What does a Agriculture-Dairy Herdsperson (640D) do?

Dairy Herdspersons carry out feeding, health, and breeding programs on dairy farms, and may also supervise general farm workers. They are responsible for maintaining livestock performance records and performing all dairy-producing work, including selection, breeding, feeding, and medicating the animals.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Reading and interpreting cattle documentation, feed sheets, feeding guides, government regulations, and nutritionist or veterinarian prescriptions
  • Gaining and putting into practice strong knowledge of safety and sanitary procedures for animals, machinery, chemicals, and pesticides
  • Ensuring cattle health and comfort are maintained by treating cattle health problems, monitoring feeding conditions, maintaining barn, selecting replacement stock, and overseeing breeding program
  • Performing required pre-milking and milking procedures; ensuring that sanitary conditions exist for the handling, collection, and storage of milk; attaching milking units and making necessary adjustments; keeping accurate and up-to-date milking records
  • Performing manure management procedures by removing, storing, and spreading manure; understanding and remaining in compliance with biosecurity and environmental issues and regulations
  • Preparing for calving by observing the cattle; requesting additional assistance when required to ensure calf is delivered healthily and safely in well-prepared environment
  • Performing young calf and heifer rearing techniques
    • Correct identification procedures
    • Administering injections and medications to promote good health
    • Implementing and maintaining feeding schedules for heifers
    • Continually observing and monitoring herd for signs of stress and illness
  • Operating and maintaining farm systems, vehicles, equipment, and farm machinery
  • Producing, harvesting, and storing feed crops, if applicable
  • Using computers and related software to maintain production, breeding, and financial records
  • Hiring and supervising staff

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

  • Secondary school diploma with math, science, and English credits; Agricultural Specialist High Skills Major program may be asset
  • While not mandatory, completion of a 6,000-hour apprenticeship, including a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, is recommended

What's Your Future as a Agriculture-Dairy Herdsperson (640D)?

  • Employment opportunities linked to agricultural industry trends
  • Potential jobs include dairy herdsperson, supervisory positions like dairy operations manager or farm supervisor, or government inspector
  • Herdspersons may find work with family farms or corporate entities; establishing own dairy operation requires extremely large capital investment

Wage Rate

Apprentice wage increases with skill and experience. Fully qualified workers can make up to $19.00 per hour, excluding overtime.

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