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FARM Program Announces New Educational Resources

July 8, 2019

The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Program has released two new manuals and other materials as part of its FARM Workforce Development program area.

The FARM Safety Reference Manual provides straightforward, relevant and useful information on workplace safety and health meant to help dairy owners and employees develop and implement a robust and practical safety program. The FARM Safety Reference Manual is a collaboration between the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, the Idaho Milk Processors Association, and National Milk Producers Federation.

The FARM Human Resources Reference Manual helps dairy farm owners, managers and other relevant staff develop an on-farm HR program. An effective HR program supports a positive and safe work environment that helps attract and retain a professional, high-quality, and engaged workforce. A downloaded, customizable set of HR templates and a sample Employee Handbook accompany the FARM HR Manual.  The manuals can be found here. Spanish-language versions of the manuals and templates will be available soon.

The National Dairy FARM Program launched its newest component last year, gathering expert and stakeholder input from the entire dairy value chain, including farmers, cooperative staff, academics, and other subject matter experts. This input ensures the Workforce Development materials are technically robust and relevant to today’s dairy industry.

With the manuals complete, the FARM Workforce Development Task Force met on April 8 to discuss future program priorities:

  • Conduct a nationwide labor survey, implemented and analyzed by an academic institution. All data will be anonymous. The survey will provide robust, credible data to prove dairy’s labor story, especially in the face of misconceptions that exist outside of our industry.
  • Develop additional resources to support dairy producers, such as training videos and a safety ‘road map’. A breakout session at the Dairy Sustainability Forum in early May provided additional ideas and direction for useful resources.
  • Pilot an on-farm evaluation tool to help farms learn about HR and safety management best practices; identify which practices might be useful for their farm; and, track improvement over time. By performing on-farm evaluations, the industry can also provide important assurances to dairy customers, retailers, and brands.

FARM Workforce Development demonstrates that the U.S. dairy industry is proactive and passionate about providing safe and thriving work environments.