Managing Latino Labor in the Pork Industry
Publish Date: March 10, 2014
The pork industry contributes $15.5 billion to the United States agriculture economy and farmers in this industry spent $840 million in hired labor in 2007 . Management of human resources, however, competes with many other on-farm demands and situations forcing farmers to divide their time and energy among many responsibilities . An additional complication is that many workers hired by farmers in this industry are first generation immigrants with a Latino/Hispanic background. They lack familiarity with the U.S. agriculture labor system, speak little English (much less writing) skills, and often are by themselves in the U.S. Working with these employees is a significant challenge for most farmers. Misunderstandings and a deficiency in cross-cultural skills can quickly exacerbate potential labor-related issues on the farm. These workers, on the other side, provide the labor force that otherwise would make hog farms more difficult to operate efficiently. Further, they are known for their strong work ethics and loyalty if paid fairly and treated with respect.
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