Program to Help Farm Managers Become ‘Employer of Choice’

In addition to the daily responsibilities of keeping an agricultural operation running, farm managers and owners also have to become human resource specialists in their quest to find and retain the best employees.

To help develop those skills, Purdue Extension will offer the Becoming the Employer of Choice program on March 30, 2020. The popular program, developed by University of Wisconsin Extension, is designed to improve human resource skills through hands-on activities and interactive sessions.

“An issue identified in the ag industry is the tight labor market and lack of labor currently available,” said Jenna Nees, Purdue Extension educator in Putnam County. “You have to objectively ask yourself what are your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and if your farm or business is the kind of place where people want to work. This program will help managers become an employer of choice who can successfully compete for the best available employees.”

Becoming the Employer of Choice will run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on March 30, 2020 at the Putnam County Extension office, located at 152 E. Columbia St., Greencastle, IN.

Attendees will gain effective and practical approaches to managing human resource challenges on the farm. The program consists of seven modules addressing how different leadership styles are used on the farm; reducing mis-hires and turnover through hiring best practices; learning about organizational culture and how it impacts employee motivation and engagement; identifying keys to create a motivating environment; learning how to effectively communicate expectations to employees; developing skills to provide effective feedback; and learning ways to address and work through conflict.

The registration deadline is March 25, 2020.  The registration form can be downloaded from the Purdue Extension Putnam Co. website ( or by contacting or 765-653-8411. The cost is $75 for the first registrant and $25 per person for additional attendees from the same operation. The fee includes handouts, program resources and lunch.

If you have questions about this event, contact Jenna Nees at or 765-653-8411 or Jeff Pell at or 317-745-9260.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

February 25 – Annie’s Project starts, 6-9 PM, $75, location varies, registration required

February 25 – Livestock Guardian Animal webinar, 1:00 PM, Register at

March 14 – Ag Day Breakfast & Mini Farm Fest, Fairgrounds

March 21 – Garden Fair, Fairgrounds

March 30 – Becoming the Employer of Choice, 9AM – 4PM, $75, Extension Office

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