Dec. 23 2020 09:24 AM

This is the course you’ve been waiting for: how to lead people in your farm business! Learn the essential skills for supervising more effectively and creating a great place to work.

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development has opened registration for a six-week course titled “Transitioning to Supervisor,” which is part of a new Agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate program. The course begins January 28 with an introduction to the curriculum and use of the web-based platform, Moodle. Cost is $275. Class size is limited to 30 participants.

This is the course you’ve been waiting for: how to lead people in your farm business! Learn the essential skills for supervising more effectively and creating a great place to work.

Link to Transitioning to Supervisor registration

Link for more information about the Agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate program

Supervisors are critical to the success of farm businesses. They have a major impact both on employees’ daily work experiences and on the production performance of the business. The Agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate helps farm supervisors and managers learn and apply human resource management practices and leadership skills that foster rewarding workplaces and drive business results. Confident managers who thoughtfully apply leadership and management skills improve employee performance, develop teams, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee engagement. The courses within the certificate program will offer extensive practice and engagement activities to build confidence and skill sets.

Who should attend? This course, and the whole certificate series, is appropriate for both new and experienced farm supervisors and managers, and those preparing to become supervisors. All participants will learn leadership concepts and practice skills that will improve their ability to build a positive workplace and get results through leading others.

The first course “Transitioning to Supervisor” helps new and experienced managers make the difficult, but critical, transition from individual performer to supervisor. Participants learn essential leadership skills, such as: building effective work relationships, essential communication skills, managing conflict, leading a multi-cultural team, and how to build an effective workplace culture. From the comfort of your home or office, watch prerecorded presentations on your own schedule, and engage with classmates and instructors during weekly, live discussion sessions. Corresponding assignments are due each week. To get the most out of the experience, expect to spend approximately two hours per week on lessons and assignments.

Course instructors include: Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development Specialist, and Elizabeth Higgins, Ag Business Management/Production Economics Extension Specialist with the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture team. Direct questions to Rachel McCarthy, Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Coordinator, at

Upcoming courses include:

· Organizing Work for High Quality Results: Develop clear expectations and standard operating procedures. Delegate effectively. Diagnose and correct performance problems.

· Managing Performance: Understand motivation. Harness the power of performance feedback and coaching. Build clear and effective workplace communications, including leading team meetings. Set safety expectations. Conduct effective performance reviews.

· Ethics and Employment Regulations for Supervisors: Implement responsible and ethical labor practices and understand why this matters for agriculture. Recognize and prevent sexual harassment. Understand and follow minimum wage and overtime laws. Implement Equal Employment Opportunity laws to prevent discrimination and harassment. Handle employee discipline and termination.

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development’s mission is to help farms and agribusinesses build committed and effective teams who will carry out the important work of feeding the world. We believe that agricultural work can, and should be, engaging and rewarding for everyone involved. Managers can build committed teams by applying the best human resource management practices for the agricultural setting. Key program goals include:

· Provide leadership and management development education focused on farm supervisors, middle managers, and owners

· Clarify workforce regulations that apply to farms and increasing levels of compliance

· Build consistent channels of communication and learning opportunities about agricultural workforce issues

· Conduct research into workforce problems and challenges that confront agriculture