Labour continues to be an issue on many Irish dairy farms, with good help hard to find and even harder to keep.

The expansion of dairy herds has meant that many farms now need to employ people to work on the farm.

This time of the year offers farmers a good opportunity to begin the search for staff if extra labour will be required in the spring.

Firstly you should look at the type of employment that will suit your farm best e.g., do you need a full-time staff member, part-time or just help for the spring months.


On a larger farm the need for a full-time member of staff may be required. With herd sizes growing, there is often too much to be done for just one person.

To attract someone to your farm you need to offer a fair salary and or package for the potential employee.

You should clearly layout what you expect from the potential employee such as hours of work, days off and skills.


A lot of dairy farmers will be looking for part-time labour such as relief milkers, there are a number of companies that help farmers to make contact with relief milkers.

But like most they are finding it hard to get people, so making contact with them early might help your chances of getting someone.

Another option might be to advertise with an agricultural college that may be near you for someone that is attending the college and looking for part-time work.


Labour just for the spring can be hard to obtain, but there are options. The most obvious option is to make contact with one of the agricultural colleges.

There is a large number of young farmers in agricultural colleges obtaining their green certs and advanced certificates that are on placement during the spring.

The colleges will also have degree students that may be looking for placements.

Having a student working as a farm labourer is not a decision forever, but you can make some enquires to other farmers that already take students to get their insights.