Give Your Farm Employees the Boost They Need

Reenergize and empower your workforce

Reshaping how we view training can give employees the boost they need. Penn State Dairy Extension encourages producers to view their training programs not as “once and done” and instead take a broader view to reenergize and empower the workforce.

Jorge Delgado, the training and talent development for dairy workers at Alltech, underscores employees value information

“The best way to train new employees is by explaining the whys and hows behind any procedure,” Delgado says.

Penn State offers tips to boost learning opportunities in the workplace and create some energy in your team:


Monthly Lunch and Learns

Designate one day each month for a learning lunch. Consider buying lunch or encouraging workers to bring their own. Have a current topic of interest and provide information, farm data, or an outside speaker, this can be done virtually, to talk about the feedback from topic. Ask the group. Look at what the farm data shows compared to where the goal or target is for an area.


Weekly Employee Shares

This can be 15 minutes and works well for a small group of employees: a milking shift, the outside crew, etc. Start by pointing out something that you have learned or seen this week. For example, the COWS don’t seem to be bunching up as much in the mornings since the fans were moved. Follow up with a question: What are you noticing at different times of the day? Is there still bunching? Start the ball rolling then step back and listen.


White Board Nuggets

Use a white board in your high traffic area and start using that for “daily discoveries.’ For example, milk is 87% water. Make a box with names and a place 01 write numbers. Engage your team in conversation across shifts with this type of strategy.

Depending on your workers, create a friendly competition: Night milkers had 95% of on their cow’s peak milk flow target. Do the same for the next shift. Maybe they only had 80%?


Boost motivation on your farm by incorporating an opportunity to engage with your workforce. Communicate and get to know your employees better. If your dairy has a “keep your head down and get your work done feeling, you might be missing out on the talents, expertise and ideas of your team of people. Karen Bohnert

Dairy Farm