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The 10 Worst Jobs of 2012: 2 - Dairy Farmer

Dairy Farmer

Directs and takes part in activities involved in the raising of cattle for milk production.

  • Overall Score: 1748.00
  • Income: $33,119.00

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I really want to be a dairy farmer but its going to be hard because I dont have a background in dairy farming. Is it worth it is my question.  


first off i and my family are die hard farmers in ontario!!! this is not what it is all about. its about the animals and crop from the fiield you wanna hear about a bad job heres one for yah: 

Yes sir i agee with u 100% id

Yes sir i agee with u 100% id rather enjoy my job and make less money than have lots and be completly miserable

Prison's better than dairying

I am a dairy farmer and prison is better.  In prison you don't have to milk cows and you don't lose money.  We have to be among the hardest working folk out there yet we can't make a decent living.  But for some reason I love it and will never quit although I don't want my Childern to do it.  Which after they see the way I work I don't think they'd ever want to.  Paul Harvey said it best.  It's nothing for me to put 18.5 hours aday in and 16 is the minimal.  But our wonderful goverment wants me to buy " profit insurance " paid for by tax payers instead of giving us a fair price.  What other industry in the WORLD has to have insurance to make a profit?


I have a friend who works on a dairy farm. Although only a sophomore in high school, she works on a dairy farm when she is not in school, occasionally missing school for the dairy farm. I know this is a difficult job, and I can't imagine it being my job.

Agriculture is thriving!

Anybody else notice there are beef cows behind the farmer - not dairy cows.
Dairy farming is NOT a terrible job. It takes hard work, committment and dedication to own and operate a dairy farm - just like it takes a business owner on Main Street!
We dairy farm. We have five part-time employees. We have one of the top 200 herds in our state and we take an annual 10-day trip to Hawaii!
Don't knock it till you try it!
And just an FYI: Because of media's inability to count agriculture in their job prospect reviews we get very little exposer as a possible career area. Did you know that during the economic down turn, there was one area of the economy that thrived: AGRICULTURE!
South Dakota State University has a 100 percent placement in their Dairy Production and Manufacturing program! ROCK ON!



agriculture is thriving

that was the first thing i noticed where i come from there called black baldies  Herford /angus cross


What is the milk cheque for 80 cows milking

one of my dream job

I have SO much respect for farmers. I only wish I grew up on a farm, I've worked ona horse farm for 2 years now and it can be tough with over 15 horses and other animals and only have 2 or 3 people. I hope one day I can have my own farm. I love animals and there are so many great, hard working farmers in our community and I think they are amazing people. Since i can't work full time on a farm (yet) I am at least gaining knowledge everyday whether by talking to local farmers or reading cattle breed books. how else would we get milk? yogurt and cheese? I cant stand it when vegans think they know everything and can just put down farmers. I was so so so happy when during the superbowl Ram made that commercial about farmers. it's too bad that that doesn't happen more often. so all you farmers out there- i think you are amazing and such hard workers. i can only hope that one day i can make my part time job into something full time and life long. thank you

Not a dream job, get a grip

If you think that living and working on a farm is some romantic making-food-for-the-people, getting-back-to-nature, waking-up-to-the-cock-of-a-rooster, dream trip, you need a reality check. Getting a farm to work requires a greater than "full-time" commitment in most cases. If you've worked 8 hours and something else still needs doing, you just have to do it anyways. You don't hope that someday you get to own a farm. That is a retarded dream. I'm sorry. It just is. You will not make money from being a farmer, and you'll likely work twice as you would in a regular "city" job, where you'd be making more money anyways by being paid hourly. My parents moved to a farm after we'd lived in a city for the first 12 years of my life, because they had dreams about being in the country and riding horses and "getting back to nature" or some bullshit. Flashback to reality, our family was stressed to no end when the other shoe feel that we would all have to spend most of our "time-off" from school, other jobs, hobbies, basicaly all the things you normally would be doing, doing farm work. When I was younger I was involved in music and sports and got good grades. After we moved to the farm I we were suddenly a 30 minute drive from anyone else. No more walking down the street to friend's house's to play music or video games. No more sports teams in the city. All of the sudden every trip is expensive because we have to use so much more gas... I could go on for a long time, there's just so much stuff you're going to get boned on and miss, like not being able to get real high speed internet for example. Add to this the fact that we haven't turned a profit on the farm at all. In 10 years. And now we have to take on more debt to keep going. If my parents had just kept their 100K+ per year office jobs and never moved to a farm, they'd BE RETIRED BY NOW. Fuck farming. Thanks.

My buddy works on a horse

My buddy works on a horse farm with over 120 horse and only 3 full time employees I work for a dairy farmmilking over 1000 head in a 20 by 20 parlor that means only 40 cows at a time in the parlor 

As a son of a father who grew

As a son of a father who grew up around cows and horses, my dad really wouldn't mind working here.

Bull Sh*t, or maybe dairy cattle sh*t.

A dairy farm manager might make 30k a year but the owner makes way better money.

dairy manager

a dariry farm manager would make more then that more like 65 75 k a year 30k year is what you start on in nz and you get free board and power and phone and heaps off good long days and hours to keep you going.i think dairy farming is only for real men not city boys what like sleep in and dont like hard work 

Worked on a dairy since I was 13.

From the looks of it, most of these comments are coming from dairy workers/owners of small herds, under 1,000 head.That kind of dairy would be easy to manage and work on.I guess my company could fall into the category of a "factory" dairy, with 18,000 milking head, and another 17 - 19,000 heifers (newborns up to springers). Let me tell you something -- it is hard work. I started off working outside with the cows, from pushing up the pens, delivering calves, feeding calves, administering medicine, driving tractors, entering data on the computers, the list could go on. I'm now 27 years old, I've done more manual labor in those 14 years then some guy working a nice cozy office 9-5 job ever will (btw, we work 5am - 5pm, 6 days a week, I'm writing this on my lunch break at 2:40pm!) Anyways, it's a stressful job, it's hard, and it can be nerve wracking at times. However, like 90% of the other comments have said, it does pay off, especially when you're producing 1,200,000+ lbs of milk a day!Basically, dairy workers and farmers help keep our country going.

R u kidding me!

What kind of comment is that... especially when you produce 1,200,000 lbs. a day! I would be willing to bet your expenses to produce that milk on that farm are way higher per cow than a farm with less than 100 cows.You are only 27 years old and need to get away from corp. farms!


The bigger you get the LOWER cost-per-cow goes. No matter how you look at it, costs are much higher on a 100 cow farm than they are for 1000 or bigger. Labor costs alone make 100 cow farms almost impossible to cash-flow, but a 1000 cow dairy can easily pay ~30 employees. feed costs go down per cow when more cows are being fed.

The Article Picture and Choice of Rank for Dairy Farming

Montbeliardes are red and white. The ones in the picture are most likely black herefords. Montbeliardes are mainly dairy cattle like someone in this post said, but they look like holsteins, except they are white with red spots or vice versa. It's however you want to look at it. Now there are cross breeds with holsteins that give them the black and white color scheme because of the dominant color genes in the holstein, but they wouldn't be almost completely black like the ones in the picture. Like I said, the ones in the picture are most likely black herefords. I'm basing this on the fact of having experience in the dairy industry as well as having gone to school and receiving a degree in agriculture. Anyways, back to the main topic, dairy farming is highly rewarding and your job is only as enjoyable as you can make it. Some jobs are harder to make that happen. I understand completely too, that the fact of the matter is that most people in the industry will back it up while others outside of it will automatically assume it is awful. This is not for everybody, but that certain group of people that love to do it, have to do it because if food is not created, then nobody eats. Food doesn't just pop out of nowhere. I disagree with this website and their choice to put dairy farming where they put it. I also disagree with several other jobs that they put up, but of course that is my opinion and everyone is entitled to one. However, The Wall Street Journal put up an article that more accurately looks at different fields including agriculture. If anyone really wants insight into any career field, I would definitely recommend listening to The Wall Street Journal over this website any day. I'm not saying this is a bad website, I just feel that they are making certain fields out to be more negative than what they should be without proper full-fledged research.

Born & raised on a Dairy farm

I was born and raised on a dairy farm. We grew our own and our cows' food and fertilized the fields with the manure from the cows. We even took vacations. (We paid others to milk for us while we were gone.) We didn't make a lot of money but we had a great life. If you're in the dairy business for making money, it's the wrong business. But if you're in it to live life, it's a great way to live. We learned how to live sustainably on the farm. Living close to nature and the way we were meant to live keeps us close to Yah and seeing things as they are- not through rose-colored glasses that you get to wear in the city.

if you don't like your job, switch it up

The best part about this article is that it causes discussion and reflection. The 'worst' job is only the worst if it's YOURS and YOU think it is; the opposite is true for the 'best' job. My experience is that we all have good days and bad but the happiest people are the ones who take pride in their contribution and find satisfaction in their accomplishments. I admit, however, that it's hard to find an accurate picture of that.



Always impressed by the farmers

I am a veterinarian, and see small animals although my colleagues see the large dairy and beef breeds, sheep, goats, and these days, llama and alpaca (horse vets are another group altogether). I love the farmers - they are hard working folks, who are really business minded but also, if it's a family farm especially, love their cows. It's not unusual to be coming in at 3:30 - 4 AM in the morning to see all of the lights in the milking parlor being on while the first milking set is underway. Too bad most of the US does not have a real sense of where their food comes form these days.


For all the idiots that say they are beef cows obviously have knowledge of the dairy animal. Those cows are called montbelliards which are cross breeds but the majority of the genetics is dairy. Look it up.

interesting use of breed for picture

I DID look up montbeliard, and it doesn't look anything like the picture here! I do not know what actual breed is depicted, but I've been around dairy cattle for all of my adult life, and I think it's interesting that the authors of the article used the picture they did. I suspect it was simply out of ignorance than anything else, but obviously it would make sense to use one of the major dairy breeds!


Beings that a local dairy i work at purchased some that look quite similar to the picture, I do believe i know what I am talking about. Yes, they should have used a more common breed but nonetheless, the picture correctly depicts the dairy animal.

should be noted as one of the worst jobs for DAIRY COWS

Hopefully someday the world will realize HUMANS don't need the BREASTMILK of a COW and these lovely ladies won't have to be forcefully impregnated, have their babies taken from them, be pumped up with hormones, steroids and anti-biotics, end up with mastitis, only to be turned into dog food when they no longer can produce BREASTMILK for HUMANS.

Here we go again

What do all of you animal rights activists think us farmers should do with our cattle? Just turn them loose or better yet feed them until they die, just for the heck of it? I milk 180 cows and take extremely good care of them and yes when they quit producing they go to slaughter, although not for dog food but for human food. And just so you know you will always be fighting a losing battle, the world will never quit milking cows, slaughtering animals, hunting animals and so forth. If we did the world would have a far bigger problem than you could ever fathom.



Vegan Lies

Here we are again. Another vegan pretending that the only way to farm with animals is the factory way. I suppose a few of them are honest dupes, but most are knowing liars.

I owned a dairy cow until she died at 14. She never had hormones, ate hay except for the occasional ear of sweet corn, which she loved, and well, forcible impregnation, HAH!. When she saw the bull, the gate had better be open, or else it was going down.

What kind of losing ideology has to lie to propagate itself?

a wyoming cowboy

in referance to the idiot that doesnt know what they are talking about i ran 2500 head for my bosses on the red desret and it was how nature intended so if you going to run you mouth please do your home work frist!


To each his own. There is nothing better than having 50, 100, even 1000's of coworkers(cattle) that never judge you, are always happy to see you and are able to give you an EXTREME feeling of satisfaction everyday. Keep in mine being a business owner is a stressful job regardless of which industry it is, and with that to each his own.

Being a dairy farmer can be

Being a dairy farmer can be one of the most rewarding jobs. You get a chance to see all your hard work pay off in the amount that is produced. What is better than being able to see the positives of all your hard work?
Dairy Farming may be a tough way to make a living, but ask majority of the Dairy Farmers, and I can almost guarantee that they would not want any other job or change their life for the world.
It would be nice for people to know the difference between beef cattle and dairy cattle. Please use a correct picture, it seriously degrades the report.

To those who disagree

Of course you guys think that it's the best job ever, you're doing it. People naturally begin to find positives when there are few once they are doing something. It's definitely not worth it and you clearly have no higher ambition.

No Higher Ambision????

Are u kidding me no higher ambition,comfortable... It's a difficult business for sure. But for those that are successful the financial rewards can be huge. Some of these guys make 6 and even 7 figures and can build millions in equity over their career...

know what you are talking about

Make sure you know what you are talking about before you judge others. While you are sitting in your mothers basement spend a little time and do some research instead of playing video games. I guarantee you dairy farmers have more work ethic than you will ever know. At least we don't have to deal with stupid people all day. (i.e. YOU)

Start growing all your own

Start growing all your own food then. Quit relying on someone else with "no higher ambition" to do if for you, slacker!!

There are not enough farmers, PERIOD!

I am a dairy farmer; I milk cows and goats. Yes, it is a 24/7/365 job, but the best ever. I have a BFA for a well-know college, I am educated and I love being outdoors, working with animals and KNOWING where my food comes from, how it was raised and how it was handled after production/harvest. I have raised my 3 children on the farm. How many can say their child at 14 can operate a milking system, milk the animals properly, clean the system, clean the barn and take care of the milk so the dairy continues to meet our Grade A standard. Not many. It is a hard job and a Thank-less one, for us farmers are so taken for granted. But, I cann ask my child to go to the barn to get me my half gallon of milk, butter, cheese and even beef, pork or chicken! Howw many can do that? Farming is not a job - It is a lifestyle that encompasses your family, your neighborhood, your town. The farmer is there for the community and will be long after the factories have shut down.

Those are beef animals in the picture...

and beef farmers lead an entirely different way of life than dairy farmers.
I trust that the facts in the tabulation are not as erroneous as the picture or your organization has a serious credibility problem. Learn about what you are writing about! This is just another example of how far the city mind has flown from the country.

Dairy Farmers

Yep I caught that too, Beef cattle behind the man in photo. Americans need to learn where their food comes from & what the animals are that produce it! Then maybe they would have more respect for this most important of jobs. Without farmers we don't eat !

no they arent

the cows in the picture are called montbilliards dumbass

Disagree completely

Life on a dairy farm (and any other farm I have been on) should be on the list of top jobs, not worst jobs. The commute out the back door is one that I look forward to every day.

Dairy Farmer

If you are looking for a job with high pay, sex appeal, and vacation time look elsewhere.

Reminds of an old co-worker

I worked with a guy who grew up on a dairy farm. He quoted his Dad as saying "I've never been in prison, but I've run a dairy farm for 20 years. I figure it is pretty much the same thing - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and never a day off!"

My guess is this was written

My guess is this was written by someone who has no work ethic, compassion for animals, or an appreciation for the fruits of your labor!


Or someone who just stood in front of a green screen 

*DAIRY* cows

This is a picture of beef cows, FYI....

Thank you! Glad someone else

Thank you! Glad someone else caught that

Should at least use a picture

Should at least use a picture of dairy cows as well. As someone in the midst of returning to the dairy farm I would disagree as well, 15 years in the corporate world weren't all that great!!


Obviously the people in charge if this list didn't know anything about dairy farming to begin with, or they wouldn't have used a picture of beef cattle.

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