Labor Guide

Like many farm kids, once I was old enough to take on a chore, I was excited to be a part of the action.

At the time, that may have only meant bottle feeding calves, feeding sheep or handing tools to dad as he maintained equipment. Over time my duties significantly evolved of course, from farm ownership and management, to very labor-intensive activities that are important to the success of any farm.

Unfortunately, my story and yours is becoming more uncommon with every generation of our society. Ohioans are increasingly removed from the farm, and while agriculture certainly has its selling points for those looking for a career, fewer people are returning to the farm or even considering the field, which means greater dependence on hired workers.

After poring over information from roundtable discussions across the state, survey results, state and county board feedback, and a series of member focus groups last summer, a particular issue stood out to me – finding and keeping farm workers is a huge challenge.
The majority of our members, 51%, have up to five employees, and they are finding that acquiring quality employees is challenging and unless they adapt to new workforce patterns, attracting, hiring and retaining workers will become more difficult.

That is why Ohio Farm Bureau is offering a new resource to our members, “A Guide to Finding, Hiring and Retaining Farm Employees.” This guide is designed to help position a farm business as an employer of choice in this tough labor market. It will help you attract and retain quality labor, and reduce the chance of a key employee leaving, causing a business disruption. Each section will provide you with valuable information and templates to help you attract and retain employees.

This guide is exclusively for Ohio Farm Bureau members. If you’re not a member, join today to receive access to the guide as well as to an upcoming webinar series featuring industry experts and farmers sharing strategies they are using to successfully recruit and retain workers.

Starting Aug. 31, Ohio Farm Bureau will be hosting five informative lunch-and-learn webinars on labor and workforce needs. Each 30-minute webinar will cover essential labor-related topics such as employee retention, recruitment, the H-2A system, organizational culture and labor-saving technology ideas. Creative Ways to Recruit Farm Employees is the kickoff topic Aug. 31. Join us from the field, the truck or wherever you are.

In this issue of Our Ohio, George Secor, president and CEO of Sunrise Cooperative, talks about why he sees value in Farm Bureau membership for Sunrise employees: so they can better understand the industry and their customers. The production of this new guide exemplifies how Ohio Farm Bureau continues to provide on-farm business solutions to give
our members a competitive advantage, in what has become the most competitive job market of our time.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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