What is a Dairy Farmer?

Are you interested in owning or managing a farm where cows are raised for the production of milk and other dairy products?

Dairy farmers are involved in a wide range of activities for the purpose of increasing milk production. Milk which is produced on these farms is sold commercially to regional dairy companies for pasteurization and processing.

What does a Dairy Farmer do?

The job of a dairy farmer is much more complex than simply milking cows. A farmer is in charge of the farm's overall operation, which involves a multitude of jobs and tasks that have to be performed.

Taking care of the animals is a priority, as the cows are the most important component of the dairy farm. Without them, a farmer cannot have a business or make a profit. As such, farmers devote special attention to their cow's health and well-being. This includes milking them at a specific time each morning and evening, as well as taking care of any health issues that may arise.

A dairy farmer observing the milking process.

While a farmer will generally rely on a veterinarian to administer vaccinations, minor health issues are often resolved without professional help. Many dairy farmers also choose to grow their own hay, which serves as the main food source for the cattle. By growing all the food that a herd will consume, farms become increasingly self-sufficient. As a result, both production and profit increases.

Milking is the single most important function on the dairy farm. Cows have to be properly milked, which isn't an easy task. The process begins with inspecting and washing the cow udders, which is done to screen for mastitis and other health problems. Special care is taken to remove any debris from the udder. The next step is attaching the milking equipment. This has to be done very carefully to protect from damaging the cow's utter. Typically, a milking cycle will last for five to ten minutes for each cow. Cows are generally milked two to three times per day, depending on the average production levels.

Maintenance is also a major concern for farmers. The majority of dairy farms are subject to government regulations and have to maintain a certain level of cleanliness to ensure a smooth operation. This work typically involves keeping farm buildings clean and free from clutter, as well as properly maintaining the milking equipment.

Are you suited to be a dairy farmer?

Dairy farmers have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also social, meaning they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if dairy farmer is one of your top career matches.

Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Dairy Farmer like?

Since much of their work involves physical labor, dairy farmers can enjoy the benefits of being active and being outdoors. Also, since co-workers are often members of their immediate family, a farmer can work while maintaining a strong bond with those closest to them.

The work day typically begins before the sun rises and ends in the evening. The work is labor intensive and can be very difficult to do during the extreme winter months.

While farm life has its many advantages, there are also some minor injuries that could occur from being in close proximity to the cows. These injuries are often minor.

Dairy Farmers are also known as:
Dairy Cattle Farmer Milk Producer Dairy Producer