Historically training and education for farm managers has focused on agricultural production, but there is a growing need for educational programs on labor management. This presentation reports on results of three need assessment studies and the subsequent development of educational workshops. Managers from agricultural operations were assembled in focus groups (5 horticultural groups, 4 dairy groups, 6 pork groups) to discuss their labor management challenges and opportunities between 2001 and 2005. Starting with the horticultural groups, pilot workshops were developed for each industry between 2002 and 2006 based on the analysis of these discussions. During six years of iterative assessment, program development, and evaluation, a framework for categorizing management practices according to managers’ perceptions was developed, resulting in the following 11 management categories: performance management, working conditions and organizational structure of farms, social environment, recruitment, selection, training, performance evaluation, compensation, discipline, labor law, and hiring immigrant employees. Whereas recruitment, selection, training, performance evaluation, compensation, discipline, and labor law are traditional labor management functions and described in almost all textbooks, performance management, using positive aspects of working conditions and ameliorating negative aspects, managing the social environment, and hiring immigrant employees are rarely discussed in the literature. To what extent each topic should be included in an educational workshop depends on the industry and the hierarchical level of participants. For recruitment of workshop participants, the description of the workshop content needs to focus on needs which potential participants have already recognized, but additional content needs to be addressed during the workshops.
|Conference||2007 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference|