A 50/50 sharemilker takes responsibility for the production system. They also maintain farm infrastructure and machinery and may employ labour where required. They are responsible for the financial management of their own business.
Sharemilkers are self employed contractors who receive a percentage of the milk income, and pay a percentage of costs, based on the amount of stock and machinery they contribute to the agreement. Income depends on both payout and production.
Sharemilkers are responsible for defined areas of expenditure and will supply agreed resources e.g. motorbike, machinery or stock.
The level of responsibility for a sharemilker is less strategic than a farm owner. It requires the knowledge and understanding of farming at the same level as a farm manager, with the added responsibility for financial management of their own business.

Is it for me?

A sharemilker must enjoy working with and caring for animals. This means everything from animal health to pasture management to ensure animals are appropriately cared for. You'll need to be able to manage staff and expenditure on the farm.

How to get there:

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

You will ideally have 3-5 years experience working directly on farm, having gained an overview of all the required elements needed for farm management. You will also have some experience of managing staff. It may be useful to hold one or more of the following qualifications: National Certificate in Agribusiness Management, Level 4; National Diploma in Agribusiness Management, Level 4; Certificate in Rural Staff Management (or similar); Production Management -  stage 2; an agricultural science / management bachelor’s degree


You could be expected to work anywhere between 50 to 60 hours a week, often starting around 5 am and finishing in the evening. This will vary depending on the season. Weekend work can be expected.


The earning potential of a sharemilker will depend on the size of the herd and the milk payout price. They will recieve 50% of the milk profits from the farm.

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