There are many opportunities in dairy farming and the demand is high for motivated and enthusiastic people with a willingness to learn. Employers are looking for people that have the right attitude and motivation, you don’t have to have all the practical skills. Many farmers are willing to teach new staff the skills needed for working on a farm.
Your first step into farming is likely to be as a farm assistant where you’ll learn the ropes and gain the skills needed to advance your career.
Get your CV ready
Making sure you have an up-to-date CV is key for your job search. Ensure that your CV outlines your skills and experience from your current and/or previous jobs and highlights the skills that can transfer to a dairy farm position. A good CV will help you stand out to a prospective employer.
You will need to include referees that can vouch for you and a cover letter that makes any prospective employer want to know more about you. Make sure that the CV and cover letter are well written and that you get someone to check it before you send it.
Where to find a dairy farm job
The majority of farm jobs will be advertised on Farm Source Jobs website, other places to look are TradeMe Jobs, or NZ Dairy Jobs on Facebook. You could also consider posting an ad saying you are looking for work on a farm, giving a brief outline of experience and giving farmers your contact details. Being proactive and promoting yourself shows you are keen and motivated.
Do some research about the farms in the area that you want to live, who might be good to work for, speak to other people in the area to find out if the employer is someone you might want to work for.
On-farm Job interviews
Having a job interview on a dairy farm is often a bit less formal than an office job, but it’s still important to make a good impression. Make sure you turn up on time, dress appropriately (take gumboots as you will probably be taken out on farm), and be prepared – ask relevant questions and rehearse answers to potential questions about your skills and experience.
What to expect at an interview
To get an idea of what a typical farm interview might be like check out this video.
Read stories about people and their journeys to successful dairy sector careers.