Milk Harvester

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The Milk Harvesting team is responsible for every task involved in gathering the milk from the cows on the farm until it is ready to be collected by the milk tanker.  This course will teach you about knowing how cows see the world, and how to deal with them kindly, knowledgeably and patiently, with the minimum of stress on you both. You’ll also learn everything to do with recording and reporting. 


By the end of this course you’ll be able to: 

  • Carry out good systems in the milking shed and demonstrate how to keep the equipment and shed clean and in good order 
  • Administer animal health treatments and penicillin procedures  
  • Understand milk quality and the tanker docket 
  • Record and report observations about the cows and the shed 
  • Understand the principles of good stock-handling 

How to watch this training

There are 26 short videos to watch (videos vary in length, but average between 1 – 4 mins long).
Each video also has a pdf of information and tips on each topic, which you can open, save and print.

As the learning progresses from video to video, the first time around, you’ll need to watch them in the order they’re listed. Once all have been watched, you can then go back to any specific video at any time you like.

When watching the videos note down any questions you have, so you can raise them with your employer.

At the end of watching all the videos, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion in your inbox – make sure you watch all of them from start to finish to get this.

Course Description

The objectives of the course


By the end of this course, you will:

  • Know your roles and responsibilities as a vital member of the Milk Harvesting team.
  • Know how to work with your fellow teammates and how to ask for help when you need it.
  • Understand the processes involved in collecting the milk from the animal in a safe, efficient and hygienic way.


By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand that the principles of good stock-handling are based on kindness, patience, and common sense.
  • Have a good understanding of how the cow sees the world and their likely reactions to people, sound, movement and their environment.
  • Know how to observe stock and how to take note of, report and record anything out of the ordinary in their behaviour.
  • Have a good understanding of the most common health problems encountered with dairy cows.


By the end of this course, you will:

  • Know how to set up the shed ready for milking.
  • Know how to gather the cows, move them to the shed quietly, load them for milking and milk them efficiently, hygienically and without stress for you, your teammates or the animals.
  • Understand that you should be familiar with all the systems and processes used in your milking shed and that these systems and processes are documented.
  • Understand that these systems and processes are open to discussion and approved changes and improvements. 

The Cowshed

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Have a good understanding of both types of milking sheds commonly used in Aotearoa−New Zealand, the rotary and the herringbone.
  • Have a good basic understanding of the plant and equipment used to harvest the milk.
  • Know how to keep the plant and the workplace clean during and after milking.
  • Understand that the milking shed is a health food factory and needs to be kept at that level, to provide safe and nutritious food for human consumption.
Example Lesson
Course Content

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