Farm Labor Management: Developing Leadership and Human Resource Management Skills

UNH Extension Partners with Federal and State Organizations to Offer Farmers in New England an Educational Series on Farm Labor Management: Developing Leadership and Human Resource Management Skills

DURHAM, N.H. – Farmers and Agricultural Professionals are invited to a four-session series to build farmers’ skills in managing their labor force. This series will be offered in two locations: West Lebanon, NH and Portsmouth, NH.

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s Seth Wilner has received a federal grant from the Northeast Risk Management Education Center.  In addition to these funds, UNH Cooperative Extension is partnering with NOFA-VT and the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

This series brings in nationally recognized industry professionals to guide participants through the legal aspects of employment law, training employees to create efficient teams and operations, setting clear expectations for daily goals, effective communication and performance management skills, and the ability to calculate the true costs of each employee and when it makes sense to hire people versus buy equipment. Finally we will wrap up the series with how to find good employees and create effective new hire training and job descriptions.

Beginning January 30th, 2017 this series will be held in two different locations: Lebanon, NH and Portsmouth, NH. Please see below for locations and dates.

January 30, February 6, 13 and 27, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon, NH
To register:

January 31, February 7, 14 and 21, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
NH Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, NH
To register:

$25 per person, per session (includes lunch);

For more information please email [email protected]  or call Seth Wilner at 603-863-9200.

The highlighted speakers bring experience and leadership to New Hampshire: 

  • Rachael Armstrong will be covering employment law. This includes: hiring and compensation, classifying workers, what the law allows for farm volunteers and interns, payroll taxes, workers compensation, insurance, contracts and creating employee handbooks. Rachael is the Founder, Executive Director and Lead Attorney at Farm Commons. Farm Commons is devoted to helping farmers understand agricultural law. They educate and represent members of the agricultural community. 
  • Ellen Polishuk will be discussing how to effectively and efficiently train employees. Ellen is a vegetable grower, farm consultant and teacher. Ellen is one of three owners of Potomac Vegetable Farms in Northern Virginia where they grow produce for seven farmers’ markets, a 550 member CSA and two roadsides stands. In her session participants will learn about teaching employees to set an effective work pace, using tools for optimal efficiency, building effective teams, creating a team culture on your farm, increasing productivity and communicating goals/expectations daily. Additionally, Ellen will educate participants on how to calculate the full cost of employees.
  • Belinda J.H. Peavey, SPHR, HCS will be leading discussions and exercises in leadership, communication and performance management skills. Belinda is the Vice President of Talent Management and Organizational Performance at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Belinda leads teams in effective professional skills through leadership and communication to improve productivity and create cohesiveness in teams. She also has an extensive background in the manufacturing industry. See how cross industry practices can be applied to agriculture, resulting in a strong workforce and real results. Belinda will guide participants through a series of tools that will help them understand how to put into place effective systems to manage employees, improve communication and increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
  • Pat McCabe is a Human Resource Professional with the University of New Hampshire. Pat will lead the final session that focuses on how to find good farm employees, effective hiring techniques, and how to build skills and train employees so that they succeed in your farm’s culture. Pat will be joined by farmers who will share lessons they have learned on effectively managing their labor force.