Factors Affecting Human Resource Challenges on Farms

More than 76,400 people make their living each year as employees on Wisconsin farms. Their educational background and other skills and characteristics vary widely.  Both employees and farmers want to be informed about how farm labor is recruited and what is most valuable characteristics are.

To assist them, the University of Wisconsin Farm & Risk Management (FARM) Team conducted a survey of Wisconsin farms.  UWEX Agriculture Agents submitted the contact information for 417 farms from 38 counties around the state. Some agents sent the survey directly to producers in their county or included the survey in a newsletter. There was also an on-line option for completing the survey. A total of 220 producers from 38 counties completed the survey.  The survey was conducted from late January to mid-April 2013.

In the January 2014 Wisconsin Agriculturist article These Factors Affect Human Resource Challenges on Farms, team members summarized data answering questions in these four categories:

  • Wages and bonuses
  • Challenges for farms with written standard operating procedures and handbooks
  • Employee meetings held on larger farms
  • How the number of immigrant employees affect communication challenges

Three full detailed reports regarding the survey including farm employee characteristics, wages and benefits for farm employees, and human resource characteristic and challenges for Wisconsin farms, can be found at UW-Extension Farm Team’s Human Resource Management.

For more information regarding human resources for dairy farms, please contact UW-Extension Jackson County Agriculture Agent Trisha Wagner or Dane County Dairy Agent Jennifer Blazek or visit UW-Extension FARM Team.

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