry level livestock buyers make approximately £22,000 a year. Once they gain experience, the salary range is typically between £30,000 and £60,000.