Hiring farm employees? Check this list
Looking to hire some help on your farm this year?
Whether you're hiring a full-time farm manager or somebody to haul manure for you a few hours a month, don't make light of the hiring process. A good farm employment management plan can erase a lot of potential headaches, says Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist Melissa O'Rourke, but make sure you consult with the right people before making major employment decisions on your farm.
"Consult with personal qualified tax, accounting, insurance and legal advisers as they will be familiar with the farm business, and can provide expert advice on specific needs," she says. "Also consult with state and federal officials who will be familiar with changes in laws and requirements."
Following is a list of resources for making farm employment decisions. Don't mistake these resources for legal counsel, O'Rourke says. "This tool is meant to provide guidelines in a variety of areas," she says.
Review farm needs and hiring practices
- Purdue University Extension – Developing and Implementing Sound Hiring Practices
- University of Vermont – Agricultural Labor Management
- Ag Help Wanted: Guidelines for Managing Agricultural Labor – a guidebook published by the Western Farm Management Extension Committee
Prepare job/position descriptions
- Job Description Generator
- Comprehensive List of Ag Job Descriptions
- Determine whether position requires CDL license: Iowa CDL In A Nutshell Booklet -or- call Iowa DOT: 1-800-532-1121
Employee policy document or handbook
- Consider establishing written employee policies in document/handbook for employees – reviewed by your legal professional. Do not negate the employment-at-will doctrine.
- Ohio State University Extension – Short Guide to Farm Employee Handbooks
- University of Missouri Extension – Template for farm employee handbook
- University of Vermont – Guidelines and links to additional information on farm employee handbooks
- University of California – Labor Management in Agriculture – Guide to farm employee handbooks
- Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation – Templates for Employee handbook & Safety handbook
Recruit candidates for the position