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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.

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.