In this article, we will look into how you can apply as a dairy farmer in Ireland and so much more. There’s also some discussion on comparing what it’s like to be working in a dairy farm in Ireland compared to that in New Zealand, Japan or other countries. Some say that farming in Ireland is a lot harder compared to farm work in other countries. This may be true according to the experiences of a Filipino farmer featured in the story below, but still, there are lots of perks that would make you want to stay in this field. Learn more by reading on.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
The information below is based on a YouTube video from the channel WingsVill Station. In this video, the vlogger talks about how to apply as a dairy farmer in Ireland. He mentioned that lot’s of people already messaged him on Facebook asking this question.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from the vlogger’s viewers:
How to apply in Ireland as a Dairy Farmer?
There are three ways in which you can apply as a dairy farmer in Ireland. These are:
- Through agency
- Direct hire
- Direct hire with referral
The vlogger lists the following agencies that he is familiar with that you can contact to apply in Ireland:
- The Nightingale
- Farm Solutions
You can look for the Facebook pages of these agencies if you wish to contact them or learn more about their services. According to the vlogger, Nightingale is focused on nurses and caregivers, but sometimes they also process permits for dairy farmers. In fact, the vlogger claims that his nephew was a beneficiary, helping him process his permit, and the agency also helped the vlogger renew his contract.
Direct hire with referral means, for example, that you have a close friend or relatives in Ireland that knows a farm or have connections with farmers looking for staff. Even if you a little bit or no experience at all when it comes to farming, there’s still a good chance you will get hired
when you are referred or if you have a backer, that is also an option. Here’s one way that scenario might look like:
- Some farmers from Ireland are looking for more staff
- These farmers tell your friend (already working in Ireland) if they knew somebody who is willing to work at the farm
- Your friend tells the farmers that they know you are capable of being a staffer at their farm
- Your friend urges the farmer to give you a work permit
- In exchange, your friend promises the farmer that they will train you once you arrive in Ireland
- That ensures that in the case you don’t have much experience, you will still know what to do.
Some farmers even contact him, telling him that they are looking for new staff members. That is, he was able to refer two people. He also told the farmers that these two people he recommended don’t have farming experience but they do have a certificate. Moreover, he said that if they are willing to sponsor their work permit, he will train these two people once they arrive in Ireland. He can train them for two weeks to a month.
Direct hiring means that you’re applying for a job online. The vlogger recommends that you visit the Gumtree Ireland website. This website has a job search feature that you can use to look for dairy farming jobs or other jobs.
You will find that there are lots of vacancies for farming jobs if you look that up at the Gumtree Ireland website. If you find a job that you want, you now have two options in terms of proceeding through the application:
- You can process the application on your own
- You can seek the services of an agency
The importance of work experience
The vlogger shares the following tips related to work experience:
- Typically, 2-3 years of working abroad is required
- Some farms accept those with less or even no experience, sometimes training certificates are enough
- It helps to have an animal production (ruminants) NC II TESDA Certificate
- Make sure your CV reflects the truth
- For your work experience in the Philippines to count, you must have worked legally
When it comes to work experience, it’s ideal that you have 2 to 3 years of working abroad. However, there are farms that accept you even if you only have one year experience. Furthermore, if you’re really persistent in finding farmer jobs, you can even find job opportunities that don’t require work experience. Sometimes having evidence that you underwent training in your local farm is enough. If the farm owners are willing to sponsor your work permit even if you don’t have work experience abroad, you will definitely get that job.
In particular, you need an Animal Production (Ruminants) NC II. The competencies you will gain from this certificate include the following:
- Raise / farm livestock
- Specialize in working at a cattle farm
- Raise or farm goats
- Raise or farm dairy products
Additionally, you will also learn how to:
- Apply safety measures when working in the farm
- Use tools and equipment specifically for the farm
- Process farm wastes
- Make calculations or estimates
Also, it is important that your CV or resume reflects the truth. If you don’t have work experience, don’t say in your resume the otherwise. If your only credential is your training, then just write that on your resume and nothing else. In the end, your employers will look for receipts of your SSS, Pag-ibig, or even copies of your Pay slips, so that is something you definitely can’t lie about.
When it comes to work experience, your local experience in the Philippines also counts. You have to be legally working in the country for your work experience to count. This means that you can work in any farm in the country, as long as you can produce SSS, Pag-ibig or Pay slip documents. As mentioned above, your prospect farm employers will definitely ask for these documents.
If somebody tells you that you can’t work abroad because you lack experience and background when it comes to dairy farming, don’t listen to them. That’s because even if you have little no experience, if you just strive to apply to as many farms as you can find, you will definitely find opportunities that can make you work abroad.
As long as there are opportunities, grab them. Don’t listen to them. Just go to Google and search for jobs or agencies in whatever country you want to work in. Also, if you know some friends or relatives that are already abroad, you can message and ask them how to go there. Don’t make it an excuse that you lack certain document. Despite your lack of experience, if you can prove that you are a hardworking asset to their farm, then you are definitely qualified.
Salary of Dairy Farm Workers
According to the vlogger, back in 2019, his starting salary didn’t exceed 30,000 euros annually. However, in 2021, he said that the government opened new rules that said they will not give work permits if the applicant won’t have a salary of at least 30,000 euros annually.
The vlogger said that when his nephew applied last year, the job offer showed a salary of less than 30,000 euros, and that resulted in his application being denied. Eventually, this was replaced by a contract salary offer of 30,000 euros.
Work terms and conditions
The vlogger also mentioned some important terms that, according to him, some Filipino applicants are confused as to their meaning. For example, the word Roster. Roster actually refers to the number of days you need to work and how many rest days you have. For example, if your roster is 12-2, that means you will work for 12 days and you have 2 days off.
Other farms may have the following rosters:
The vlogger also shared that every Sunday is Easy Day. This means that all he does is milk cows in the morning and milk cows in the afternoon, and that’s it.
Farming in Ireland vs New Zealand
According to the vlogger, here are some of the differences between farming Ireland and New Zealand
- You wake up much earlier to farm in New Zealand
- Usually, you tend to fewer cows in a farm in Ireland
- In Ireland, calving happens in shed, while that occurs outside in New Zealand
- The fields are typically smaller in Irish farms
- In Ireland, you have to pick up stones from the ground before re-grassing
The vlogger compares farming in Ireland to that of New Zealand because that’s where he used to work. In New Zealand, he was able to to work for three farms. For his second farm, he used to wake up as early as 2.30 – 3:00 AM. For his third job, he had to wake up at 4.00 to 4.30 AM.
During the calving process, in New Zealand, you have to go through night checks, looking for springers. When you see a cow that’s about to give birth, then you go out and help the cow. Sometimes this can be difficult because of the weather. It can be really cold, even raining or snowing. It can be really dark as well. However, the vlogger is not discouraging anyone from applying in New Zealand as a farmer; he is just comparing what farming is like between the two countries.
In Ireland, some farmers start work at 5.30 – 6.00 AM. Some even at 7.00 or 8.00 AM. You don’t have to work so early in the morning. Also, during the calving process, this is just in shed. You don’t have to go outside. In fact, before going back home, in the afternoon, farmers first sort out which cows are the springers so they can be separatd beforehand.
Sometimes, it is the farm owner who checks which cows are springers, but this responsibility can be given to the farmers as well. This process is so much easier than the vlogger’s experiences in New Zealand. As mentioned in the list above, the fields are also typically smaller in Ireland compared to those in New Zealand.
As a side note, the vlogger also compared farms in Ireland to that in Japan. He personally knows some farmers coming from Japan who were surprised because their work is much easier. That is, farming work in Japan is easier while that in Ireland involves a lot of hard work.
The vlogger suggests that if you are a farmer coming from another country, like Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan, etc., and you are used to easy farming, you should adjust when you work in places like Ireland or New Zealand. Forget about your previous experiences in farming. Each country has a different style of farming.
For example, re-grassing in Ireland involves picking up stones on the ground, but this is something that you don’t have to do when farming in New Zealand. Some of these tons are so big and heavy as well, and the chore becomes even more tedious when the weather is hot. Moreover, sometimes this is done starting in the morning and ending at 3 pm in the afternoon. The point is, you need to embrace this new setup if you are used to easy farm work.
One of the biggest problems of working in Ireland is accommodation. The country’s farming industry is new when it comes to opening up opportunities for foreign workers. As such, they are not as well-equipped or ready like some other countries like New Zealand. In fact, in New Zealand, almost all farms their already have modern accommodations.
The vlogger shared that when he arrived in the farm he works for in Ireland, he spent 2 years and 5 months living in a trailer house. A trailer is like a house with wheels, and during the winter, it gets very cold, like you are inside a refrigerator. During summer, it gets really hot too. While not all farmers get trailer house accommodation, the vlogger says that most of them do.
Filipinos are known to be hard workers, and this reputation is evident even among dairy farmers abroad https://thepinoyofw.com/dairy-farmer-new-zealand/. Working in Ireland may have its challenges, but the perks more than compensate for them, and the Filipino’s hardworking and resilient nature can overcome any obstacle.