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12 Different Types of Jobs on a Dairy Farm

This is a view of the row of cows during feeding time in a dairy farm.

If you’re planning to work on a dairy farm because you believe cheese or milk is a gift from heaven, you’ve got a friend in me! Dairy farms are some of the most exciting places to choose a career, and you can’t help but feel like you are making a meaningful contribution to society. So, what types of jobs are on a dairy farm?

Dairy farm job types include various jobs that cater to the animals, equipment, maintenance, dairy products, production, financials, sales, and management of a dairy farm. It includes Veterinarian, Plumber, Dairy Farm Manager, Feeder, Milker, Nutritionist, and Accounting.

There is much more to each dairy farm position than meets the eye, and the environment is unlike a regular job’s everyday hustle and bustle. Each one’s responsibility and work allow the next one to be more efficient. Let’s see how it all works together!

Responsibilities Of Veterinarians On Dairy Farms

A veterinarian inspects the cows with the farmhand.

If you enjoyed a refreshing glass of milk or delicious yogurt this morning, thank a veterinarian. They are crucial to ensuring that the farm animals get enough nutrients and water and grow up healthy and delicious! They regularly visit dairy farms to do check-ups and treat sick or ill animals.

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Routine visits consist of injections, vaccinations, and animal-related tasks such as dehorning calves. Furthermore, veterinarians are required to be on stand-by for house calls if any emergencies need immediate attention. If animals carry diseases, they must be isolated and treated as soon as possible.

Milk producers do not tolerate diseases that respond to animal medications. Prevention is better than cure, and so a healthy diet is the best way to fight diseases. Together with bovine nutritionists, they create the best diet with the available feeds. A healthy animal translates to a healthy food supply for the U.S.  

Responsibilities Of A Dairy Milking Supervisor

This is a close look at a man attaching a milking machine to the cow.

Dairy Milking Supervisors work closely with other employees to coordinate and ensure that responsibilities are met and duties are completed in certain sections of the dairy farm. They see to duties by delegating workers to tasks that require attention, such as feeding and milking cows or farm equipment operations.

Furthermore, inspecting and ensuring absolute cleanliness is an essential part of this job’s description. Barns need to be maintained, and the milking infrastructure requires continuous maintenance. They set standards, adjust diets, and create schedules for breeding and selling calves by analyzing production records.

They work closely with veterinarians to examine cows for illnesses, defects, or injuries and ensure they are treated accordingly. Dairy Milking Supervisors are also called the process of artificially inseminating the cows to produce the desired offspring.

Irrigation: What Do Plumbers Do On Dairy Farms?

A close look at a plumber fixing an underground pipe.

Dairy plumbers provide an invaluable service to dairy farms and act as the bolts that keep it fastened and running smoothly. The plumbing system in dairy farms is quite complex, so it takes exceptionally knowledgeable and skillful plumbers that can connect the underground network of pipes and fittings.

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It goes hand-in-hand with sanitation, so plumbers ensure that hygiene is the top priority, always adhering to health code regulations when setting up a dairy farm. Otherwise, the farm runs the risk of being shut down due to unsanitary conditions.

A proper irrigation system also helps grow crops, maintain the landscape, and revegetating soil in dry areas when it does not rain. In addition, it also cools the livestock, disposes of sewage, and suppresses unwanted weeds. All of these factors contribute to keeping the cows healthy.

Trade For Animal Husbandry

A woman taking care of the cows in the dairy farm.

Farmers and Ranchers are both involved in the process of animal husbandry. Their responsibilities include monitoring the cows’ health, milking hygiene, nutrition (feed and water), animal welfare, and environment. Ensuring the success for each of these categories produces the desired outcome for a specific need.

The farmers or ranchers keep an eye on the cows to ensure that they are well suited to their environment. When the animals are being transported on and off the farm, farmers ensure that the process is disease-free. They mark animals to identify them from birth and ensure that milking routines do not harm the cows.

Farmers ensure sustainable food and water resources and proper storage conditions. They also watch for contaminated foods and ensure the cows are free from discomfort, fear, and pain. Lastly, they monitor the cows’ behavior to make sure it is relatively standard and not potentially dangerous to them or the other cows.

What Do Soil Technician Do On Dairy Farms?

This is a soil technician collecting soil samples.

Individuals in this field are responsible for analyzing and improving the soil on dairy farms! They keep a close eye on the soil and use irrigation to prevent erosion and waste. They can develop plans to restore soil, vegetation, trees, and records everything for improvement by gathering data.

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They are often required to visit dairy farms and work with them to revise current methods and infrastructure used for maintaining the farm. Healthy soil is vital because the cows eat the grass and vegetation that grows from the ground. In turn, it affects the quality of the dairy product sold at the store.

What Do Dairy Farm Managers Do?

Dairy farm manager giving instructions to the farm hands.

As one of the bigshots, they Supervise and coordinate the herd, technicians, and the dairy’s day-to-day operations and facility care. It may include ration preparation and feeding, overseeing milking, treating and caring of cows, filling in for sick or vacationing employees, and keeping an eye on monthly inventories.

Farm managers are also involved in the quality process and need to make daily decisions on when milk needs can be discarded and when repairs will happen. Their responsibilities also stretch to the financial side, as they make suggestions for the budget and selling and purchasing of cows.  

Additionally, an understanding of artificial insemination is necessary and dairy nutrition, milking procedures to apply herd improvements. Managers are further required to communicate with a broad spectrum of individuals in each section of the farm. Knowledge of cow diseases and treatment is also essential.

What Responsibilities Do Feeders Have?

A man feeding the cows of the dairy farm.

Feeders are responsible for ensuring that the cows always have enough food and water. The cow barns need to be kept clean and free from manure or other foreign objects. A big part of a Feeder’s job is to make sure the cows are comfortable and well treated. It involves regularly checking all the cows three or four times a day.

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Furthermore, the machinery used on the cows is to be kept clean, repaired, and maintained. If animals are sick, Feeders need to administer proper medications and doses. They also need to take the feed for testing to ensure it is up to standard and does not contain any mold.

Additional duties include maintaining the cleanliness of the dairy farm grounds and keeping records of daily duties, procedures, and results.

What Do Milkers Do On A Dairy Farm?

This is a man milking the cow with a machine.

First and foremost, a milker’s top priority is to perform their duties exactly to the State’s Public Milk Ordinance. They need to prepare the milking equipment and assist the other employees in processing the cows for milk. It’s essential to look at records and ensure that the milk of cows being medically treated is excluded.

Milkers are also responsible for ensuring that the cows are healthy and do not suffer from any diseases or problems, although treatment requires permission from a manager. On top of keeping records, keeping barns clean, and marking cows so that they can be identified, they could be called to work in case of emergencies.

Part of their duties involves caring for the cows, especially the calves. Maintenance and cleanliness of equipment and office areas are also necessary. They need to ensure that all milk products are safely stored and under the proper temperatures. In addition, the proper processes need to be adhered to trace problems.

What Do Nutritionists Or Dieticians Do On Dairy Farms

This is a nutritionist and veterinarian inspecting the cows.

Nutritionists develop feeding programs to ensure that the cows grow strong and healthy and meet product quality standards. They directly influence the diets of the cows. Their responsibilities include selecting supplements, adjusting rations, selecting cost-effective ingredients, and analyzing lab samples.

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They work alongside the bovine veterinarian and dairy herdsman to monitor the cows closely and maximize milk output. A large part of their job involves working with data at the office, writing progress reports, and other administrative duties. They usually work as independent contractors or for a feeding company.

Because they are always working with data, they are responsible for scoring cows and giving them a health score. Furthermore, they give presentations to customers on feeding developments and other data that may show important results. Visits to clients are not unheard of, especially as a nutritionist.

What’s It Like Working In Sales At A Dairy Farm?

This is a truck carrying fresh milk shipment to customers.

If sales are your forté, you may feel at home here! It is similar to a traditional sales job but with an introduction of farming elements. Responsibilities include driving local routes to sell or deliver products, maintaining the accounts, and building rapport with customers. Keeping an eye on company assets is also important.

They work in close relation with Milking Supervisor to review products and marketing strategies. Agricultural sales also need to ensure that there is enough product available, rotating stock as required. Before products are sold, they need to be checked for any appearance faults.

What Does A Dairy Inspector Do?

Dairy inspector checking the bottles of milk.

Dairy inspectors make sure that a farm’s cleanliness meets federal guidelines. Before it reaches the customer, they inspect the food to ensure that it fulfills all safety regulations. Food samples are taken to the lab for testing regularly. Milk producers are also issued licenses by inspectors.

Furthermore, they are knowledgeable enough to give facility managers suggestions to improve security and reduce the risk of disease. They are assigned to work in a specific region and conduct unannounced inspections, much like an auditor.  Regulations dictate that inspections need to occur at least twice a year.

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Inspectors check the entire facility, paying close attention to the cleanliness of the milk parlor equipment because that’s where the products start. Furthermore, they examine the cows to check if they’re healthy, and they collect milk and water samples that are taken to the lab for testing.  

Field Representative: What Do They Do On Dairy Farms?

This is a field representative touring the prospect client at the dairy farm.

Field representatives are quite an explosive package! They sell livestock and dairy products and are very involved in customer relations and farm activities. Customers are their primary focus as they search and identify prospective customers. They follow up on leads, generate new business, and develop a social network.

Doing research allows them to view customer patterns and develop sales strategies, using their competitors’ weaknesses to get ahead. Cold-calling potential customers and discussing how the product can meet their needs or specifications is included. Representatives also prepare sales contracts and ensure customer needs are met.

A hands-on approach is part of the job as they deal with in-store customer needs and advise them on the best product. Shelves also need to remain stocked, and adjusting your schedule to travel and meet the meeting requirements of clients is an everyday practice. They ensure that the veterinarians have animal-care products.

Annual Salaries For Dairy Farm Jobs

  • Dairy Veterinarian – $70, 282
  • Dairy Plumber – $55, 169
  • Animal Husbandry – $28, 589
  • Soil Technician –$48, 699
  • Dairy Farm Manager – $76, 173
  • Feeder – $49, 231
  • Milker – $47, 898
  • Nutritionist – $58, 380
  • Sales – $900 per week + commission/incentives
  • Dairy Inspector – $44, 140
  • Field Representative – $58, 510
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Here is a list of the annual salaries as of 2021 for every type of dairy job listed.

Conclusion

Dairy farms are full of surprising jobs, all very different, but they rely on one another for efficiency. It is undoubtedly hard work, so if you’re looking to get into any of these jobs, prepare to roll up your sleeves and put in the hours! It’s certainly exciting, and any one of these jobs that you choose will be a worthwhile investment.

Sources:

University of Nebraska: Examples of Job Descriptions for Major Positions on Dairy Farms

Oklahoma State University: Veterinary Care on Dairy Farms

Kansas State Agricultural College: Disposal of Dairy and Farm Sewage, and Water Supply

Britannica: Animal Husbandry

The Balance Careers: Dairy Nutritionist

Indeed: Dairy Product Sales Representative

Indeed: Dairy Farm Sales Jobs

Zip Recruiter: Dairy Veterinarian Salary

US News: Plumber Salary