The marketing pressures for economically viable, socially fair and ecologically correct production systems have required that farmers adopt new management pratices, aiming to increase the production scale, improve the quality of the products, and reduce costs. The historical utilization of abundant, cheap and disqualified labor in the rural sector has been a barrier to the adoption of technology. This study is an attempt to describe the human resources management that have been used by beef cattle farmers, as well as to analyze the management performance in labour and technical areas during the 2000/2001 agriyear. Three-hundred and twenty questionnaires were sent by mail to farmers in the Triângulo Mineiro region. All of them were registered in the Brazilian Association of Zebu Breeders (ABCZ) reference file, and a gross response rate of 14.4% was obtained. The data were processed by the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), and evaluated by using frequency and average tables. According to the results obtained, the subsystems composing the human resource management system have been only partially adopted, besides presenting no interconnection with each other. In spite of that, it was noticed that top companies (in technical terms) presented the best human resources indicators, showing some level of functional relationship among the areas. Thus, beef cattle farmers should use such management models that benefit both knowledge and people, as these people are the promoters of the development in the farms. In this context, the managerial and operational training constitute a requirement, whereas the employees' motivation and engagement become a challenge to be overcome.