Strong communication skills are effective on-farm tools

As agricultural producers strive to improve production methods and productivity, they shouldn’t forget that communication skills can help get the job done.

New and exciting technological advances are being made daily in agriculture: improvements in nutritional programs, genetics, reproduction, standard operating procedures and animal care have been introduced, and are continuously making their way to the farm. But the farm employee is still responsible for implementing production changes, and accountable for the success of these changes. 

The first step to ensure that your farm is moving in the right direction is to continually work on the communication methods that take place on and around your facility. Whether it is issues such as discipline, training employees, motivating a work force, implementing a new technology or practice, communication is still a key factor in any successful farming operation.

The importance of communication needs to be viewed as a core value in your farming business. Effective communication is something that should be expected, routine and rewarded. Simple steps to improve communication on your farm can be taken by removing communication barriers, maintaining composure in all situations and removing misconceptions that may have been generated for farm. Gaining a strong understand of both verbal and non-verbal communication methods will help employees in a leadership position relate to their employees and improve the production of the farm, along with the job satisfaction level for employees. A better method of communication can also be utilized by implementing the use of different communication instruments such as charts, flag systems and meetings to help strength the understanding of the protocols, goals and expectations of the farm.

Owners, managers and employees need to commit to making effective communication a priority at their workplace and one of the core components of their job. Once an effective communication system is established, other areas of human resource management, such as worker safety, managing cultures and creating job satisfaction will easily fall into place. Becoming an effective communicator takes effort and by developing these skills you will be working to develop healthy work relationships and increase your on-job performance.

Read more about effective communication on page 9 of this issue the MSU Pork Quarterly.

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