‘Eye on Employees’ webinars to address farm labor concerns

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host a five-session webinar entitled “Eye on Employees,” from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 5.

The webinars will address the main concerns that farm and more specifically, dairy employers face.

“Extension dairy specialists often get two types of questions concerning labor,” said Fred Hall, Northwest Iowa dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “No. 1, what is wrong with my hiring process? I can’t get people hired; and No. 2, how do I close the ‘revolving door’ of employees coming and going?”

Hall said that this five-part webinar series will take an in-depth look at the questions of how to hire and maintain farm employees.

Each presenter will address a certain topic from noon to 1 p.m. on the dates listed below:

  • Feb. 5—Brett Stanley, special investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, will discuss what information is needed for I-9 Forms and what documentation options there are for immigrant employees to confirm they are legal to work in this country.

  • Feb. 12—ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Specialist Melissa O’Rourke will discuss how to begin the interview conversation and give tips to learn the most about the applicant while not breaking the law.

  • Feb. 19—ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Specialist Larry Tranel will discuss how labor and robotic milkers are not an either-or option for producers and explore the most recent research on the economics of automated milking systems.

  • Feb. 26—ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Specialist Fred Hall will outline the importance of an employee handbook and give producers ideas on how to create a handbook for their dairy, as well as how to make it a part of their hiring process.

  • March 4—Melissa O’Rourke will return and outline how employees are often misclassified and the consequences of doing so; plus, other employment pitfalls.

Hall said that at the end of each webinar there will be time allowed for a question and answer session.

There is no registration fee; however, registration is required to receive the link for the program. Register online at https://form.jotform.com/4Hregion1/eye-on-employees. For more information or to register via phone, contact Fred Hall at 712-737-4230.