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Become A Dairy Farmer

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Working As A Dairy Farmer

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Dairy Farmer Do

Agricultural workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.

Duties

Agricultural workers typically do the following:

  • Harvest and inspect crops by hand
  • Irrigate farm soil and maintain ditches or pipes and pumps
  • Operate and service farm machinery and tools
  • Spray fertilizer or pesticide solutions to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Move shrubs, plants, and trees with wheelbarrows or tractors
  • Feed livestock and clean and disinfect their pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examine animals to detect symptoms of illnesses or injuries
  • Use brands, tags, or tattoos to mark livestock in order to identify ownership and grade
  • Herd livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or other enclosures
  • Administer vaccines to protect animals from diseases

The following are examples of types of agricultural workers:

Crop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers perform numerous tasks related to growing and harvesting grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other crops. They plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops, and pack and load them for shipment.

Farmworkers also apply pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to crops. They repair fences and some farm equipment.

Nursery and greenhouse workers prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing horticultural products such as trees, plants, flowers, and sod. They also plant, water, prune, weed, and spray the plants. They may cut, roll, and stack sod; stake trees; tie, wrap, and pack plants to fill orders; and dig up or move field-grown shrubs and trees.

Farm and ranch animal farmworkers care for live animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, poultry, finfish, shellfish, and bees. These animals usually are raised to supply meat, fur, skins, feathers, eggs, milk, or honey.

These farmworkers may feed, herd, brand, weigh, and load animals. They also keep records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides.

Many workers clean and maintain animal housing areas every day. On dairy farms, animal farmworkers operate milking machines.

Agricultural equipment operators use a variety of farm equipment to plow and sow seeds, as well as maintain and harvest crops. They may use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks. These workers also operate machines such as conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers. Workers may make adjustments and minor repairs to equipment.

Animal breeders use their knowledge of genetics and animal science to select and breed animals that will produce offspring with desired traits and characteristics. For example, they breed chickens that lay more eggs, pigs that produce leaner meat, and sheep with more desirable wool. Other animal breeders breed and raise cats, dogs, and other household pets.

To know which animals to breed and when to breed them, animal breeders keep detailed records. Breeders note animals’ health, size, and weight, as well as the amount and quality of the product they produce. Animal breeders also track the traits of animals’ offspring.

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How To Become A Dairy Farmer

Agricultural workers typically receive on-the-job training. A high school diploma is not needed for most jobs as an agricultural worker; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders.

Education and Training

Most agricultural workers do not need a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma typically is needed for animal breeders. Some jobs as an animal breeder may require some postsecondary education.

Agricultural workers typically receive some short-term on-the-job training. Employers instruct them on how to use simple farming tools and more complex machinery while following appropriate safety procedures. More experienced workers also are expected to perform routine maintenance on the tools they use.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Agricultural workers need excellent hand–eye coordination to harvest crops and operate farm machinery.

Listening skills. Agricultural workers need to work well with others. Because they take instructions from farmers and other agricultural managers, effective listening is critical.

Physical stamina. Agricultural workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.

Physical strength. Agricultural workers must be strong enough to lift heavy objects, including tools and crops.

Mechanical skills. Agricultural workers must be able to operate complex farm machinery. They also occasionally do routine maintenance on the machinery.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Animal breeders sometimes need previous work experience interacting with livestock. Ranch workers may transition into animal breeding after they become more familiar with animals and learn how to handle them.

Advancement

Agricultural workers may advance to crew leader or other supervisory positions. The ability to speak both English and Spanish is helpful for agricultural supervisors.

Some agricultural workers aspire to become farmers, ranchers, or agricultural managers or to own their own farms and ranches. Knowledge of produce and livestock may provide an excellent background for becoming buyers or purchasing agents of farm products. Those who earn a college degree in agricultural science could become agricultural or food scientists.

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Dairy Farmer Jobs

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Do you work as a Dairy Farmer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Dairy Farmer 6.0 years
Farmer 5.1 years
Herdsman 3.9 years
Dairy Farm Worker 3.7 years
Farm Labour 3.3 years
Dairy Hand 3.2 years
Dairy Worker 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Dairy Farmer
Cashier 14.7%
Internship 6.8%
Farm Hand 6.3%
Manager 5.2%
Welder 4.7%
Assistant 4.7%
Owner 4.2%
Carpenter 4.2%
Waitress 4.2%
Volunteer 3.7%
Top Careers After Dairy Farmer
Cashier 7.7%
Driver 7.0%
Internship 6.6%
Technician 6.3%
Farm Hand 5.2%
Manager 4.5%
Assistant 4.2%
Foreman 3.8%
Owner 3.5%

Do you work as a Dairy Farmer?

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Irish Dairy Board Inc.
Highest Paying City
Broken Bow, NE
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
6.4 years
How much does a Dairy Farmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Dairy Farmer in the United States is $79,390 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $171,000.

Real Dairy Farmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Dairy Farm Management Analyst Schilderink Dairy Paulding, OH Aug 23, 2011 $90,000
Dairy Farm Management Analyst Antonius J. Schilderink Paulding, OH Oct 01, 2011 $90,000
Dairy Farm Manager Brian J. Ingram Port Hope, MI Jan 10, 2016 $80,000
Dairy Farm Manager Rathmourne Dairy Port Hope, MI Feb 26, 2016 $80,000
Manager Dairy Farm D & E Dairy Farms, LLC Stanfield, AZ Oct 29, 2014 $77,979 -
$95,098
Dairy Farm Manager Brian J. Ingram Port Hope, MI Oct 01, 2013 $65,061
Dairy Farm Manager Meerland Dairy LLC South Solon, OH Jan 08, 2016 $62,547
Dairy Farm Manager Walter Stornetta Ranch Manchester, CA Oct 01, 2010 $50,000
Dairy Farm Manager Walter Stornetta Ranch Manchester, CA Oct 20, 2010 $50,000
Dairy Farm Manager Gill Dairy, LLC South Solon, OH Aug 30, 2013 $47,861
Dairy Farm Manager Vreba-Hoff Holdings, Inc. Wauseon, OH Oct 06, 2009 $45,000
Dairy Farm Manager Vreba-Hoff Holdings, Inc. Wauseon, OH Oct 12, 2009 $45,000
Dairy Farm Manager Vreba-Hoff Holdings, Inc. Wauseon, OH Oct 01, 2009 $45,000
Dairy Farm Manager Wolf Creek Dairy Dundas, MN Feb 01, 2008 $44,850

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Top Skills for A Dairy Farmer

  1. Milk Cows
  2. Herd Health
  3. Farm Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Milk cows and other farm things.
  • Assisted with working cattle during scheduled vaccinations, assisted in herd health evaluations, and monitor calves for sickness.
  • Perform maintenance and repairs on machinery and other farm equipment using welders, torches, grinders, drills, etc.
  • Feed and water livestock; and monitor food and water supplies.
  • Gained experience operating various types of heavy equipment includes large loader, backhoe, water truck, and skid steer.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Dairy Farmers

  1. Rhode Island
  2. New York
  3. New Jersey
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Delaware
  6. Connecticut
  7. Colorado
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Minnesota
  10. Alabama
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Dairy Farmer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.3%

Female

30.5%

Unknown

8.2%
Ethnicity

White

71.7%

Hispanic or Latino

9.9%

Black or African American

8.3%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.1%

Chinese

9.1%

Portuguese

4.5%

Filipino

4.5%

German

4.5%

Japanese

4.5%

French

4.5%

Mandarin

4.5%

Italian

4.5%
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Dairy Farmer Education

Schools

Chippewa Valley Technical College

8.9%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

8.9%

Michigan State University

7.8%

Cornell University

7.8%

Clemson University

6.7%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

5.6%

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

5.6%

Ohio State University

4.4%

Iowa State University

4.4%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

4.4%

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

4.4%

Utah State University

4.4%

Lakeshore Technical College

3.3%

University of Kentucky

3.3%

Northcentral Technical College

3.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Kaplan University

3.3%

Madison Area Technical College

3.3%

Moraine Park Technical College

3.3%
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Majors

Business

15.4%

Animal Science

15.4%

Agricultural Business

8.3%

Agriculture

5.8%

Accounting

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.6%

Education

4.2%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

General Studies

3.8%

Automotive Technology

3.8%

Environmental Science

3.8%

Agricultural Production Operations

3.8%

Computer Science

3.3%

Management

3.3%

Biology

3.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.9%

Cosmetology

2.5%

Nursing

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.5%

Other

33.4%

Associate

13.9%

Masters

7.3%

Certificate

5.3%

Diploma

4.0%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.7%
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What is it like to work as a Dairy Farmer

5.0

I did everything on the farm

December 18, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Dairy Farmer.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Dairy Farmer?

I fed bottle yeah firewood very much baby get off.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

I got tired of they never had any help.. Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Dairy Farmer?

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Top Dairy Farmer Employers

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