A dairy farmer is in charge of directing the daily care and management of dairy cows to ensure that they produce the most milk possible. The produced milk is processed to be consumed or added to other dairy products.
A dairy farmer is what?
You would be accountable for the following duties as a dairy farmer:
- Track and plan on-farm audits to look at various things such as personnel training, milk quality, safety procedures, and the health and welfare of the herd.
- For some farm projects, meet with multiple stakeholders including dairy farmers, dealers, contractors, and engineers on-site or at their offices.
- To support effective operations, manage farm workers including stock managers, herders, parlor managers, and milkers.
- Utilize farm machinery such as spreaders for liquid manure, mobile TMR boxes powered by tractors, and skid loaders.
- To guarantee an efficient operation, maintain the dairy farm’s hygiene standards in compliance with governmental laws. For example, keep farm buildings clean and maintain milking equipment.
As a dairy farmer, you will be using milking equipment to milk cows at least twice a day, typically in the morning and the afternoon. There are different methods of milking since some farmers opt to do it seasonally and others year-round.
Your top priority will be carefully planning and controlling the herd’s dietary intake while also purchasing supplies like feed supplements to keep them healthy.
You are also responsible for the herd’s breeding, breeding the calves, and raising them. Along with this, you may hire and train people to help with farm work, maintain financial records up to date, and monitor the farm’s business goals. You can even direct staff to build up fencing and remove weeds around the farm.
Regardless of the weather, the majority of your labor as a dairy farmer will include being active outdoors. Due to the physical hard nature of the job, having exceptional fitness and stamina is a requirement.
You will receive a head start in the morning, a break during the day, and then return to milking cows in the late morning. While handling livestock or agricultural machinery, there are a few slight hazards of injury.
Expansion of the job
With rising wholesale milk prices in recent years, industry earnings for the dairy sector are anticipated to rise. Agricultural and dairy herd managers with experience are likewise in high demand.
For the foreseeable future, dairy farming operations will remain a dependable and profit-driven farming option. As a further stage, many dairy farmers increase the size of their businesses or sell new types of dairy products to big corporations. Small-scale dairy farmers can increase their sales and marketing by joining cooperatives.
While many dairy farmers work for themselves, others are employed by big corporations. The latter is evolving into a widespread industry trend as a result of the decline in the number of dairy farms.
Numerous companies, including Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Dairy Management Inc., Royal Crest Dairy, Foremost Farms, DANONE Foods, etc., provide excellent career prospects.
Your income may change from year to year based on the amount of milk the cows produce, the amount the milk businesses pay you, and the state of the market. Dairy farmers frequently receive free electricity, part or all meals, subsidized housing, and occasionally farm meat or milk.
Getting Started as a Dairy Farmer
While a high school diploma is a minimum need for employment as a dairy farmer, having one is advantageous for career opportunities. Having a driver’s license for heavy vehicles and motorcycles is a basic need.
It is strongly advised to have at least three years of secondary education. You should study arithmetic, accounting, agricultural science, digital technology, and biology in high school.
A two- or four-year degree in dairy science, agriculture, animal science, or a similar field is being earned by an increasing number of farmers.
You should, ideally, complete courses in crucial subjects like crop science, reproduction, technology, anatomy, dairy science, and farm management.
If you are organized and able to work long hours in a team environment without any supervision, you may have what it takes to become a dairy farmer.
A significant portion of the job involves managing people, therefore having excellent communication skills and a propensity for making judgments are highly valued.
Find possibilities to work in animal farms, in the mechanical or construction sectors, or in rural roles to gain on-the-job experience and learn the ropes.
Data on Dairy Farmers’ Pay
The information below will help you learn more about this profession. The editorial material and recommendations on this page are based on our research, while the income and growth information is based on newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Low Range for National Annual Salaries
The average income is $69,880; the highest range is $113,140.
Nationwide minimum wage
Low $22/hour, Average $34/hour, and High $54/hour
How does dairy farmer pay compare to those at other American jobs?
According to the most recent data on employment across the country, dairy farmers can earn an average yearly wage of $69,880, or $34 per hour.
They can start up making $45,930, or $22 per hour, depending on the state you live in or other factors.