An Agricultural Engineeris responsible for overseeing the daily financial and physical performance and operations of the dairy farm through sustained leadership, management, technical and business skills. This role is responsible for implementing the short and long term business plans, for driving the business and working with the farm team to ensure the farm’s success, and optimizing the business performance and profitability in line with business strategy, company policy and direction.
Work with the Owner to develop the business plan and annual budget
Oversee and monitor seasonal expenditure in line with the budgeted cash flow
Liaise with key rural professionals e.g. vet, fertilizer rep, stock agents and contractors to ensure smooth operation of the farm
Oversee the development, review and management of repairs and maintenance for the farm, its machinery and infrastructure
Ensure all relevant company policies are understood and adhered to
Feed production management
Oversee feed budgeting and negotiate feed contracts to achieve production targets
Oversee the development and implementation of an annual nutrient management plan
Ensure Dairy remains in compliance with all Processor programs, Organic, and State and Federal regulations
Oversee animal health program: maintain the dairy herd with the computerized record keeping for herd health and productivity
Maintain and monitor the calf raising systems
Develop and maintain an organic pasture plan all the animals
Ensure agreed stock policy is adhered to
Quality and safety
Ensure the farm maintains quality standards
Active participation in all activities associated with the management of workplace health and safety
Identification and reporting of hazard/danger, accidents, near misses, and property damage at the workplace
Ensure that health and safety policies and procedures adhered to
Ensure the appropriate training and record keeping is undertaken
Ensure proper use of appropriate safety gear / equipment at all times
Oversee the farm within consent conditions
Work within best practice environmental guidelines
Maintain the esthetics and fencing on the farm
Continuous management of pasture and crop
Oversee and ensure any development work is undertaken with appropriate consents
Develop the vision, values and culture of the farm
Recruit and select staffing for all farm positions
Ensure new staff are inducted and aware of company policies and are given role clarity
Provide training/coaching to direct reports to enable them to competently carry out tasks required of them
Conduct annual staff performance reviews on direct reports
Maintain employment records and personal files
Perform Other Duties As Instructed And Required
Collect cows from paddock to the dairy using machinery supplied and operate it within the farm guidelines. Set up tracks and gates for next grazing. Bring cows from yard to milking shed according to farm procedure.
Check and start the milking system, milk cooling, refrigeration, washing and feed system. Cup up cows after attending to appropriate udder hygiene.
Remove cups from cows following the standard operating procedures (SOP). Apply teat disinfectant for use according to SOP. Oversee the movement of cows from the dairy.
Identify cows with clinical mastitis, teat damage, lameness and other illnesses. Follow protocols for the treatment and recording of the condition.
At the completion of milking, follow the procedures for plant cleaning and the shutdown process. Prepare the dairy in readiness for the next milking according to the set guidelines.
Calf Rearing and Animal Husbandry*
Take responsibility for the entire calf rearing program. Prepare calf pens.
Maintain and repair fences, sheds, troughs, gates, hay rings and feeders.
Provide bedding and replacement of rice hulls throughout calving in all calf sheds.
Clean out sheds and setting up sheds at the end and beginning of each calving.
Follow procedures for correct tagging of heifer calves to correct mothers.
Ensure calves are fed milk daily, and that the milk is suitable to all calves as required.
Ensuring all calves get a drink (10% of their body weight) when milk being fed.
Perform maintenance and cleaning of blue calf tank and milk ute.
Ensure all calves, after day 3, have grain and hay either in the blue tubs or in the feeders in the outside pens and that feed is of the highest quality, check for contamination or mould.
Identify and treat common ailments of cattle including reproductive disorders, downer cows and lameness. Assist veterinarian as and when required. Record all treatments to meet quality assurance requirements and farm policy.
Follow farm guidelines for storage of appropriate levels of veterinary and animal husbandry supplies.
Regularly observe and attend to animal health needs and assist calving cows.
Identify and record newborn calves, adhere to farm procedures for newborn calf management.
Prepare and deliver milk and concentrates to reared calves. Observe and treat calves requiring medication. Manage calf groups through to weaning as instructed.
Mark inseminated cows and keep insemination records. Apply heat detection aids, identify, record, mark and draft cows on heat, segregate and prepare for insemination as instructed.
Participate in cattle mustering, drafting, transport and application of herd ID program.
Adhere to farm policy on handling and welfare of all stock.
Feed Management and Delivery*
Load and feed out conserved fodder using farm machinery either in paddock or on feed pad, hay feeders or troughs as instructed.
Pasture Production and Cropping*
Implement the irrigation program including monitoring and maintenance of irrigation equipment as instructed.
Plant Equipment and Infrastructure Maintenance*
Implement the dairy maintenance schedule including replacement of rubber ware, routine machine testing and maintenance of equipment as instructed.
Punctuality and work ethic*
Ability to be punctual on a regular basis and providing adequate notice in the event of being delayed or unable to attend work.
Participate in training, performance reviews and team meetings*.
The commitment to work within the boundaries of what is a reasonable industry expectation.
Acceptance of direction and adherence to the company’s code of behaviour and standard procedures.
In accordance with Work, Health and Safety legislation and company policies and procedures, take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by your conduct
Identification of the important operational requirements of the farming enterprise and implementation of priority tasks within the resource capabilities available.
The ability to perceive and understand the feelings of others.
Strict adherence to animal welfare policies.
Have the ability to take action when enterprise is required.
Actively seeks out opportunities to make extra contributions to benefit the business.
Interpersonal skills and communication*
Good interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
The ability to work collaboratively and interact appropriately and successfully with all people different levels and all stakeholders of the business.
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with the business in person, via phone, SMS or by email.
Present ideas and document activities.
Source, read and interpret written information.
Keep all team members up to date.
Education and Experience:
An agricultural science/management Bachelor’s Degree in Diary
Knowledge and Skill Requirements
Must possess proven ability in agribusiness management and leadership: leading by example, setting clear expectations and be consistent and fair
Must possess the necessary planning and organizational skills to achieve targets as related specifically to: evaluating and prioritizing projects and structure, schedule and supervision of monthly feed inventories and animal counts by groups
Must be able to problem solve and find the best solution to a given problem or situation, often collaborating with others to seek input and alternative ideas
Must be able to self manage - focus on effective high level and operational planning and time management as well as prioritization of tasks; be reliable and maintain work / life balance
Must be able to make good decisions, understand and measure, monitor and adapt; seek training opportunities for further development
Must be able to act with tact and diplomacy in motivating and disciplining staff
Must possess demonstrated, strong negotiating skills
Must be able to provide role clarity and ensure teamwork amongst staff
Must be self-motivated and able to communicate effectively at all levels both within and outside the Company
Must possess the management skills necessary within a farming operation as well as work actively as a team member in developing and achieving farm objectives;
Must promote and project a positive attitude towards the Company and its objectives
Must be able to communicate in English and Spanish effectively, both written and oral
Must be receptive to learning new technologies to help improve productivity and profitability of the farm
Must be able to calmly respond to employee and equipment problems
Must be able to comprehend basic business math calculations well enough to verify accurate costing and billing as well as counting and tracking inventories
Must be proficient in SAC Diary Operating System & Microsoft Office including Excel, Word and Outlook