Is city life becoming too much for you?
Or, maybe you don't seem to fit in or like it in the city. Perhaps it's even killing your soul a bit.
Do you get a feeling of longing and belonging when thinking of working with animals outdoors with a whole lot of space and nature around? And especially with not that many people around you?
In that case, farming life might be for you!
If you also like the idea of having cattle and producing milk – then, we’re almost there. You could be a dairy farmer – before you know it.
But I'm sure you have a lot of questions.
Such as – is it healthier to live in the city or on a farm? Is dairy farming too stressful, and will it take too high a toll on my mental health? Also, will I make any money as a dairy farmer?
Farm life is healthier than city life. You do have or can gain the skills to make it in the farming business – you wouldn't even be thinking about it if you didn't. You, too, can be a dairy farming entrepreneur.
Also, even though farming today can be tough – it doesn’t eat up your entire life. Modern agriculture involves using modern equipment and advanced online tools such as remote pasture measurement tools that make farming easy. This environment leaves plenty of time for your personal life and other passions.
And quite importantly – there is plenty of money in dairy farming. You might not be a billionaire – unless you expand a lot, which is also an option.
But, the millennium farmer is making enough money.
Here’s a deeper run down through all the benefits of a dairy farming life:
1. Get to quit your office job
Did you know sitting all day can cut years off your life?
Not only that, but it might just kill you.
In 2013 study called “Daily Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis", has concluded that the more you sit every day, the higher your risk of all-cause mortality is. This suggestion doesn't apply just to sitting – but to a sedentary lifestyle. According to the study, only moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can lessen the adverse effects of sedentarism.
This news isn't rocket science and is something we already knew – from studies and from living it on our skin.
Yet, how pleasant is it to sit all day and then spend one hour at a gym that’s also indoors?
Some of you reading might be practising physical activities such as jogging, outdoor basketball and other activities outdoors.
However, that doesn’t compare with living a mostly outdoor life – caring for cattle, the pasture and farm tasks. People who live on farms lead a much more active life than people living in cities.
It’s also much better balanced. There is no guarantee that physical activity erases the damages of sedentarism. Two or three hours of gym practice weekly might not be enough to save you from sitting at a desk all day.
2. Get to leave the city
The city is a stressful conglomeration.
Traffic, pollution and crime rates are all problems that urban cities cause for us.
If you think that you are safe from pollution in an office building – think again. Recirculated air and air conditioning make the air inside a building hundreds of times more harmful than the one outside. Crazy, right?
This idea doesn't only apply to office buildings, but buildings of all types where many people work and where there is air conditioning.
It might be the faculty building where you work as a professor, the gym where you work as a trainer, or the supermarket where you work as a store manager.
Farming life removes all the stress of traffic, and gives you fresher less polluted air – both outside and inside your home. Even though your farm’s house might have air conditioning, the air from outside coming in is less polluted. You also won't have as many people contributing to the recirculated air.
Why not step out of your home in the morning, admire the view of nature and your animals, enjoy the fresh morning air with a cup of coffee or tea?
Does it sound better to have a quick breakfast in your kitchen and then step outside in polluted air to get to your car or metro stop?
We’re guessing it doesn’t.
3. Improve your mental health
City life brings loads of stresses, challenges and sometimes unsurmountable issues.
There is no solution for how many of us are in a city – and despite that being also a good thing, it can cause a lot of agitation and disconnection from ourselves.
Even though dairy farming is a type of business with its share of challenges and hard problems, agriculture is still considered an aid for mental health problems.
There are care farms – all over the world from the UK to Australia and more undeveloped countries as well.
What are care farms?? Farms where people with mental health problems can come to engage in farming activities.
Farming today – including dairy farming can benefit your mental health in several ways. This suggestion is due to the positive influence of healthy social interaction with farmworkers, to the interaction with animals, physical activity and the healing effects of being in nature.
Mental health and animals
The benefits of animal interaction are well-known. Also, animals are used for social and medical problems for a long time.
Animals are genuine, empathic and caring creatures. Most are incredibly easy to connect with unless they have been recently traumatised. The 2010 study "Animal-assisted therapy: Magic or Medicine” shows how six neurochemicals in both humans and animals increased after a positive interaction.
Mental health and nature
As for the positive effects of the environment – they are quite well known as well.
Depression is one of the most common and spread out diseases in our times. It is especially affecting people in the city.
Many interactions with nature and studies show that being out in nature once per week can lower your depression and make you feel better and happier.
The effects of that multiply as many times and days that you’re outdoors – and with farming, that will be quite a lot of times.
If you’ve been feeling too down, too fed up with city life and unhappy – farming might be the answer for you. Farmers and dairy farmers are much more connected to nature, animals and generally – themselves.
4. How much do dairy farmers make?
If you think dairy farmers don’t earn money – you couldn’t be any more wrong.
For some reason, others jobs – such as management jobs or executive jobs, along with other businesses such as e-commerce businesses or even café businesses are thought to be more money-earning than modern agriculture or dairy farming.
Dairy farmers can make more money than all of the above businesses, despite common perceptions. Few companies earn a lot of money – in any field.
Most businesses earn regular ends meet money.
However, the demand for milk is an almost constant – and lucrative business to get in. It can be more profitable than other more common companies and more profitable than management positions.
Take, for example, the US, where a dairy farmer (dairy farmer manager) will make, on average $90,860 per year.
A marketing manager makes, on average, $81,078. Dairy farming takes the lead here.
In the UK, dairy farming took over the arable agricultural sector and became the most profitable one. This move happened last year in 2018 when the average income of a dairy farmer almost doubled to £99,000.
That is more than many city jobs can bring you – and you won’t get as many damages to your physical or mental health.
In Australia, the average income for the millennium farmer (dairy) is $93,000 a year.
This earning is a rather profitable income, considering the many struggles that dairy farming is facing in Australia.
Read more about the main problems of dairy farming in Australia here.
Tasmania has managed to have a record milk production of 913 million litres this year (2019), after being in recovery after a few years of challenges. And a Farm Manager in Tasmania makes an average of AU$25/hour.
That's how much money dairy farmers make – in some of the most known countries for dairy farming.
As you can see, being in the dairy farming business is not at all an unprofitable business – quite to the contrary. Besides the profit, farming today brings a whole lot of many other benefits.
Dairy farming will provide you with a physical life – helping you escape a sedentary and unhealthy living.
It also offers you the option to work outdoors in the fresh air – away from the pollution of cities and the unhealthy recirculated air present in large buildings such as office buildings.
On top of this, by working outdoors with animals, you reconnect with animals and nature – a more natural environment that is beneficial to the mind. As I've mentioned above, farming has proven to improve depression and mental well-being in general.
In this case, let modern farming be a veridic option of a profitable business.
Make sure to educate yourself on every aspect of dairy farming if you do decide to take this course — education on farming management, animal care, pasture management and equipment you would need. You can study online or find certified agricultural courses in any location.
Leave a comment below if you need any more information or if you have any insight on the topic! In case you are a new dairy farmer or on the path to becoming one - welcome to dairy farming!
- Ollie Roberts, 16 October 2019