Dairy Science Department
BS in Dairy Science
Milking parlors are the center of a dairy operation and directly responsible for its profits, yet dairy training is frequently neglected and often lackluster. The Cal Poly dairy farm, despite having a milker pool that is comparatively inexperienced with farm labor has no written manual for training of milkers. This results in a workplace that in the event of an accident or point of confusion leaves workers nowhere to turn to for clarification save contacting a supervisor directly. It also may also result in a lack of established guidelines, and a frequent need for clarification due to misunderstood expectations and lack of protocol. This is a detriment to the potential of the milking staff at Cal Poly, and by extension to farm profits, efficiency, overall cow health, and facility conditions as a whole. Farms are much more efficient, cohesive workplaces when a written set of expectations, procedures, and definitions of tasks, roles and responsibilities is present. For the sake of workers’ safety, profitability, efficiency, and effective completion of assigned tasks, a manual is an essential for any professional dairy farm. Further, a regimen that includes signage and training programs results in a stronger workplace culture responsible for the breeding of professionals. The creation of a milking parlor protocol and workers handbook is therefore imperative to the evolution of the workplace environment and overall effectiveness of the Cal Poly dairy. The creation of this will require research of the scientific basis for current procedures employed by the industry, and a review of Cal Poly’s milking parlor procedures to determine that they are in line with the current industry standards. This protocol will help to shape the efficiency, safety, and communication in the workplace, while providing employees with a resource with which to inform themselves about the expectations and procedurals of said workplace.