Cornell CALS - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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Workshops and Programs

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. Each winter, the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension join forces to host a series of workshops across New York related to hiring, training, retaining, and working with employees within a farm business.

The Cornell-led New York Soil Health Initiative has just released its Soil Health Roadmap, which identifies ways farmers and land managers can adopt better soil health practices. Above, Jean-Paul Courtens, left, of Roxbury Farm, discusses the finer points of using a roller crimper to terminate a cover crop and create a layer of mulch that suppresses weeds in preparation for planting a cash crop. 
Photo courtesy of Cedric Mason

Upcoming Events

Master Classes for Ag Managers  Fall 2019 & Spring 2020

Increasing the skill-set of your most valuable employees paves the way for long-term retention of the individuals most committed to the ultimate success of your business.  Promoting the development of leadership skill among key employees is an investment in a business owner's most valuable resource.

  • Western New York Master Class
    • November 8 - December 13, 2019
  • Eastern New York Master Class
    • February - March 2020 (exact dates TBD)

Effective Management of Farm Employees - Spring 2020

Two-day intensive programs for farm managers. Managing people is a skill that can be learned, much like operating equipment, or growing crops. Do you expect yourself or your employees to learn those other skills on their own?  Most people are not born with people management skills and benefit from coaching.  Labor is one of your farm's biggest expenses - how well are you managing it?