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Natasha Post, Author
What Is Dairy Farming?
A dairy farm’s primary function is to produce milk. The milk is mostly from cattle though sometimes it could be from sheep and goats. Dairy production has greatly evolved since the days of milking by hand. Unlike then, when one cow had to be milked at a time, machines are used to help farmers milk several cattle at once. Dairy farm equipment is often shipped with logistics companies in order to ensure safe arrival.
Running a dairy farm is time-consuming and labor-intensive. An effort has to be put towards feeding the cattle for a high and constant supply of milk. Once the cattle are milked, the milk is collected and distributed to be bottled for selling and making numerous dairy products. Besides milk production, the male cattle are reared for meat and crops grown as food for the livestock.
Is a Dairy Career Good for Me?
Before you pursue a career in dairy farming, begin by understanding your passions and interests. What kind of things do you enjoy doing? If you love working outdoors or intend to be your own boss, a career in dairy farming can be a great opportunity. Do you enjoy working with animals or handling animal products? How about working with your hands and your head? Think about what your future career in dairy farming may demand from you and if you are ready to part with it. Asking yourself all these questions will help you make an informed decision.
Whatever your reasons for choosing to pursue a career in dairy farming is you can be sure it is satisfying and financially rewarding. There is a lot to enjoy in dairy farming: the great lifestyle, a chance to employ yourself, working on the land and with animals, and of course being part of the team that produces a product that is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.
Careers in Dairy Farming
If you are wondering if you can pursue a career in dairy farming, worry no more. Dairy farming has numerous career paths. It is one of the fields that give you an opportunity to bring together people, animals, technology, and the environment. You will grow your skills, travel the world, own your business and explore many career paths. Below are some of the potential dairy farming careers you can pursue.
As the name suggests, a milk Inspector inspects agricultural commodities, processing equipment, and facilities to ensure they meet the stipulated health, quality, and safety laws and regulations.
Agricultural Extension Agent
He/she moves throughout their region or district to provide the latest industry information to farmers, ranchers, and groups involved in dairy farming. An agricultural extension agent offers information on topics touching different dairy farming areas, including production, marketing, and scientific advances.
He/she is in charge of the movement of cattle from the dairy. They also milk the cattle, clean, and shut down the process. Their other duties include identifying ill cattle, following protocols of treatment, and noting down the condition.
Like any other journalist, an Agricultural Journalist covers articles, events, and any stories related to dairy farming.
Dairy Cattle Reproductive Specialist (Breeding Technician)
Their duty is to detect when a cow is ready to be bred and breed her. They usually record and analyze cattle that have been bred and discuss with farmers the best ways to breed the cows.
Dairy Herd Managers
They oversee, supervises, and monitors the performance of a designated dairy herd.
They develop the cattle’s feeding program and monitors the cattle, ensuring that production goals are met.
General Skills and Knowledge/ Personal Requirements for a Career in Dairy Farming
A career in dairy farming generally requires you to:
- Know how a dairy farm works and understand animal welfare
- Understand how to manage pasture
- Be aware of the processes that take place in a dairy farm such as the milking process
- Understand milk standard requirements and how to keep safe on the farm
- Understand sustainable and environmental management practices, including shipping and transport in the United States.
Some personal requirements for a dairy career include:
- Confidence and care for animals
- Ability to work on your own and in a team
- Self-motivation and the ability to stick to a schedule
- Good communication and management skills
- Good organization skills, ability to stick to goals and think ahead
- Patience and adaptability