Dairy farmers are busy people and can often find it hard to take, or get time off when cows are milking.

But as we head into July, now may offer farmers a chance to take some time off and get away for few days.

Time off

Taking time off for dairy farms isn’t as simple as booking a few days off work. As many know all too well, there is a lot of planning and preparation needed to be able to get away for even a few days over the summer months.

However, taking time off and getting away from the farm is important – not only to reset your batteries, but also to benefit your mental well-being.

Dairy farming is stressful at the best of times, with the months between January and the end of June often the most stressful time on farms.

So ahead of a potentially busy autumn period, dairy farmers should take this opportunity to get away for a few days.

Normalise it

It is also important for farmers to try and find something that will take them away from the farm a couple of evenings during the week.

Living where you work can make it difficult to zone out, so finding something to do away from the farm for a few evenings or afternoons can be incredibly beneficial in giving your working mindset a mini rest.

These off-farm activities could vary from meeting friends or family at a local park or cafe; going to sporting matches or training; playing golf or going fishing; or attending local meetings.


Now may also be a good time for dairy farmers to get checked out by a general practitioner (GP).

Most people only go to a doctor when they are sick, however farmers are at much higher risk to some diseases and illnesses compared to the general population.

For example, there are a number of zoonotic disease that can be transferred from animals to human, and all the time in the sun increases farmers’ risk of skin cancer.

According to Healthy Ireland, farmers and outdoor workers are exposed to two to three times more UV radiation than indoor workers.

Because of this increased exposure to a number of diseases and conditions, it is always a good idea to get a regular check up with a doctor.

A visit to a doctor may also offer farmers an opportunity to discuss their stress levels and mental well-being with a professional.

Research has shown there is a 50% chance of a farmer struggling with mental-health problems throughout their career.

A bit like dealing with a sick animal, early detection often makes any required treatment much easier to do.