Dairy Farm Manager Kaiwhakahaere Pāmu Kau

Dairy farm managers manage farming operations and staff for dairy farm owners.

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Dairy farm managers may do some or all of the following: 

  • organise herd tests
  • plan and manage the food cows eat
  • manage the health, breeding and mating of cattle, and the raising of calves
  • carry out general maintenance such as fencing and spraying weeds
  • keep financial and farming records, and organise the farm business plan
  • maintain equipment and farm vehicles
  • employ and train people to work on the farm 
  • interact with vets, farm advisers and other contractors
  • follow health and safety and wellbeing procedures
  • keep up to date with new farm technology, and ways to make the dairy farm more environmentally sustainable.

Physical Requirements

Dairy farm managers need to have a good level of fitness as dairy farm work can be physically demanding.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dairy farm managers includes:

  • any type of farm or farm management work
  • animal-handling work
  • driving tractors and using machinery
  • engineering work such as welding
  • work as a stock and station agent – buying or selling sheep, cattle or deer
  • managing others.

Personal Qualities

Dairy farm managers need to be:

  • confident and caring with animals
  • patient, adaptable, practical and well organised
  • motivated and able to follow a routine
  • able to show initiative and make decisions
  • well organised, goal focused and forward thinking
  • able to work well independently, and as part of a team
  • good at communicating with and managing people.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dairy farm managers includes:

  • any type of farm or farm management work
  • animal-handling work
  • driving tractors and using machinery
  • engineering work such as welding
  • work as a stock and station agent – buying or selling sheep, cattle or deer
  • managing others.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but agricultural and horticultural science, digital technologies, maths, English and business studies to a least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Dairy Farm Managers can earn around $63K-$120K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Dairy Farm Manager are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Dairy farm managers can progress into other management roles such as operations manager. Some may buy and run their own farms. 

Dairy farm managers can specialise in a number of profit-sharing and management roles, such as:

Dairy Operations Manager
Operations managers are responsible for meeting farm owners' business goals, and other farm management functions such as ensuring farms meet resource requirements.
Contract Milker
Contract milkers pay for a percentage of the farm costs (without owning the cows) and receive a set reward per kilogram of milk solids.
Sharemilker
Sharemilkers either milk a dairy farmer's cows for a profit share, or own a herd of cows and milk them on an owner's land for a profit share.
Dairy Farm Owner
Farm owners own their own dairy farm and farming business, and may employ staff to run their farming business.

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