Sharemilker Kaiwhakahaere Mīraka Kau

Sharemilkers either milk a dairy farmer's cows for a profit share, or own a herd of cows and milk them on an owner's land for a profit share.

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Sharemilkers may do some or all of the following:

  • provide labour, shed costs, electricity and vehicles on farms
  • own, manage and milk herds of cows 
  • manage farming activities on behalf of farm owners
  • be responsible for calf rearing and cattle reproduction
  • negotiate profit-sharing contracts with dairy owners or farm companies
  • buy and sell livestock
  • follow health and safety and wellbeing procedures.

Physical Requirements

Sharemilkers need to have a good level of fitness as dairy farm work can be physically demanding.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for sharemilkers includes:

  • working with animals 
  • farm, forestry, engineering or labouring work
  • using technology
  • driving farm vehicles and machinery
  • managing a business.

Personal Qualities

Sharemilkers need to be:

  • confident and caring with animals
  • practical
  • hardworking and motivated
  • responsible 
  • willing to learn
  • able to work under pressure and in a team.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for sharemilkers includes:

  • working with animals 
  • farm, forestry, engineering or labouring work
  • using technology
  • driving farm vehicles and machinery
  • managing a business.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but agricultural and horticultural science, digital technologies, maths and English to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Sharemilkers can earn around $64K-$97K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Sharemilker are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Sharemilkers may progress to other roles in the dairy industry such as:

Sharemilkers can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Contract Milker
Contract milkers pay for a percentage of the farm costs (without owning the cows) and receive a set price per kilogram of milk solids.
Variable or Lower Order Sharemilker
Variable or lower order sharemilkers manage farm property and are paid a percentage of milk income.
Herd Owning or 50:50 Sharemilker
Herd owning or 50:50 sharemilkers supply the herd and operate the farm for its owner. 

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