This is an entry level managerial role where the individual takes some responsibility for the day to day operation of part of the farm or one herd on the farm.
Be responsible for tasks such as feed allocation, milking, and health of a herd. On larger farms this role may also extend to supervising allocated staff. This is not an 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 of manager.

Also known as:

  • Assistant Herd Manager
  • Senior Herd Manager

Is it for me?

Working as a herd manager would suit someone who enjoys working outdoors, handling animals and doesn't mind getting their hands dirty. A farm manager needs to be able to manage staff as well as a farming operation.

How to get there:

Useful subjects to take at school are: agriculture, horticulture, workshop technology, maths, English and science.

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 usedful 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.


Herd Managers will often start around 5am in the morning and work through to late afternoon or evening, but with an hour or so for breakfast and lunch; these hours may change 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.


Herd managers will generally earn an average salary of $50,000; which may include a benefits package which could include housing, some meals or even power.

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