Dairy Farmer Job Description

Dairy Farmer Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a dairy farmer. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a dairy farmer.


Who is a Dairy Farmer?

A dairy farmer is a highly skilled professional who milks cows to produce quality milk that can be used for consumption or processed into food products. The main duty of a dairy farmer is to supervise the milk production process. They achieve this by giving intensive care to cows to ensure that they are healthy. They work very hard to maintain their pasture and land so that cows can have a conducive and safe environment. Working as a dairy farmer may involve you carrying out administrative, mechanical, and management tasks. A dairy farmer raises and breeds cows and in some circumstances; he or she can grow hay or grain to feed his cattle.

A dairy farmer does not work in isolation because when doing the bulk of the work, other farmers help him to maintain the safety of the farm. The farm employees usually help him to keep the cows healthy, milking them and also keeping the farm safe to produce quality milk. They also help in keeping farm buildings clean and other machines used for operations.

On a typical day, a dairy farmer kick-starts his or her day by milking cows. Modern dairy farmers milking machines and before the inception of milking machines, usually use their hands to extract milk from cows. They ensure that the cow’s udder is thoroughly washed so that it can guarantee the integrity of the milk produced. The containers in which the milk is collected usually pass through a thorough sanitation procedure.

After milking the cows, the cows are traditionally put out to get pasture or graze. In the course of their grazing, the barns and equipment are usually kept very clean. In the evening time, the cows usually get another session of milking which is called the second milking, and then they get their evening pasture. When they return to the barn, they are often cross-checked for symptoms or physical problems which may be of great concern to the farmer.

The feeding procedure and amounts are closely scrutinized by the dairy farmer. He typically controls feed portions to get the profit margin. Most dairy farmers are aware that younger cows are normally better milk producers and they receive larger portions of feed. When a cow’s milk production ability decreases, it is usually sold for meat.

In addition to milking and dairy farming responsibilities, a farmer’s job normally requires him to be well informed about his land, cows, profit or loss,d other crops. This is necessary to run a successful business. He must also watch out for crop and animal pests and diseases such as crop or livestock blights and also execute preventive measures. If the crops or hay are not producing sufficient quantity, he needs to get another alternative to feed his cows. Sometimes a struggling economy can make the profits drop to alarming levels that may serve as a threat to his business.


Dairy Farmer Job Description

Below are the dairy farmer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a dairy farmer are:

  • Milking cows usually twice a day and usually utilizing a mechanical milking machine
  • Cleaning and conserving machinery including milking machines
  • Scheduling and managing the feeding of cows, including pasture feeding and silage or hay when grass supplies are reduced or unpredictable
  • Organizing the health of their cows, including reproduction, calving, and calf-rearing
  • Conserving farm equipment and vehicles
  • Accomplishing general maintenance on the farm, including fencing, pest control, and spraying weeds
  • Maintaining financial and administrative records of the farm’s operations
  • Engaging, training, and assisting people who work on the farm
  • Helping with vets, farm advisors, and other professionals to ensure the farm’s operations are as efficient as possible
  • Maintaining up-to-date with new technologies and techniques and adhering to sustainable farming methods
  • Regulating the health of livestock by recording data about feed intake, weight gain, and disease symptoms
  • Obtaining samples for testing fecal matter for parasites or harmful bacteria in the animal’s digestive tracts
  • Milking cows by hand or with mechanized equipment such as automatic  milking machines or robotic milking machines
  • Examining the condition of facilities and equipment used in dairy products, such as barns and milking machines
  • Conserving records of daily activities and compiling reports on the farm’s production activities for the farmer
  • Cleaning equipment utilized for milking cows
  • Feeding calves with bottles or buckets after they are segregated from their mothers and housed in individual pens



Education: There is no formal requirement educationally to become a dairy farmer. A dairy farmer usually learns it through family, friends, or associates. He can also acquire a college or university degree in animal husbandry, agricultural management, and farm administration which a dairy farmer may find essential in his or her career. Some employers also consider a candidate with a high school diploma or GED certificate for the role of a dairy farmer.

Training & Experience: Dairy farmer usually receives rain from the supervisors on the field. This training can be how to perform some specific task such s how to use the milking machine, how to milk cows with hands, and also how to handle animals. Training can also be how to perform daily tasks such as feeding the animals and ensuring that the environment is kept clean for the animal’s safety. In addition, they may be trained on how to identify pests and diseases in animals and also how to treat the animal as expected.

Certifications & Licenses: some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific test to acquire a certification in that niche. Certification shows the fact that they are competent to carry out the responsibility as expected.


Essential Skills

  1. Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Communication skill is the act of conveying information and it is necessary for a dairy farmer to have communication skill to communicate with farm workers and animals. A  Dairy farmer must be able to comprehend and interpret the human body language s well as the body language of other farm workers. They must have excellent communication skills to be able to communicate with animals to ensure animal safety and comfort.

Dairy farmers need to oversee laborers and other farm workers. They also collaborate with vets and nutrition specialists to coordinate care and feed cows.

  1. Analytical Skills: A Dairy farmer must possess this skill to analyze the health of animals and the cow’s milk production strength as well as other influential factors. You also need this skill to ensure that your business is running smoothly or not. At the end of the year or in the middle of the year, you need to make a comprehensive analysis to checkmate if you have profit or not.
  2. Mechanical Skills: Dairy farmers must know how to operate milking machines and other machinery used to carry out farm operations. He must be very much familiar with how the machine is operated so that he can easily identify if the machine has faults or not.
  3. Physical Stamina: Dairy farmers must have physical strength and agility to be able to lift heavy objects for an extended period and also work outdoors in diverse weather conditions. Physical stamina can help dairy farmers achieve their tasks efficiently and safely. This job involves carrying out strenuous responsibilities such as performing repetitive tasks like bending and lifting.
  4. Teamwork Skills: working on the dairy farm must be a collective effort to achieve success. Dairy farmers often work together in teams to complete their tasks. For instance, a dairy farmer may work with other dairy farm workers to move a large piece of equipment from one place to another or to finish another physical and stressful task.
  5. A robust understanding of animal welfare and excellent animal-handling skills
  6. An understanding of recognized  milk standards and safety procedures for harvesting milk
  7. Business, administrative, and accounting skills
  8. Supervision and training  skills for managing farmhands and other workers
  9. Understanding of pasture management and cattle-feeding
  10. Understanding of the milking process
  11. The capacity to drive, maintain and possibly repair farm vehicles
  12. Understanding of sustainable farm management techniques


How to Become a Dairy Farmer

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

There is no formal requirement to become a dairy farmer as both a high school diploma and any other candidate can become one. To be better qualified, you can acquire a four-year bachelor’s degree or two-year associate degree in dairy sciences, animal sciences, animal husbandry, or any similar field. The coursework for such degrees covers dairy sciences, physiology, farm management, technology, agricultural marketing, crop science, and reproduction.

  • Enroll for an Agricultural Training

A traineeship is a training that one can undertake while studying in school. This opportunity is highly exceptional because it can provide an introduction to farming practices and allows you to be a practical farmer. The training is highly extensive and it may include core modules and elective modules, you can select the one that is important to dairy farming. You can complete your training with a Certificate 2 in agriculture that can boost your career. This may not be compulsory but it will help you demonstrate your qualifications and skills to your potential employer.

  • Kick Start Your Career as an Assistant Farmhand

You can volunteer as an assistant on a farm to get experience. During your enrollment as a traineeship in agriculture, you will spend the bulk of your time working on a farm. Most dairy farmers will choose to work as full-time farmers for them to gain experience working on a particular farm. This will also allow them to know the in and out of a farm. You should look for volunteer opportunities that are close to you.

  • Enroll For Further Training

Once you have successfully earned your certification in agriculture 2 two, you can proceed to acquire more certifications in Dairy production to continue to expand your knowledge. You can also pursue local Technical and Further Education (TAFE).

If you would like to work as a farm manager, you may consider enrolling in business courses, and management of finance. To go into management, you can enroll for a Diploma in Agriculture. Alternatively, you can take a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Agri-business Management. You can usually do this and also continue your farm work.

  • Continue building your Skills

As you continue to work on the dairy farm, you need to build on your skills to have a successful career. Most dairy farmers need to have so many years of experience before they can run their farms. Once you have the basic experience, you can decide if you want to start your dairy farm or work in an agricultural company.


Where to Work as a Dairy Farmer

Dairy farmers mostly work on farms; the farm can be a private business or owned by the government. Dairy farmers work for a long period more than 40 hours per week. They may work early in the morning, at noon, and evening time. Their work can be very much demanding and they are exposed to extreme weather conditions such as cold and hot temperatures. They may be exposed to harmful materials such as chemicals that are used for cleaning the farm. They may also be exposed to noise from machinery.


Dairy Farmer Salary Scale

The salary of a dairy farmer varies across different countries and here are some countries:

  • In the United States, The average dairy farm salary in the USA is $34,125 per year or $17.50 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $27,300 per year while most competent workers make up to $75,000 per year. The average dairy farm salary in New York is $45,000 per year or $23.08 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $28,763 per year while most competent workers make up to $175,000 per year. The average dairy farm salary in Arizona is $37,050 per year or $19 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $37,050 per year while most competent workers make up to $165,000 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average pay for a Dairy Farmer is £21,449 a year and £10 an hour. The average salary range for a  Dairy Farmer is between £16,430 and £24,838. On average, a Less Than  Degree is the highest level of education for a Dairy Farmer.
  • In Canada, The average dairy farm salary in Canada is $29,250 per year or $15 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $26,813 per year, while most professional workers make up to $37,021 per year.
  • In Ireland, The average pay for a  Dairy Farmer is €29,126 a year and €14 an hour. The average salary range for a Dairy Farmer is between €22,311 and €33,728. On average, Less than a Degree is the highest level of education for a Laborer Dairy Farm.
  • In Japan, The average pay for a Dairy Farmer is JPY 2,221,824 a year and JPY 1,068 an hour in Matsue, Japan. The average salary range for a Dairy Farmer is between JPY 1,701,917 and JPY 2,572,872.

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

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