A career and a lifestyle

Your best working life

On the farm, no two days are the same. There are always new things to learn and fresh challenges to keep you on your toes. While some seasons will be busier than others, early starts mean early knock-offs, freeing you to enjoy your afternoons in the outdoors while your city mates are still cooped up in their office blocks.

Living rurally gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll be living and earning in wide-open spaces, but often be close enough to a city or town to get your urban fix.

“I love the flexibility with work, I can work hard today and possibly go fishing tomorrow.”

Tangaroa Walker


Out in the open air, you get out what you put in. The work can be physical, so it’s a great way to keep fit. A work week of 40+ hours is the norm. Milking often starts early in the morning, but a good roster and variety of tasks gives you some flex.

Learn while you earn

If you’re keen on training, there are lots of opportunities to upskill. Match your training with your goals and learning style, from short and practical on-the-job training to more traditional classroom-style qualifications.

Go for a job and a home

A job on a dairy farm may also come with housing. Rent in rural areas is generally lower than in towns or cities, so you can get onto the property ladder faster and you won’t waste time (or petrol money) commuting to work. This makes dairy farming a great way to set achievable savings goals.

“My goal when I was 16 was to be worth $200,000 by the time I was 22. I did a big search with my careers advisor, and dairy farming came out on top. So, I’ve worked hard at farming and by the time I was 22, I was worth $200,000.”

Tangaroa Walker

Get Social!

Flexible rosters free up time to enjoy the outdoors with like-minded people. Groups like NZ Young Farmers and Dairy Women’s Network hold regular events to keep your social calendar full. The friendships you make rurally can last a lifetime.

Sam White and Kate Stewart explain why they joined Young Farmers:

“It was a really good way for me to meet young, like-minded people.”

Kate Stewart

Great for Whānau

Bringing up a family on the farm is another big plus to living rurally. Rural communities are very welcoming with plenty of sports and outdoor activities on offer. Smaller classroom sizes in rural schools means greater learning opportunities for your little ones.

Dairy farming roles

Your first step in learning the ropes is likely to be as a farm assistant. There are plenty of opportunities from there to quickly advance your career or start your own business.

Anyone can GoDairy!

Hear from some of the awesome people working in dairy. If you want in, take the first step towards a rewarding career today.

Ready to find employment?

Meet your match

About DairyNZ

DairyNZ is an industry-good organisation that helps farmers lead the world in sustainable dairying by investing in research, new solutions and advocacy.