I wanted to express some feedback on the article, “Focus on retaining your best employees,” published on April 7, 2022. I believe these kinds of articles are necessary considering today's industry trends toward labor and employment. I've heard from many farmers from the East Coast to New England that hiring and retaining "good help" is exceedingly difficult and in some areas impossible. I believe keeping articles like this in front of such employers is paramount to retaining those "stars" and "workhorses."
One thing that I'm sure is spoken about quite a bit is the fact that many farms are still primarily run by family members. While there are many dairymen and women capable of being effective managers to outside employees, many of them are better "cow people" than managers. I know when I worked on the family dairy, it was oftentimes difficult for my "boss" to reprimand me without that bitterness carrying over into our family/personal life. Going forward, if one is going to hire employees for a dairy, structuring and advertising these positions like any other business would is a great viewpoint that may assist in employee retention.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide some very brief feedback! Hoard's Dairyman is one of my favorite publications, and I appreciate the openness in communication.
— Jim Barey, Maryland