This project addressed the risks mid-career farmers face due to a deficit of labor management and communication skills. Farmers have expressed a deficit of skills and knowledge in: labor laws, team building, effective communication, improving worker
performance, effectively training workers, performance management, and conflict
resolution. To meet this need, our project team designed four sessions that featured a subject matter specialist who not only provided practical information, but who was also charged with facilitating an interactive curriculum that facilitated participants to share their knowledge and approaches.
Evaluations showed that the 71 mid-career farmers from Northern New England who attended this program increased their knowledge and skills in: agricultural labor law, job recruitment, employee retention, on-boarding new employees, effective training methods for all employees, performance feedback, conflict resolution, leadership, communication, motivating employees, employee recognition methods, labor efficiency, and the ability to calculate the full costs of hiring employees.