Herd Manager

This is an entry level managerial role where the individual takes some responsibility for the day to day operation of part of the farms or one herd on the farm.

Working as a Herd Manager would suit someone who enjoys working outdoors, handling animals and doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty. A Herd Manager may need to be able to manage staff as well as a farming operation.

A Herd Manager will be responsible for tasks such as feed allocation, milking and health of a herd. On larger farms this may also extend to supervising allocated staff. This is not and autonomous role. You are still actively learning about duties and areas of responsibility on the farm. You will be working in direct consultation with a farm owner or manager.

Job Type:

Assistant Herd Manager or Senior Herd Manager


Herd Managers will often start around 5am in the morning and work through to late afternoon or evening, with an hour or so for Breakfast and Lunch. These hours may vary depending on the season. Herd Managers will often be required to work in the weekends.

Chances of Employment:

The number of dairy farms in New Zealand has increased a lot over the last 10 years. This means that there are good opportunities for employment. 

Personal Requirements:

Employers look for Herd Managers who are: Patient, adaptable and practical; motivated and able to follow a routine; able to work well independently and as part of a team; good at communicating with and managing people. You should be fit and have good stamina and health.


Herd Managers will generally earn an average salary of between $43,000 and $49,000; this may include benefits such as housing, meals, meat or power.



Useful subjects to take at school are: agriculture, maths, accounting, biology or science and computing.

Ideally you will have at least 2 years experience working on farm as a farm assistant or in a similar role. It may also be useful to have a National Certificate in AgriBusiness Management, Level 3, working towards level 4. Some herd managers have studied farm management at university as well.