Sharing Farm Equipment and Labor
Cooperative approaches are one alternative for producers to reduce risks and more effectively manage farm resources. Faced with a shortage of available skilled labor and rapidly rising equipment costs, some producers have found creative ways to share both labor and equipment in their operations. Others have expressed interest in sharing resources, but lack the knowledge to do so. Sharing resources in farm operations has helped some farmers better manage both financial and human resources risk in their operations. Yet, sharing can have implications for taxation, liability, and farm payment eligibility not fully understood by many engaged in these arrangements, potentially exposing them to greater legal and financial risk.
Five producer workshops will be held in Missouri and Iowa to create awareness among producers about cooperative strategies for sharing resources and to provide them with tools for developing sharing arrangements suited to their particular situations. We aim to help producers understand the legal and financial implications of sharing informally and how to reduce or avoid the corresponding risks that may arise.
A complete manual including fact sheets and presentations has been developed. The manual also includes ten real-life case studies, ranging from simple examples of jointly owning one machine to formal partnerships with complete labor sharing. Spreadsheet templates for allocating costs and fact sheets on legal organization and farm payment eligibility issues are included, as well.
The presentation will describe the content of the workshops and what we learned from them. Copies of educational materials will be made available.