2022 Farm Labor Workshop Series

This series of six online workshops is designed to help farmers build practical labor management knowledge and skills.  The workshops are geared to produce and diversified livestock producers who are new to managing employees, and to farmers who are considering changes to how they arrange for and manage labor on their farms. Workshop descriptions are below.

Register here

Fee: $35 per workshop.

Scholarships and multi-session discounts are available, reducing the workshop fee to $20. However, these options are only available for people who request – and receive approval for – reduced fees in advance of registration and payment. To request a discount or scholarship, please fill out this online request form. Please wait to register until you hear back from us via email. Decisions are generally made within 3 business days. If you are approved, you will receive a voucher code that you will use during the registration/payment process to activate a reduced registration fee for the workshops you indicated you wish to enroll in. 

Workshop Descriptions

Practical Communication Tools for Employee Management

Dates: January 19 and 26. 1 pm ET, Noon CT.

Learn to utilize common and effective tools and practices to improve communication and employee performance on your farm. In part-one of this workshop, you’ll also learn how to use an online Personnel Policy Generator to develop a custom policy manual for your operation.  Farm policy manuals are effective tools to establish consistent expectations with employees, support supervision and help your farm to be in legal compliance. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own farm policy manual, with feedback from educators.
Presenters: Kenesha Reynolds and Seth Wilner, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Growing Successful Work Teams

Date: February 1, 1-2:30 pm ET (noon to 1:30 pm CT)

Using the DiSC Workplace Profile, this workshop will help you identify your unique communication and management preferences and how they impact how you recruit, hire and retain employees. In this session, we’ll offer strategies farmers can use to be better communicators and better managers with employees, customers, and family members who may, or may not, share their work style preferences. This 90-minute session will focus on practical ways each participant can use what they’ve learned to build a more successful crew for the coming season. Note: Because participants need to complete a self-assessment prior to the workshop, registration for this workshop will close on January 26.
Presenter: Mary Peabody, University of Vermont Extension.

Hiring and Retaining Employees on Your Farm

Dates: February 9 and 16, 1 pm ET, Noon CT.

In this two-part workshop, participants will learn how to use an online Job Description Generator to create job descriptions as a tool for recruiting and managing employees.  Participants will be able to develop job descriptions for their own operation, with feedback from educators.  Participants will further build skills in effective employee feedback methods, learning how to help their employees optimize their talents.
Presenters: Kenesha Reynolds and Seth Wilner, UNH Cooperative Extension.

Planning Your Payroll & Estimating Trade-offs with Mechanization

Dates & Times: February 23 and March 2, 1 pm ET (Noon CT)

Learn how to estimate the complete cost of employees, including payroll taxes, workers compensation and any benefits you might offer beyond regular hourly wages. This two-part, online workshop will also introduce a tool for exploring how investments in mechanization can affect your labor needs and costs.

Presenter: John Hendrickson, University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

The Art of Negotiation: Getting What You Need

Dates: March 8 and 15, 1 pm ET (noon CT)

In this workshop, participants will explore what negotiation really is (and what it is not), how to prepare for and execute a successful negotiation, and how to preserve a relationship when the negotiation is not successful. You’ll have opportunities to discuss, problem solve, and practice negotiation approaches relevant to common labor management situations. You’ll also get support and feedback developing a written plan for a negotiation that you anticipate in the coming months.
Presenters: Mary Peabody and Beth Holtzman, University of Vermont Extension.

Cultivating a Safe, Healthy and Productive Crew

Dates and Times: April 5 & 12, 1 pm ET (Noon CT).

Learn how to train employees to safely use tools and personal protective equipment, and in ergonomic approaches to farm tasks that will support season-long productivity and prevent injuries and lost work time.
Presenter: Aaron Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

This material is based on work supported by the USDA/NIFA Under Award Number 2018-70027-28588 with logos for the Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Program and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.