Michael K. Swan Washington State University

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Exploring Governance Structures for Your Farm Organization

Publish Date: 04/25/2013

What is the governance structure of your farm? Do you have your operation’s governance structure clearly outlined for yourself – and – those involved in the management of your business? What comes to many producers’ minds when they hear the word “structure” is their legal, or tax, structure. Much effort is spent emphasizing the importance of the farm’s legal structure, including discussions around tax implications of various business structures and the impact on ease of transitioning the farm to future generations. But, what is often forgotten how critical the farm governance structure, including a clear articulation of who is responsible for what aspects of the business and how reporting takes place, can be for the efficient and effective operation of the farm business.


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Factsheets

Swine Industry Progressive Discipline

Publish Date: 07/02/2012

Progressive Discipline is a process for dealing with work behavior that does not meet expected and communicated performance standards. The purpose of progressive discipline is to assist the employee in 1) understanding that a problem exists and, 2) that a plan for improvement is in place.


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PIG How-To's

Interviewing

Publish Date: 04/26/2012

The job interview is the crucial point to employment where potential employees can succeed in convincing prospective employers that they are indeed the ideal candidate for the position. Producers are making an investment in the potential of the employee and how they will fit into the existing employee structure. Managers are often called upon to interview job candidates who will potentially become their assistants. Therefore interviews are a two-way process in which interviewers evaluate applicants and applicants also evaluate interviewers.


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PIG How-To's

Coping with Conflict

Publish Date: 04/26/2012

There are a variety of strategies available for coping with conflict. Some of us are more comfortable with some of these strategies than with others, but we all can be better conflict managers if we develop skills to implement several strategies and adapt resolution strategies to suit the particular conflict situation. Johnson & Johnson (1994) describe five possible approaches to conflict management: avoidance, accommodation, compromise, competition, and collaboration.


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PIG How-To's

Effective Staff Meetings

Publish Date: 05/09/2012

As an owner or manager time is one of the most valuable commodities you have so you need to make the most of each minute. Planning and conducting an efficient meeting is one of the duties that you need to be prepared for in advance. Planning is a major priority for an effective and efficient meeting. This begins with planning and developing an agenda and sticking to it.


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Resources Reviewed

Factsheets

Workplace Equity & Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures

Publish Date: 03/10/2014

Human resource management is of increasing importance for today’s livestock operations. Several aspects of employee supervision can challenge managers and owners, including the increasingly complex federal and state regulations surrounding employee management. Workplace equity and anti-discrimination polices are of particular interest to livestock operations, which may face unique circumstances. Adding confusion for many operators are the intersections between various laws and regulations, especially those related to discrimination, workplace equity, and harassment. Certainly, prevention of discrimination and inequity are less costly than dealing with costly litigation or time-consuming and expensive complaints.


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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

Solvency and Repayment Capacity Issues Facing the Swine Farmer

Publish Date: 04/19/2012

There are many ways of evaluating a business and making financial decisions for the business. Historically in agriculture, that has varied by the enterprises you have, the lender you work with and the part of the country you live in. These variations made it hard to compare apples to apples and maintain consistency across regions and enterprises. That was one of the main reasons that the Farm Financial Standards Task Force was formed. The Task Force (FFSTF) has since developed a set of guidelines to make it easier to consistently evaluate a business and make financial decisions based on that evaluation.


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PIG How-To's

How to Source Feed Corn

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Today’s swine ration formulations are being made up of various new and different feed stuffs to grow our pigs. Corn is still the main energy source for most producers feed rations today in the U.S. With more uses for corn today it is important for the swine producer to have their corn needs sourced well in advance.


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