MSU Extension program on farm employee development

Employee management is an area of concern for many farmers. Are you a farmer who has asked how can you become better at it? Want some practical advice that works? This Michigan State University Extension program was developed for you!

Farmers in a potato field
Photo by Monica Jean

Have you ever wondered why your farm employees are not getting progressively better? Have you asked yourself why so many employees quit and leave before they have time to mature in the job? How do others get better results?

A Michigan State University Extension program, “Being a Purposeful Employer: Perspectives of Experience” will feature three employers who have successfully developed and retained employees. Gertie van den Goor of Goma Dairy, Judy Zehnder Keller of the Bavarian Inn and Justin Krick of Star of West Milling will each talk about how they develop employees and strategies to make weak employees stronger. They will share about how the culture of the business is communicated and why people stay employed at those places of work. 

Though these three represent a diverse set of businesses, they each deal with the entry level employees of whom much is expected. The program is scheduled for Thursday, July 25, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through lunch at the Bavarian Inn. All farmers are invited to register to attend.

Extension educators Phil Durst and Stan Moore will introduce the program and moderate the panel. After each of the three presenters has had time to speak to the topic, there will be a panel discussion with questions from the audience.

The Bavarian Inn is located at 1 Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth, Michigan. Registration is $25 that includes a full Bavarian Inn chicken dinner and reservations can be made online. For more information, contact Phil Durst at 989-387-5346 or Stan Moore at 231-533-8818.

Bavarian Inn is a family owned collection of businesses that began in 1950 when a small hotel was purchased by “Tiny” Zehnder. Judy Zehnder Keller is president of the company. Goma Dairy had a more recent beginning when the van den Goor family immigrated to the U.S. and established their dairy in 1999. Today they milk over 3,000 cows and are advocates for the industry. Star of the West milling dates back to the mid 19th century with immigrants to Frankenmuth building a mill. In 1976, the property was sold by the Hubinger family to Star of the West. It is now the 17th largest miller in the U.S., with a daily processing capacity of 19,900 cwts. of grain. Justin Krick is a Certified Crop Advisor with Star of the West and a sixth generation farmer.

MSU Extension continues to help train farmers in employee management and development as a means to both greater employee satisfaction and performance.

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