Eye on Employees webinars to address farm labor concerns

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host a five-session webinar entitled “Eye on Employees,” beginning Wednesday, Feb. 5 from noon to 1:00 p.m.

The webinars will address the main concerns that farm and more specifically, dairy employers face.

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Recent Programs Identify How Producers Are Dealing With Labor and Risk Issues

A dozen dairies were represented at the Dairy Directions series in Mid-December. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultual Economist Robert Tigner presented information on risk management tools available to dairymen including the new Dairy Revenue Protection program. Special Investigator Brett Stanley from the Department of Homeland Security presented on issues concerning Form I-9 records and special issues with foreign born employees. Iowa State University FinPak consultant Mark Olsen discussed record keeping and the benefits of accrual verses cash accounting systems.

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Deadline Is Friday To Register For Dairy Discussions Program

Dr. Hugo Ramirez, ISU Extension Dairy Specialist, will outline the importance of consistency when handling animals and teaching employees the reasons for specific protocols. He will discuss why farm guidebooks and manuals are especially vital in a tight labor market.

The second topic is risk management education, especially information on the new Dairy Revenue Protection program, LGM, contracts and other risk management tools. Ron Mortensen from Dairy Gross Margin, LLC, will lead the discussion and answer questions.

Bob Naerebout, with the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, will discuss responsible immigration reform. His role with the Idaho Dairymen’s Association is to lead the IDA in its government affairs and he continues to serve on various national dairy industry boards. Many of those boards’ primary goal is to see responsible immigration reform successfully moved forward. Naerebout currently serves on the Executive Committees of both the National Immigration Forum and the Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform. He is also a committee member of the University of Idaho Latino Advisory Committee and the National Milk Producers Federation Immigration Taskforce. Through his engagements surrounding immigration reform, Naerebout and the IDA have become widely recognized as a leader in the immigration reform debate.

ISU Extension Dairy Specialist Fred M. Hall will discuss current trends in the milk market and offer some useful benchmarks for dairymen as they evaluate their enterprise.

The day will begin with registration at 9:00 a.m. at the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County office located at 400 Central Avenue Northwest in Orange City, and will conclude around 2:00 p.m.

There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required by calling the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County office at 712-737-4230. Deadline for registration is 12:00 noon on Friday, November 30.





Immigration and the Dairy Industry

As dairy operations increase animal numbers, they have also increased dependence on a larger labor pool. That labor pool has become less dominated by family members, and more dependent on foreign born labor (FBL) There undoubtedly would be benefits, however, there is significant risk for the dairy industry in any immigration legislation.

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Dairy Programs set for Sac and Pocahontas Counties in December

The Dairy Directions Seminars are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Sac County and Wednesday, Dec. 12 in Pocahontas County. Both programs will be held at the local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office.

Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. A free lunch is included, and the program will adjourn at 1:45 p.m.

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Northwest Iowa Farm Labor Conference Set For April 17

Sit down with any Northwest Iowa livestock producer- dairy, swine, beef or poultry- and the topic of labor is sure to surface in the conversation. Everybody has the solution for how agriculture can find and keep a dependable labor force, just ask any national, state or local politician. But each has a perspective for the solution that often doesn’t recognize or jive with the issues identified by employees or employers.

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Some Immigrant Labor May Be Leaving USA According To One Study

National Editor Tom Karst of The Packer noted one Center for Migration Study that undocumented workers are leaving the country. The recent study indicates a sharp decline in the U.S. undocumented population over a six-year period.

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