Management is a key element in the success of any business, including farming. A look at basic factors in farm management can pinpoint areas of management on your farm that may need attention.
A critique of good farm management practices can help you recruit and retain efficient employees.

Key Factors in Managing Farm Labor
1. Fringe benefits, wage and hour agreements and special incentives.
2. Working conditions.
3. Employer-employee relations.
Be realistic. Employees are not exactly alike – they differ in capabilities, work habits, attitudes, personality, ambitions and willingness to accept responsibility. Also, farm operations differ in how they should be managed and in their labor needs.
Attracting better employees may require updating the wage package – which in turn can increase your operating costs. This makes it imperative that your operation uses labor efficiently, in order to justify your increased operating costs.

Check For Effectiveness
Labor costs on farms vary, depending upon the type of operation, the skill levels needed by employees and the availability of qualified employees. These factors are important and must be considered in setting wage rates.
For example, on a dairy farm, increased production per cow boosts efficiency, since the cost of labor is spread over more milk production. And increased production, in part, is determined by the skills of your employees.
The type of milking facilities on a dairy farm can affect the efficiency of the dairy operation and keeping effective employees on the farm. Facilities influence labor requirements because faster milking parlors, flush systems for handling manure and automated feeding reduce labor input. Even with the best cows and the most automated equipment, dairy operators need to have the skills to manage labor effectively.
Good employees make a significant difference in any type of farm operation. This underscores the importance of being able to attract good employees to your farm, being able to keep them and motivating them to put forth their best effort, so that the farm operation remains profitable. Employees have a monetary interest in success, since their jobs are based on the continued profitable operation of the farm.

Designing the Workplace
Working conditions affect efficiency and help to determine the satisfaction an employee gets from work. Design the job and the workplace with the employee in mind – whether it’s you or hired labor.
Provide good equipment, buildings and hand tools. Remodel old facilities. Eliminate work hazards and dangerous work locations – it’s your responsibility to do so. This will increase job satisfaction and help to prevent accidents that lead to higher premiums for worker compensation insurance.
Reduce repetitive, “backbreaking” tasks. Make the job as easy as is practical, for yourself and for your employees.


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