A Day in the Life
There isn't much down time.
Being a dairy farmer is more than a full time commitment! Dairy farmers spend all day working hard to care for their cows. Morning chores start at about 5 am and include feeding and prepping their cows for milking. Depending on the herd size milking can take up to four hours. Then the milking parlor and milking equipment are thoroughly cleaned. Every day, cows are fed and milked 12 hours apart. Cows, like a lot of people, do better with a routine, but nothing is predictable on a dairy farm! Feeding and milking cows aren't the only daily chores farmers have to do. They also spend their day tending to calves, cleaning the barn, scheduling veterinary visits, planting feed crops, mowing, handling milk pick up logistics, as well as barn and equipment maintenance. Dairy farmers are also business managers; they spend time managing staff, ordering supplies and equipment, accounting, and attending business meetings.
Click on the tabs below to see a day in the life of a Massachusetts dairy farmer.
- Rise and Shine! Milking starts before dawn, cows are milked first thing in the morning.
- Breakfast Time: Cows are provided with the highest quality food and water to ensure a nutritious and balanced diet.
- Time to Clean-up: The milking parlor and equipment are cleaned in order to provide a clean and safe environment.
- Feed the Calves: Calves are the future of the dairy herd, and are hand-fed to ensure proper nutrition.
- Wellness: Dairy cows receive regular visits from nutritionists and veterinarian to ensure good health.
- Cow Comfort: Stalls are cleaned and lined with fresh sand and saw dust for a comfortable housing.
- Time to Roam: When the weather is good, cows are sent out to pasture to graze.
- Stewards of the Land: Out in the fields dairy farmers plant, tend to crops and manage the soil, water and air.
- Evening Milking and Feeding: Cows are milked and fed for a second time that day.
- Farm Meeting: Farmers have daily meetings to ensure proper operations and farm maintenance.
- Balancing the Books: Dairy farmers spend plenty of time out of the barn keeping accurate records, paying bills, ordering supplies and scheduling appointments.
- Calving: Calves can arrive any time of day!