David A. Widmar Purdue University

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Time Management

Publish Date: 08/01/2012

If you are like other producers, there are rarely, if ever, enough hours in the day. Between feeding, sorting, loading, human resource management, and dropping the kids off at school, you might find yourself bouncing to and fro at breakneck speeds. But, do you know where you are going – and are you focused on what you are doing - when you are moving that fast? Time management is an important skill to develop and consciously allocating your time to various activities can make you more efficient, effective, and ensure that you are spending your time on the activities that are moving you in the direction you want to go.


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Factsheets

Prioritizing Time Spent on Human Resource Management

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

Time and energy available for human resource management is often in competition with time and energy available for financial management, strategic planning, or production-oriented decision making. Farm owners and managers are faced with a finite amount of time – as are all of us! Therefore, managers must make tradeoffs in determining how they will spend their management time and energy on the farm.


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Factsheets

Managing Farm and Family

Publish Date: 04/19/2012

Owning and operating a farm business as a family presents unique challenges – and opportunities for rewards – to the farm, as well as the family. Two distinct sets of relationships must be managed in a family farm business: the personal relationships (among family members) and the business relationships (among family members and possibly non-family members).


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Factsheets

Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Communication

Publish Date: 04/20/2012

Your employees are on the front lines of your farming operation; they are the ones who see the pigs every day, the ones representing your business to other businesses that you interact with, and in some cases, they may have ideas that differ from your own on how to best accomplish some tasks on the farm. Communication breakdowns are at the heart of many on-farm conflicts – whether between employees, between managers and employees, amongst managers, or among family members.


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Factsheets

Cultural Sensitivity: Building Supportive Working Environments for Employees from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

Publish Date: 04/13/2012

The total number of farms, as well as the total number of on-farm workers, has been steadily decreasing for some time. According to a recently updated briefing by Economic Research Service (ERS)/United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hired farm workers comprise less than 1% of all US salary and wage workers. Approximately half of all laborers and supervisors are Hispanic, while managers are mostly non-Hispanic whites. According to demographics reported in the ERS/USDA briefing, 48% of farm laborers and supervisors are foreign-born, as are 17% of farm managers, and 44% of all hired farm workers. For comparison, it was reported that 16% of all U.S. wage and salary workers are foreign-born. Today’s farm managers are being asked to manage an increasing number of employees as farms grow and expand to include larger numbers of non-family employees and managers. Further, farm managers are often being called upon to manage individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, often being asked to incentivize and motivate people with, potentially, different goals and objectives than themselves.


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