From year 12 to dairy farming
Finishing high school
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after high school. I had motor mechanics in my mind, so I did some work experience with mechanics, just to see if I liked it. After school I started working in the local supermarket, but I struggled being stuck indoors for so long. I grew up on a dairy farm so most of my time was spent outdoors on the farm.
Coming back to farming
While having a break from the farm was great, I soon decided to get back into it. I started doing some weekend milking on my parent’s farm so I could get used to waking up at 3:00am. I then spent the next 5 years working for another dairy farmer, and then decided to look for a farming job outside of milking. Now I work as a herd manager – basically I look after all the cows. I make sure the cows have proper hygiene and that they’re milking clean. I monitor how much food they’re getting, and if any cows get sick I know what to treat them with.
The career for me
I love everything about it. It’s out in nature, it’s peaceful, and the scenery is beautiful. I love working with animals, and honestly couldn’t picture myself at any other workplace. Eventually I’m hoping to work as a farm manager, where you get to make decisions about the running of the farm. Hopefully that’s my next step.
For others interested in dairy farming
It’s a difficult job to get into. You have to be really invested because it can be challenging to find a position. There was a lot of time spent on the phone, and then trying to work up a resume that looked half decent. I managed to get a job because I was already in the loop. I knew most of my neighbours and if they ever needed any work done I made sure to put my hand up.
For someone who doesn’t have a background in farming, I guess it comes down to whether you’re interested in working with animals or not. Animals aren’t people so they are going to do things that are frustrating, like injuring themselves or people. You have to work really hard, and some days are definitely tougher than others.