There’s life after milking

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — So you have decided to exit the dairy industry. You have developed a plan, consulted with the proper people and are in the process of selling your farm. Now what?

Brad Hilty, business and information management specialist with Dairy Alliance, has the following advice for dairy farmers who find themselves searching for a new career path.

1. Discover your passion. Find out what you most enjoy doing. Hilty said this may take some soul searching, but you will find what drives you.

2. Develop a resume. Even though you have been self-employed, you still possess talents and valuable work experiences that will interest an employer.

Be sure to list your skills, accomplishments and special areas of interest. Include awards your farm may have received for milk production or crop yields. Also describe any committees you served on and activities off the farm.

3. Communicate with your network. You have developed a strong list of industry contacts over the years. Tell them what you are looking for and ask them to keep an eye out for career openings.

4. Don’t look back. Leaving the business after years or decades of being in it is a difficult, emotional decision. But once you’ve made that choice, you may find a better quality of life with less stress and fewer working hours. Hilty said no one has ever told him they regretted their decision to exit the business.

About the Author

Emily Caldwell of Beaver Falls, Pa., serves as the 2009 Farm and Dairy editorial intern. She is a graduate of Penn State University, where she studied agribusiness and agricultural communications. Feel free to follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/emily718. More Stories by Emily Caldwell

One Comment

  1. Red says:

    If you’ve done the work of two men most of your life, and your body is twice as worn out or if you are a “Downer” and paid into social security. Swallow your pride and sign up for disability. It pays the same as farming and you earned it. With the governments hand in world market milk pricing Consider it a well deserved farm subsidy.
    Brian
    Former dairy farmer in NH.

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