Coming in 2014: Managing Dairy Employees More Effectively Farm Assessment

Dianne Shoemaker, Extension Field Specialist, The Ohio State University

What do your employees like about working for you? Do they know your farm’s goals? Are they comfortable talking to management about problems? Does management treat all employees fairly? How would you as a manager answer questions like these? How would your employees answer the same questions?  Getting work done on dairy farms today is accomplished through people, and more cows per farm means more people are needed to care for those cows.

How can you do a better job managing people and therefore your cows? A good first step is knowing how employees perceive their job and work environment compared to how you and your management team do.  A unique opportunity to do just that is coming in 2014.  Ohio State University Extension is partnering with Michigan State University on a dairy employee management project which can help dairy farm owners and managers identify strengths and areas of concern in their people management skills and the workplace environment for their employees through a confidential survey of their employees.  This process is designed for farms with more than 10 employees to protect confidentiality of employees.

All the employee surveys are conducted confidentially over the telephone by one person who is fluent in both English and Spanish.  More information is available by contacting Rory Lewandowski, Wayne County Extension Educator at, or Dianne Shoemaker at