HERD MANAGER

As a herd manager you may have some staff working under you or be responsible for completing key areas of work. You should only require limited supervision for most tasks on farm.

DUTIES
Herd managers take responsibility for some day–to-day operations, running the dairy shed and other routine tasks.
FEEDING
You may be responsible for the day-to-day tasks of feeding one herd which could involve allocating feed, putting up fences and feeding supplement. You will generally be working with your manager to optimise the amount of feed the cows consume.
milk harvesting

You’ll understand and implement efficient milking practices and keep the farm dairy hygienic. You’ll record health treatments and solve milk quality problems.

ANIMAL HEALTH

You’ll diagnose common ailments and treat these accordingly. You’ll be competent in all aspects of calving and reproduction, e.g. observation and recording of on-heat cows.

environment

You’ll understand regulations and
management of nutrients, effluent and
water and their most efficient use. This may involve shifting the effluent spreader and, along with your manager, keeping an eye on the system to ensure it’s working well. It can also involve fencing and planting trees and plants along waterways to help improve the farm’s environmental impact.

EDUCATION
SCHOOL
It’s recommended you study maths, sciences and business. IT skills are also important.
WHAT TO STUDY

You can study a Certificate, Diploma or Degree qualification before you get a job or study part time while you work.

WORK EXPERIENCE
You’ll require one to two years’ farm experience. Often herd managers have come from a farm assistant role.

While no management experience is required, the desire to support and supervise staff is critical to your success.

SALARY
* Average herd manager salary, Farming Salaries 2018, Remuneration Summary Report 2017/18, Federated Farmers.
CAREER STORY
21-year-old herd manager Matt Dawson has big career goals. He went farming at 16-years old and studies while working.
STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU
“The career opportunities are endless – from getting your gumboots on in the morning, to being involved in the milk quality and service industry helping farmers, to working for multi-national companies overseas.”

Sam Moscrip, Herd Manager

WHERE TO STUDY
A large range of training is available for herd managers and since you are still in a supervised role, there is opportunity for you to ask your manager questions. The following formal and informal training is additional to the experience you will gain and training and study you might complete in a farm assistant role.
FORMAL

Primary ITO

  • Livestock Feeding Level 3 – For those who’ve been working on a dairy farm for at least one year
  • Dairy Farming Level 4 – Recommended for Herd Managers looking to move into positions of more responsibility on farm
For a comprehensive list of training and industry-agreed dairy farm role descriptions visit DairyNZ.
INFORMAL

Herd managers work closely with the farm manager or farm owner. You’ll have opportunities to ask questions and be shown how to do tasks.

DairyNZ

  • Calf rearing – Basic
  • Lameness – The Healthy Hoof programme focuses on prevention of lameness in conjunction with information and training on management and treatment of lame cows
  • Biz Start – Designed to meet the needs of farmers looking to progress
  • Healthy Udder – Improve systems and practices on individual farms
WHERE TO STUDY
A number of training providers offer courses, from taster courses to New Zealand Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. Check out the interactive map.
PRIMARY ITO
Primary ITO organises training and qualifications in your area. Courses range from starting out, to 1-2 years’ experience and management.
DAIRY TRAINING
Dairy Training works with Primary ITO to deliver off-job courses throughout New Zealand for NZQA levels 2-6. Training is vocational, meaning you learn while in employment.

Improve lives, enhance the environment, design the future

JOB SEARCH
Ask around or approach a farm. Check out DairyNZFarm Source jobsTrade Me jobsSeek or Indeed.
TIPS AND TRICKS
GET A MENTOR

A mentor is someone already working or familiar with the career you choose; someone you respect and can use as a sounding board for your ideas.

EMPLOYERS WANT
Build your reputation from day one and you’ll go far in the dairy sector. Be an employee with the right attitude, skills and a willingness to learn.
NETWORKING
NZ Young Farmers is a progressive and dynamic social network for rural youth. Dairy Women’s Network is a vibrant community of women.

dairynz.co.nz

Employee information, tips and tricks for working in the dairy sector.

Are you with these social networks?

EMPLOYEE AND SELF-EMPLOYED CAREER PATHWAYS

DISCOVER YOUR FIT

What do you enjoy? Match your skills and interests to a dairy sector career.

WHERE TO STUDY

Find out options to learn and study for a successful dairy sector career.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Read stories about people just like you and their journeys to successful dairy sector careers.

INSPIRING STORIES

News and stories about people in dairy farming, agri-science and agri-business careers.