Making labor management work for your farm
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By maintaining a qualified, committed workforce, farms can keep their operations running smoothly and act on opportunities to grow. Review the resources on this page to learn how to manage labor on your farm. Download MU Extension publication M199, Missouri Farm Labor Guide, for more information.
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After a farm identifies a work need, employee recruitment begins. To successfully recruit the right candidate, a farm should write a well-defined job description and develop creative strategies for promoting the open position. Watch to learn the six parts of a job description and gather ideas for how to publicize farm job openings.
Six Parts of Farm Job Descriptions
Download: Farm Job Description Checklist (PDF)
How to Publicize Farm Job Openings
Download: Farm Job Promotional Plan (PDF)
After recruiting candidates for an open position, initiate the hiring process by collecting information about applicants and extending an offer to your top pick. These hiring resources will guide you through interviewing prospective employees and choosing the best person for the job.
Do's and Don'ts to Interviewing Job Candidates
Download: Farm Job Interview Question Guide (PDF)
How to Screen Farm Employees Before Hiring
Download: Job Candidate Evaluation Tool (PDF)
Classifying Workers as Employees or Contractors
Onboarding, training and mentoring
Through onboarding, training and mentoring, you acquaint workers with their jobs and the farm business. Investing in all three demonstrates a commitment to employee development. These materials explain how to onboard, train and mentor your team.
Onboarding Farm Employees on Their First Work Day
Download: Onboarding Schedule for Employee's First Day (PDF)
Plan Your Approach to Training and Mentoring Farm Employees
Farms have multiple day-to-day employer obligations — everything from compensating workers on time and communicating employee expectations to paying employment taxes and complying with labor laws. The following resources can help your farm manage key human resources responsibilities.
Include More Than a Paycheck in Compensation Plans
Download: Farm Employee Compensation Plans (PDF)
Policies and Procedures: A Guide to Farm Employee Manuals
Download: Employee Manual How-To Guide (PDF)
Annual "To-Dos" for Farm Employers
Download: Annual To-Dos for Farm Employers (PDF)
All farms can expect some employee turnover as workers relocate, retire, seek other jobs or stop participating in the labor force. However, by investing in retention strategies, you can encourage your farm team, particularly the top performers, to stay. Watch below to learn how conducting performance reviews can create a culture that helps employees feel valued.
6 Steps to Coordinating Farm Employee Performance Reviews
Download: Coordinating Employee Performance Reviews (PDF)
At some point, you may decide to let a farm employee go. Use the resources below to ensure that you follow employee termination guidelines. Plus, learn why debriefing with employees who quit can help you become a better farm employee manager.
3 Considerations When Terminating A Farm Employee's Job
Download: Employment Termination Checklist (PDF)
Why Debrief With Farm Employees Who Quit?
Download: Exit Interview Question Guide (PDF)
Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award Number 2021-70027-34694 and University of Missouri Extension.