Do you think you can understand the behaviour of cattle? Have you ever milked a cow, or a buffalo or a goat maybe? Do you love it? Do you have one at home? Have you ever tried to teach your sisters or friends how to milk a cow? Do you love to be around them to feed and take care of them? Then you can study a little bit more after school to become a professional Dairy Farmer. Explore to find out who Dairy Farmers are, what they do and how to become one. Who can say you might own a dairy farm one day.
Dairy farming is a field job. Dairy farmers rear animals, raise them and breed them. Most of the dairy farms in India require you to work with cows. However, there are many dairy farms that have mix of both, cows and buffalos or just buffalos. Dairy farmers are equipped in building and maintaining animals’ accommodation, establish livestock in the accommodation, provide sufficient food and water to animals, maintain healthy performance of animals, milk animals with both hands and machines, and process dairy products.
Why become a dairy farmer?
As a Dairy Farmer, you will work in dairy farms which breed and raise cows and buffaloes for production of milk and associated milk products. You will be responsible for various ground level activities involved in managing a dairy farm including proper care of animals (health and productivity), milking and distribution of produced milk etc.
You need to ensure production of high quality milk and animal comfort and well being. Your work will mainly involve rearing and feeding of the animals, ensuring that their rearing areas are clean and sanitised, and making sure that all the animals are in proper health conditions. You have to pay maximum attention to the animals during their breeding period.
Dairy Farmers work on farms and milking sheds in all kinds of weather conditions. They usually have to work in dusty, dirty, and wet environments. Also, the working hours are long and generally begin early (before dawn) every day.
As a Dairy Farmer, you will have to look after the needs of every animal at your farm, clean the facility/equipment and monitor the animals’ behavior and health issues. You will have to dispose animal wastes in the prescribed manner following established rules. You will have to report any hazard or signs of ill health as soon as you notice them. You will also have to monitor and maintain the condition of tools and farm equipment.
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What does a dairy farmer do?
As a Dairy Farmer, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –
- You will be ensuring proper breeding of the animals and taking care during reproduction period.
- You will be feeding the animals properly and ensure they have adequate supply of food and water.
- You will be herding animals to pasture for grazing (in some large scale animal farms).
- You will be checking, monitoring and reporting physical characteristics such as growth and weight gain.
- You will be cleaning the rearing or living quarters of the animals.
- You will be examining the animals daily or at regular intervals to detect illness, injury or diseases and taking timely action to maintain their health and well-being.
- You will be ensuring proper medical treatment which includes giving medicines and vaccinations and checkups by veterinarians.
- You will be ensuring proper maintenance and repair of all farm equipment, machinery, buildings, pens, stalls, yards, etc.
- You will be preparing livestock for transfer to other facilities by grading, marking, tagging etc.
How to become a dairy farmer – Eligibility Criteria
You may not need any formal education or training to get a work as a farm hand in the dairying business. However, it is better to complete Class 5 in school before trying to get a job. Ideally, you should do a training course for Dairying or obtain training certificates as described.
The educational fees to become a dairy farmer is somewhere around Rs. 3000 to Rs. 15,000.
You will find work at different individually owned dairy farms or farms contracted by various corporate organizations as well as in dairy co-operatives functioning in rural areas, which are involved in breeding, raising, sales and export of dairy produce.
Salary of Dairy Farmer
In entry-level jobs, you can expect a monthly salary package of around Rs. 3,000 – 12,000 or more a month.
As you gain about 5-7 years of experience, your average monthly salary will be somewhere around Rs. 7,000 – 18,000 or more a month.
In about 10-12 years time, your salary package will range anywhere between Rs. 10,000 – 25,000 or more a month.
Career Progression in Dairy farming career
You can grow within the dairy business through roles such as Senior Worker, Farm Supervisor, Farm Head etc.
What does industry trends say – Future Prospects
You can expect a bright future in this field as the industry growth prospects are encouraging. By 2030, the milk and meat consumption in developing countries will be double that of 1990. Exports will also increase as the size of the market in developed countries will be double that of developing countries by 2030.
After obtaining proper training and certification, you may also set up and run your own dairy farm. India’s Dairy industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 15% compounded annually between 2016 and 2020 and reach a value of Rs. 9.4 trillion. Also, by 2020, India is poised to become the largest dairy producer in the world, surpassing EU, with India s milk production projected to outperform global production and grow at a rate of 4.2% compounded annually and reach 185 million MT (metric tons) per annum. India’s per capita milk consumption (consumption by a single person) has also been growing at a rate of 3% compounded annually as compared to 1% globally.
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