Farm Labor Is Topic of Dairy Webinars

January 28, 2020, 12:34 pm | Fred M. Hall

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host a five-session webinar called “Eye on Employees,” beginning Feb. 5 from noon to 1 p.m.
The webinars will address the main concerns that farm and dairy employers face. dairy cows in barn

“Extension dairy specialists often get two types of questions concerning labor,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, located in northwest Iowa. “Number one, what is wrong with my hiring process? I can’t get people hired; and number 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 – how to hire and maintain farm employees.
Each presenter will address a specific topic from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

  • 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 – Melissa O’Rourke, ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialist, 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 – Larry Tranel, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss how labor and robotic milkers are not an either-or option for producers, and he will explore the most recent research on the economics of automated milking systems.
  • Feb. 26 – 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 – O’Rourke will return and outline how employees are often misclassified and the consequences of doing so; plus, other employment pitfalls.

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 For more information or to register via phone, contact Hall at 712-737-4230.


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