Results of the Labor Study on Virginia Dairy Farms Employing Full Time Workers

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Cooperative Extension Service


Data on 376 farms were acquired from a direct mail questionnaire containing 31 questions. These farms were on a production testing program and employed one or more full time workers who spent 50% or more of their time with the herd.

The average worker was 38.6 years, had 6.8 years of schooling, and 5.9 years of dairy experience prior to his last employment. About 80% of the workers were married and had 3.6 children. Reasons why workers left dairy farms and where they went for employment were compiled on 262 workers.

The average farm had 69 cows, and 1.9 hired workers; 78% had loose housing, 71% pipeline milkers,55% mechanical manure handling, and 32% mechanical silage feeding.

Average starting time was 5:00 a.m.; hour per day 9.75; days off per month, 3; wages per month, $230.48; and benefits per month, $81.65. In addition, incentives were provided by 37%; annual leave, 63%; and advancement opportunities, 94%.