; Implementing the "Becoming the Employer of Choice" Curriculum in Wisconsin | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Implementing the "Becoming the Employer of Choice" Curriculum in Wisconsin

Jennifer Blazek and Trisha Wagner


Becoming the Employer of Choice is a human resource management curriculum for farmers and farm managers. Developed by the UW-Extension Farm Human Resource Management Workgroup, the program is geared for current and future dairy farm managers/owners looking to improve their human resource management skills. The curriculum and materials have been translated into Spanish in order to reach Spanish-speaking supervisors and managers. The program format is based on a curriculum of seven modules. It addresses questions such as “Do you know how to deliver effective feedback?”, “Do you understand what motivates you employees?”, or “Do you have a vision and can you effectively share it to engage your employees?” These questions and many others are addressed in the program via hands-on interactive sessions aimed at building skills related to hiring, training, motivation, conflict management, communication, and leadership.

In 2017, the program was delivered in five different counties across Wisconsin and using different formats - on-farm training and traditional workshops. Targeted audiences included larger dairy farms, consultants, and smaller operations, as they all face the challenge of managing relationships with personnel and partners. Currently more than 30 farms have participated in the program. Participants surveys and evaluations of the program have been very positive. A majority of participants felt the training was useful to them in their role on the farm and indicated the positive impact they anticipated the information and new skills would have on their relationship with their employees. Similar to other sectors of the industry participants also reiterated the importance of training on this topic for farm owners, managers, and supervisors.