Even in these tough economic times it is still possible to earn a decent living working as a dairy farmer. Of course, not everyone will be suited to this particular line of work. However, those who are can expect plenty of fresh air and exercise as well as being financially rewarded for doing a job that they love.
Many farmers inherit their farms from parents or other family members. If this isn’t something that applies to you then it might be sensible to work for a dairy farmer before deciding to organise your own farm. This will give a close up insight into the day-to-day activities that this line of work will entail. Long hours are par for the course, so for those individuals that prefer a comfy office and a 9-5 working day then this career path won’t be for them.
If you fancy owning your own farm then this blog post will provide some basic information on things that you should know about before you get started.
Getting started in dairy-farming can be a little more expensive than some of the other forms of farming. It should be remembered that as well as the herd, you will need to make sure that you have the necessary equipment.
Unless you are planning to milk the cows by hand you will need to invest in some electronic milking equipment. A selection of tubes, pipes and of course vacuum pumps are all needed to make sure that your milking operation gets off to the right start.
If you have a limited budget then it is likely that part of this equipment will need to be bought second-hand. Very often the costs of trying to buy all of your specialist equipment brand new puts financial pressure on other parts of the business.
A word of warning though, try to make sure that the equipment has been well looked after before you consider buying it. Faulty vacuum pumps or other issues won’t help you to make a flying start. Remember buying used equipment will help you to free up more of your cash that can be spent on your herd. When the business gets going you will be able to re-budget and replace any equipment as you see fit.
Hopefully you will have a good idea about the size of the herd that you are looking for. If not now is most definitely the time to start thinking about this.
Whatever the answer is here you should always aim to buy the best quality of cows that you can. This policy will help to prevent you from being lumbered with poor producing cows. When this happens you will face a constant battle to rebuild your herd; something that many seasoned dairy farmers bemoan on a constant basis.
Another great way to help keep costs sensible is to organise cheap labour. The easiest and probably best way to do this is to try to coerce friends and relatives into helping you out. Often this is easy enough to do, especially in the early stages when everyone is more enthusiastic about things.
Connect with Others
There is a very good chance that you won’t be the only farmer in your local area. This can be very useful in helping you to form alliances with other workers and should be seen as a positive.
Take the time out to visit these other farms; especially the ones that have been around for a long time. It is important to try to glean as much information as you can in the early stages. Grabbing the attention of other local farmers and asking for their advice is normally seen as a positive rather than a negative step.
Bill Jobs is a writer who understands that buying specialised equipment new can be an expensive path to take. Therefore, he suggests that farmers should buy second-hand vacuum pumps and tubing although you need to check that the equipment is in good working order before purchase.