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Surely it beats serving in Iraq?

U.S. employment firm CareerCast has issued its annual ratings of best and worst jobs, and it isn’t good news if you are trying to hire someone for your dairy farm.

Dairy farmer ranked as the second-worst job for 2012, worse than last year, when it ranked 16th. Poor working environment and stress coupled with physical demands gave it a rating only slightly better than lumberjack.

Even enlisted soldier scored slightly better than dairy farmer, followed by oil rig worker, newspaper reporter, (editor’s note: what if we’re reporting on dairy farming?) waiter/waitress, meter reader, dishwasher, butcher and broadcaster.

If you want less stress and more money, CareerCast says you should sit in front of a computer and write code all day. It put software engineer at the top of the best job list, followed by actuary, human resources manager, dental hygienist, financial planner, occupational therapist, online ad salesman, computer systems analyst and applied mathematician.

Dairy farmers commenting on CareerCast’s website took issue with the ratings.

“To each his own. There is nothing better than having 50, 100, even thousands of co-workers (cattle) that never judge you, are always happy to see you and are able to give you an extreme feeling of satisfaction every day. Keep in mind being a business owner is a stressful job regardless of which industry it is,” said one.

“Being a dairy farmer can be one of the most rewarding jobs. You get a chance to see all your hard work pay off in the amount that is produced. What is better than being able to see the positives of all your hard work?” said another.

Based on some comments, CareerCast committed an even more grievous error than downgrading the profession. The web page on dairy farming features a smiling farmer in front of a group of black baldies rather than Holsteins.

Milking them definitely would be stressful.

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