Farm Manager

Salary $78,000+

Farm Manager - Dairy Farming


Farm Managers are responsible for meeting farm goals, including all aspects of production, stock, environmental and staff management. You’re likely to be involved in the budgeting process but will not set the budget.

Ideally you’ll have a minimum of five years’ experience working on farm and will have gained an overview of all the required elements needed for farm management. You’ll also have experience managing staff.



Monitoring seasonal weather events and assessing how they will affect the farm system (e.g. pasture growth rates and pasture damage). Balancing production and cost to meet farm policy. Planning and implementing pasture improvement programme including deciding which paddocks need re-grassing. Implementing cropping policy on farm.


Organise herd tests as per farm policy. Monitoring records and/or ensuring only quality information goes to the operations manager.

Animal Health

Putting together breeding programmes that maximise genetic gain. Coordinating with breeding company and vet regarding mating plan requirements. Setting and monitoring the calving and calf rearing plan to meet farm policy. Setting annual plans for animal health programmes. Deciding whether to cull or treat stock.


Ordering supplies at most economical price. Organising all contractors to meet farm policies and budgets. Maintaining knowledge of and planning to meet key performance indicators. Monitoring and working within budget guidelines for cost/expenses. Maintaining knowledge of cost of production.


Setting effluent plan and monitoring system. Making sure all plans are implemented, monitored and up to date to meet compliance requirements. Following milk processor’s quality assurance practices.


Creating rosters for staff, including calf rearers or seasonal employees. Allocating role responsibilities i.e. who does what. Monitoring performance, supporting conflict resolution, allocating the appropriate training relevant to the budget and individuals training needs. Building a team culture that supports the farms goals and values. Staff gap analysis and assessing/implementing training requirements.

Career story

“Anyone who grows up in town and has no background in farming can go into dairy farming and become successful.” – Hayley Hoogendyk | Farm Manager


Additional Training

Additional to the skills and experience you’ve gained, and the training and education you’ve completed in previous dairy farming roles (up to Assistant Manager), formal and informal training may include the following.


Polytechnic qualifications

  • Diploma in Agribusiness Management
  • Human Resource Module
  • Resource Management and Planning Module
  • Business
  • Financial Planning and Management Module
  • Mastitis Management

University qualifications

  • Diploma in Farm Management
  • Bachelor of Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture)



    • QuickStart Recruitment Kit – A simple starting point for farmers when employing staff
    • People Productivity Kit – Your solution to managing employees for great performance
    • Body Condition Scoring – Information about Body Condition Scoring (BCS) including how-to guides, videos, and the certified assessors list.

    About DairyNZ

    DairyNZ is an organisation that, through research, events, services, education and policy, works with dairy farmers to secure and enhance the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of New Zealand dairy farming. New Zealand dairy farmers pay DairyNZ a levy to support them. Find out more at