This industry includes dairy farming, milk cattle grazing, farming and breeding.
Dairy farming means the production of milk for profit. Successful farming requires the management of the farm's natural resources, livestock, people and finances across a wide range of climates.
Work in this industry ranges from very practical farm tasks through to complex management tasks. At the highest level, today's dairy farmers need both practical and management skills. On any one day they might have to apply the skills of a plumber, a builder, a mechanic, a fencer, an accountant, a vet, a business manager - as well as milk cows!
The type of work carried out on a dairy farm has been divided into six levels. These levels also relate to training and qualifications.
The titles for those who work at these levels are:
|Level||Job Role||Recommended qualification|
|Level 2||Dairy Farmhand||Certificate II in Agriculture (Dairy)|
|Level 3||Dairy Tradesperson||Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy)|
|Level 4||Dairy Supervisor/Herd or Pasture Production Manager||Certificate IV in Agriculture (Dairy)|
|Level 5||Dairy Farmer/Dairy Manager||Diploma of Agriculture (Dairy)|
|Level 6||Dairy Farm Owner Manager||Advanced Diploma of Agriculture (Dairy)
Advanced Diploma of Rural Business Management
A dairy farmhand is likely to be involved in a wide range of farming tasks, and to work under only limited supervision. Work undertaken as a farmhand includes:
- fencing, irrigation and farm maintenance
- animal husbandry procedures
- pest control and application of agricultural chemicals
- simple testing procedures and administrative duties
- handling, moving and drafting of livestock
There are a number of ways to get work as a dairy farmhand. Many dairy farmhands begin working on a dairy farm as a farmhand assistant. Once they develop their skills and knowledge they can undertake the role of a dairy farmhand.
With Dairy Farmhand Traineeships, you will start training as a farmhand assistant before moving to work as a farmhand. Individuals with general agricultural experience are often able to obtain work as a farm- hand in the dairy industry - to assist with milking and farm work - on a casual basis.
The national qualification available for dairy farmhands who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on the job is the Certificate II in Agriculture (Dairy).
Priority skills areas for working as a dairy farmhand include workplace health and safety, basic animal husbandry, using chemicals, farm maintenance, and machinery and equipment operation with only limited supervision.
A dairy tradesperson - sometimes called a dairy technician or operator - is likely to be involved in a wide range of dairy farm operations.Work undertaken as a dairy tradesperson includes:
- installation, operation and service of water supply and irrigation systems
- implementation of production plans in the areas of crop and pasture establishment and fodder conservation
- implementation of calving and other programs with minimal supervision
- operation of specialised machinery and machinery in adverse conditions
- supervision of milking procedures
- operation of a waste system and implementation of sustainable land use practices
- communication with dairy industry organisations, suppliers, consultants, and contractors
here are a number of ways to get work as a dairy tradesperson.
In most states, there is a Level 3 Dairy Traineeship that provides a mix of on-farm and off-farm training to tradesperson level.
Individuals with extensive dairy or general agricultural experience are also often able to obtain work as a dairy tradesperson. The national qualification available for a dairy tradesperson is the Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy).
Priority skills areas for working as a dairy tradesperson include workplace health and safety, stock handling and feeding, milking operations, using farm chemicals, farm maintenance, and machinery and equipment operation.
An installation and service technician usually has responsibility for a number of workers and for the organisation of machinery installation, testing and repair. Work undertaken by an installation and service technician includes:
- supervising employees
- conducting the total workshop operation
- auditing the milking equipment performance
- training staff supervising workshop activities, such as fabrication, repair and maintenance of equipment and machinery
- taking responsibility for installations and service on the job.
There are a number of ways to get work as an installation and service technician.
Many installation and service technicians have either worked their way up from being service technicians or have entered the industry at this level with a background in electrical, plumbing or related trade areas. At this level, they are able to take responsibility for supervising the activities of other staff and for undertaking a whole job.
The national qualification available for installation and service technicians who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on the job is the Certificate IV in Agriculture (Milk Harvesting).
Priority skills areas for working as an installation and service technician include supervision of milking machinery installation and servicing activities, staff training and supervision, budget and stock control, and machine testing and repairs.
A dairy farm manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing dairy farm activities. These responsibilities include:
- livestock breeding and production
- overall milk production and animal health
- staff management and safety
- business planning and administration
- planning and managing a dairy recycling system
- farm planning and management.
On some dairy properties, share farmers manage the above dairy activities on a contract basis for a dairy owner.
Dairy farm managers achieve their position when they have shown they can successfully manage dairy farm operations as a business. Often they have worked as a farmhand, tradesperson and supervisor, and have a good knowledge and experience of dairy farming operations.
To achieve a Diploma in Agriculture (Dairy), you will be required to demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills and that you can apply this knowledge to dairy industry standards.
Specialist dairy and rural business management training programs are available on a full-time or part-time basis in most states or through open learning.
Priority skills areas for working as a dairy farm manager include property planning and management, livestock breeding and production, staff management, and business planning and operations.
A dairy farm owner-manager has the primary responsibility for ensuring that the dairy farm enterprise is successfully managed.The responsibilities of this position include:
- business monitoring and evaluation
- management of the production system
- total quality management and control
- financial management
- whole farm planning
- product marketing
Most dairy farm owner-managers have extensive experience as farm managers or as share farmers. Their role is complex, and requires the application of a great deal of knowledge and a broad range of skills.
To achieve an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture (Dairy), you will be required to demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills and that you can apply this knowledge to dairy industry standards.
Specialist dairy and rural business management training programs are available on a full-time or part-time basis in most states, or by open learning.
Priority skills areas for working as a dairy farm owner-manager include whole farm planning and management, managing production systems, product marketing, strategic planning and financial management.