One of my family’s favorite stories is of one brother who would disappear when work needed to be done. One of these stories took place on a cold winter day when the stalls needed to be cleaned. He took the time to clean a few stalls… then he bedded one really nice and proceeded to curl up in the stall and go to sleep. Meanwhile, the rest of the family finished all the work… and of course when he was discovered, this did not go over well.
Something like this occurs daily on all farms large and small. It begs the question, “How many people do I need?” The answer to this requires some research.
Not all farms are created labor friendly. Take a step back and look at how the daily tasks (feeding, bedding, milking, and cow care) are impacted by the facility or people. I also guarantee that the workload is not evenly distributed. Some jobs are harder than others. Some people work smarter than others.
Be willing to look at your situation and discuss it with your employees. This discussion alone makes a difference because the employees see that you are asking for their input. At the end of the day it’s the employees holding each other accountable that makes the biggest difference.
This post is part 2 of a 8 part series on Dairy Management Labor.
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