Modern dairy farming requires knowledge and a commitment to lifelong learning of new developments in agriculture, often gained through growing up on a farm and a postsecondary education. Opportunities for entering the occupation come from knowledge of these new developing trends, such as local farming and organic dairying, which are best offered via further education combined with "on dairy" experience.
Farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers held more than 1.2 million jobs in 2008. Nearly 80 percent were self-employed farmers and ranchers, and the remainder were wage and salary agricultural managers. Most farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers oversee crop production activities, while others manage livestock and dairy production.