Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship
5,520 hours of on-the-job training (90% of hours)
480 hours of in-school training (10% of hours over approximately 2 years)
What is Apprenticeship?
An apprentice is someone who learns a skilled trade on the job, under the direction of more experienced employees. Apprentices also complete classroom instruction as a part of their training. Ninety percent of the apprenticeship is on-the-job, and ten percent is classroom-based training. Apprentices are employees, so you can earn while you learn the trade. You will need to find an employer who is willing to train you.
What Does a Dairy Herdsperson Do?
A Dairy Herdsperson is a person who is responsible for the maintenance, health, nutrition, and breeding of dairy cows. They milk, feed and water cows, and work with milk processing and sterilizing equipment. They perform herd health procedures, routine herd maintenance, and operate and maintain barn mechanical systems and farm equipment.
What Preparation and Training Do You Need?
To become an apprentice Dairy Herdsperson, you need to complete your Grade 12 education or Ministry-approved equivalent. Credits in math, science and communication are helpful. Some knowledge of agriculture is beneficial.
Dairy Herdsperson is a Voluntary certified trade and you do not require a Certificate of Apprenticeship to work in this trade. However, an apprenticeship will increase your knowledge and your opportunities. Apprentices must be members of the Ontario College of Trades.
Training will follow the “Apprenticeship Training Standard” provided by the Ontario College of Trades that outlines the skills you need to have to complete your apprenticeship. Contact Employment Ontario to learn more about how apprenticeship training works.
The in-school training focuses primarily on the theoretical knowledge you need to support the skills in the Apprenticeship Training Standard. The in-school training consists of 16 four-day blocks during your apprenticeship period. These blocks are scheduled once per month from September to April over a two-year period. There are a total of seven modules:
- Applied Farm Practices
- Milking Practices
- Feeding Practices
- Herd Health Maintenance
- Routine Herd Maintenance
- Farm Mechanical and Electrical Systems—Basic Maintenance
- Farm Mechanical Equipment—Basic Maintenance
Applying to be an Apprentice
To apply to be an apprentice, your employer must agree to provide you with apprenticeship training. If you want to learn more about apprenticeship training or get help finding a sponsor, please contact your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.
There are four steps in the apprenticeship registration process:
Once you are actually working and your employer has agreed to sponsor you as an apprentice, you/your employer will contact the Apprenticeship Office contact person. You must complete an Application for Apprenticeship Training and submit it to an Employment Ontario apprenticeship office. You can:
- apply online to start your registration,
- download and fill out a paper application,
- meet in person with the Apprenticeship Training Consultant at Employment Ontario, or
- forms can be mailed out directly to the work site
These forms need to be completed by both the apprentice applicant and the employer, and sent back in to the Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.
The Apprenticeship Training Consultant from the Employment Ontario apprenticeship office will contact you and your employer about signing and registering a Training Agreement.
After you have your Training Agreement, apply for membership to the Ontario College of Trades by completing a Member Application Form (Apprentices Class).
Visit Ontario College of Trades for more information.
After you are a registered apprentice and a member of the College of Trades, the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development will send you a letter (Offer of Classroom Training). When you receive this letter, you can register into the apprenticeship in-school training at Ridgetown Campus.
In-School Training (10% of program hours)
The in-school training focuses primarily on the theoretical knowledge you need to support the skills in the Apprenticeship Training Standard. The in-school component is delivered by the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. To complete the in-school training, you must attend 16 four-day blocks during your apprenticeship period. The four-day blocks are scheduled once per month from September to April over a two year period, usually the first or second week of the month.
- UNIT 1 - Applied Farm Practices
- UNIT 2 - Milking Practices
- UNIT 3 - Feeding Practices
- UNIT 4 - Herd Health Maintenance
- UNIT 5 - Routine Herd Maintenance
- UNIT 6 - Farm Mechanical and Electrical Systems – Basic Maintenance
- UNIT 7 - Farm Mechanical Equipment – Basic Maintenance
On-Farm Training (90% of program hours)
On-farm training follows the Apprenticeship Training Standard which describes the skills you must become competent in to complete your training. Your employer must make sure that you have developed all the skills listed under their direction.
To contact your local apprenticeship office directly, call the toll-free Employment Ontario Hotline at 1-800-387-5656, or locate an apprenticeship office near you.
There is a $67.80 (including HST) member registration fee payable to the Ontario College of Trades.
Apprenticeship programs are not eligible for OSAP.
To apply for apprenticeship training in the province of Ontario, you must have completed Grade 12, have documented proof of age and a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
For more information:
Phone: 1-888-620-9999 or 519-674-1500 x63524