Improving Agriculture Labor Management – Workshop Series


Your employees are your most valuable resource. Wages, salaries, and contract labor expenses represent more than 40 percent of the cost of production in labor intensive crops like fruits, vegetables, and nursery products. These four workshops will help you become better at managing your farm’s employees.

The Cornell Small Farms Program will provide scholarships for NYS Veterans to attend this program. To learn more about this opportunity, and determine if you are eligible for a scholarship, please contact Kat McCarthy at or 607-255-9911.

Check out the Ag Labor Management flyer for more detailed information.

Workshop 1 – Marketing your farm as a great place to work

Do you have a lot of staff turnover? Do you want to improve your communication skills with your employees? This workshop is for you. Learn to create a work environment that attracts and retains quality employees. You will leave with an assessment of your current employee management strengths and weaknesses, and an outline of an employee handbook that will help you articulate your farm’s values to your employees.

Workshop 2 – What is my job? Hiring, training and evaluating employees effectively

Everyone wants to have employees who know what needs to be done without being told. But getting your employees to this point is the hard part. We will help you develop a process to move your employees to this point more quickly. You will develop clear job descriptions, learn techniques in hiring, and training new staff and using just in time feedback and performance appraisal to both correct problems and motivate your staff.

Workshop 3 – Keeping good staff when money is tight & managing conflict in the workplace

Although everyone likes to be paid, money is not the only, or even most important, motivator for staff retention and performance. This workshop will cover research on rewards and incentives in the workplace to learn tools to attract and retain staff and reduce staff turn-over. Workplace conflict can be very demotivating for everyone. We will discuss and role-play managing conflict on the farm, terminating employees and managing employee departures.

Workshop 4 – The compliance and safety workshop. Are you managing your risks as an employer?

This is the workshop that covers the nuts and bolts of risk management as an employer. This workshop will give you resources to help you comply with labor laws and regulations as well as mandated and recommended worker safety training. Representatives from the NYS DOL Ag Labor Program will be invited to present as well as NYCAMH. Participants will leave with an assessment of their farm’s exposure to risk from having employees and strategies for reducing that risk.

Avatar of Tara Hammonds

Tara Hammonds

Posted in

Leave a Comment