March 13, 2008

Workshop aims to help farmers become better employee managers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A hands-on interactive workshop designed to help farm owners and managers address employee management challenges will be March 25 in Seymour, Ind., and March 26 in Tipton, Ind.

"Managing a work force is a different job than what many owners and managers were trained in and not a lot of ag-specific training is offered on this topic," said Stacy Herr, Purdue University Cooperative Extension educator in Wayne County and program coordinator. "Agriculture employs a very different work force when you consider ethnicity, age and gender."

Workshop participants will learn the legal aspects of employee management, develop a better understanding of work force expectations, discover coaching tools to enhance communication and performance, and gain skills to succeed in attracting and retaining a qualified work force.

Attracting and Retaining an Exceptional Agriculture Workforce will begin with registration and coffee at 9 a.m., and the first session will start at 9:30 a.m. The March 25 workshop will be at the Jackson County Education Center, and the March 26 workshop will be at the Tipton County Extension Education Center.

Registration is $30 per person, which includes lunch, and is due March 21. Additional members from the same operation or family can register for $15. A registration brochure can be downloaded from the Women In Agriculture Web site at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/wia/upcoming.htm.

Speakers will include Sarah Sanders Smith, a professor at Purdue University North Central, and Robert Milligan, a senior consultant with Dairy Strategies, a business, leadership and human resource consulting business focused on the dairy industry. Smith teaches human resource issues, as well as compensation and benefits.

Smith will lead the first two sessions that will cover topics ranging from benefits required by law to determine farm wage scales and writing a legally defensible job description to legal issues surrounding Hispanic workers.

Milligan will cover topics from today's work force expectations to quality-focused supervision and from attracting great employees to retaining those employees. Milligan's performance management and communication session will cover how to have more effective performance appraisals and methods of motivating employees.

The workshop is made possible by a grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center.

The Jackson County Education Center is located at 1000 S. Poplar St., and the Tipton County Extension Education Center is located at 1200 S. Main St.

For questions and more information, contact Herr at (765) 973-9283, sherr@purdue.edu.

Writer: Julie Douglas, (765) 496-1050, douglajk@purdue.edu

Source: Stacy Herr, (765) 973-9283, sherr@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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