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UW-Madison, Division of Extension Farm Human Resource Management Conference

Monday, March 18, 2019   (0 Comments)
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University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension
Farm Human Resource Management Conference

UW-Extension and the UW-Center for Dairy Profitability will host conference focused on farm human resource management for ag consultants and educators

Madison, WI -- On May 2-3, 2019, University of Wisconsin Madison, Division of Extension and the UW Center for Dairy Profitability will host a spring professional development conference focused on farm human resource management. More than 23,400 people make their living as employees on Wisconsin farms.  Labor expenses are a significant portion of farm production costs and dairy farm wages in Wisconsin have increased by 4.3% per year since 2012, according to the US Bureau of Labor.  Therefore, farmers’ ability to manage human resources effectively is of increasing importance to maintaining financial viability. 

The two-day conference, May 2nd and 3rd will provide practical information about farm human resource management and leadership development, as well as a forum for collaboration for consultants and educators. Agricultural consultants, agribusiness leaders and educators interested in developing resources for their farming clientele are invited to attend. Participants will learn about the latest research in human resource management on important topics such as motivating employees, providing effective feedback, and resolving employee conflicts.

“Many ag consultants are on the farm and see the challenges farmers face with employees every day,” said Simon Jette-Nantel, Professor and UW-Extension Farm Management Specialist. “These are often the people farmers ask for advice regarding employees. This program provides information and resources to help Wisconsin farmers address these questions.”

The conference begins on Thursday, May 2nd with a keynote address about labor markets, industry-wide trends affecting agriculture, and an introduction to the UW-Extension Becoming the Employer of Choice program. The afternoon will feature the program modules and research behind best management practices for leading employees working on farms.  Participants will gain facilitation skills in use of the modules presentations, discussion points and activities for use with their clientele. Featured topics include: Managers to Leaders, Hiring the Right People, Farm Business Culture, Developing a Motivated Workforce, and Strategic Leadership & Onboarding.

On Friday, May 3rd participants will utilize the Becoming the Employer of Choice curriculum with a small-group facilitation practicum.  During the practicum, participants will receive constructive feedback from the program facilitators. Topics featured include: Managing Conflict and Reviews & Feedback.

Following the conference, participants will have access to the Becoming the Employer of Choice (BTEC) curriculum materials and resources including consultation with facilitators from the University of Wisconsin-Extension.  Participants are invited to become part of a community of practice, which offers support for work with clientele through discussion of human resource management and common farm clientele questions and issues.

This conference will be held on the UW-Madison campus at The Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI.

For more information and to register, visit the program website: or contact:

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