Dairy cow

Dairy Farm Worker Career Overview – Learn What They Do

A dairy farm worker is in charge of providing care to a herd of dairy cows in order to produce as much milk as possible.

In order to do that, they handle all aspects of milking: keeping accurate records, maintaining equipment, planning feed schedules and working with veterinarians to keep cows in good shape.

What responsibilities do dairy farm workers have?

In addition to the above responsibilities, dairy farmers also have to do the following:

  • Administer medication (including vaccinations)
  • Clean up any waste
  • Consult with nutritionists for optimized feeding plans and milk production
  • Taking milk samples
  • Cleaning milk tanks after they’re emptied
  • Work in breeding programs
  • Help feeding calves

The day to day operations can vary depending on the size of the farm. For smaller operations, dairy workers may be milking cows by hand.

In larger farming operations, the equipment maintenance may be the bigger responsibility.

How to become a dairy farm worker

Getting hands on experience working on a farm is crucial to becoming a dairy farmer.

Youth programs and organizations like 4-H clubs or Future Farmers of America are great opportunities.

A lot of dairy farmers also have two to four year degrees in animal science, dairy science, or agriculture, but this is usually not required.

Work opportunities

Dairy farm workers can work for smaller or larger farming operations.

Professional dairy farm worker associations and organizations

Click here to view the latest cow milker jobs listed

A day in the life of a dairy farm worker

A dairy farm worker is responsible for the care and management of dairy cows, ensuring that they are healthy and productive. They play a crucial role in the dairy industry, helping to produce high-quality milk and dairy products. Here is what a typical day in the life of a dairy farm worker might look like.

Early Morning

The day for a dairy farm worker typically begins early in the morning, before sunrise. They may start by checking on the cows, making sure that they have sufficient food and water and are in good health. This may involve working with a team of farm workers or overseeing their work.

The worker may also check the condition of the barn and milking parlor, making sure that they are clean and well-maintained. They may prepare the milking equipment and sanitize the udders of the cows before milking.


As the day progresses, the dairy farm worker may move on to other tasks, such as feeding the cows, ensuring that they receive a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. This may involve preparing feed rations, mixing and distributing feed, and monitoring feed intake.

The worker may also be responsible for managing the herd, which may involve monitoring the growth and development of the cows, identifying any signs of illness or disease and providing treatment as needed.


In the afternoon, the worker may continue with the tasks from the morning or move on to new ones. They may be responsible for milking the cows, using specialized equipment to collect and store the milk. This may involve working with a team of milkers or overseeing their work.

The worker may also be responsible for monitoring the quality of the milk, ensuring that it meets the standards required for dairy products. They may perform tests to ensure that the milk is free of contaminants and make adjustments as needed.


As the day comes to a close, the worker may finish up any tasks that need to be completed, such as cleaning and maintaining equipment or reviewing farm records. They may also use this time to perform routine tasks, such as bedding down the cows for the night or preparing the barn for the next day.

Being a dairy farm worker requires a high level of attention to detail and technical expertise. It is an essential role in the dairy industry, helping to produce high-quality milk and dairy products. By working closely with farm managers, veterinarians, and other professionals, a dairy farm worker can help to ensure the long-term success of a farm and contribute to the overall well-being of the community.

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