Dairy farming in Canada is big business, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, but also in Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia. It’s an industry with around 14,000 farms producing just under $12 billion worth of products each year. If you are looking to work on a dairy farm in Canada, there are all sorts of opportunities available, from dairy farm jobs in the city to work on a family-run operation in rural areas or remote parts of the country. Here’s how to find these jobs and get the career you want from working with cows!
What are the job roles?
Dairy farm jobs vary depending on your role. Depending on which position you hold, you may work with dairy cows from calving to weaning to feeding and milking. You’ll also need to handle daily dairy maintenance chores like making sure all feed is available or testing for disease or illness. Finally, those working as a manager oversee the activities of employees and make sure that tasks are done correctly.
Do I need experience?
Not necessarily. You’ll get experience quickly on a dairy farm, and there are courses available to those who don’t have a formal education. Being physically fit is key, though: it takes a lot of strength to manage animals and machinery, so if you’re not comfortable doing heavy lifting and climbing ladders, consider another career.
Is there an age limit?
The Canadian government has set an age limit of 18 for most positions on dairy farms. If you’re under 18, however, you can still apply as long as your guardian or parent also submits a job application. You must submit a letter from them with your own application explaining why they support your job opportunity. Both of you should present yourselves to speak with an employer face-to-face at least once, too.
Can I do this part-time?
Part-time jobs are ideal for people who want to gain experience while still making money. Many of these opportunities offer flexible hours, so you can often fit them into your day-to-day schedule. These types of positions are also great for extra spending money, especially if you have a very active social life and don’t want to work all weekend long! Try looking for a part-time job at businesses like fast food restaurants or retail stores.
Can I get on-the-job training?
OJT and apprenticeships are gaining popularity in industries like dairy farming. If you want to work at a dairy farm, reach out to local farms to see if they offer OJT or apprenticeship programs.
What kind of hours will I work?
The average workweek for a Canadian dairy farmer is 50 hours. If you love spending time outdoors and are willing to put in long hours, being a dairy farmer may be right for you. It’s important to be prepared to put your heart into your career!
Where will I live?
Living on a dairy farm job offers one of two options: you can stay on-site, at which point your living quarters will be dictated by your employer’s needs and facilities; or you can commute from a nearby city, in which case there will be less pressure to find housing that fits a family’s need but there may be more commuting hours. Consider how important it is for you to live close to work and how flexible you are willing to be before settling on either option.
What’s the pay like?
Larger farms will offer competitive salaries, benefits, and perks. Depending on your role, you may also be eligible for overtime and holiday pay. Many dairy farm jobs come with health insurance and bonuses for performance. To learn more about what it’s like to work on a Canadian dairy farm, check out our Dairy Farm Career Guide here.
Apply for Dairy farm jobs in Canada
Apply on jobbank.gc.ca