USA 13.02.2024

Cultivating Talent: Michigan's Dairy Farmers Embark on a Quest for Skilled Herdsmen

Source: The DairyNews
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As the dawn of a new year unfolds over Michigan's expansive farmlands, the state's dairy farmers are actively seeking skilled herdsmen to join their teams.
Cultivating Talent: Michigan's Dairy Farmers Embark on a Quest for Skilled Herdsmen
The role, integral to the dairy business, demands expertise in animal husbandry. Organizations like DairyNZ offer valuable resources to guide farmers through the hiring process, emphasizing the importance of finding the right fit for both the business and the farm. From farm hands to remote positions for field trial data collection, job opportunities in the sector come with competitive salaries.

In this competitive landscape, farmers are not only searching for qualified candidates but individuals who can inject new ideas and perspectives into their operations. For families like the Gernaats, running a 500-cow dairy farm, finding someone who shares their passion for farming and respects their animals is paramount.

Attracting top talent in the agricultural realm involves more than just offering perks; it's about establishing the right fit for the business and the farm. Organizations like DairyNZ provide comprehensive resources, from crafting job descriptions to formulating interview questions, with a focus on assessing both skills and personality for cultural compatibility.

The human element plays a pivotal role in Michigan's agricultural sector, transcending various roles, from sales and service for crop-related products to technicians for agricultural equipment. Companies such as Star of the West Milling Co., Grand River Angus Farm, Potato Services of Michigan, and Syngenta understand the importance of passionate and committed employees in the sector.

Job opportunities within Michigan's agricultural sector span from farm hands to remote roles in field trial data collection, offering competitive salaries, some reaching up to $39 per hour. Recruitment agencies, such as AgHires, specializing in agriculture, food, and animal health, are witnessing a surge in demand for skilled labor.

For second-generation dairy farmer John Gernaat, trust and a shared commitment to animal welfare are key considerations in the hiring process. As Michigan's agricultural sector gears up for the upcoming year, the quest for talent continues. It's not merely about filling positions; it's about integrating individuals into farming families.

In the vast expanse of Michigan's farmlands, the dance between humanity and nature persists. As seasons change, the melody remains constant – a collective passion for agriculture and a dedication to its future. The recruitment process in Michigan's agricultural sector, unfolding with each sunrise, symbolizes more than hiring; it's an essential part of preserving the state's agricultural heritage.

With each new addition to the team, Michigan's agricultural sector fortifies itself, ready to confront challenges and seize opportunities on the horizon. As the sun rises over fields and farms, a new chapter begins in Michigan's agricultural story, marked by the arrival of individuals contributing skills, passion, and dedication to the land.
Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California
Every five years, the Department of Agriculture takes a census of farms, all two million of them. The most recent census occurred in 2022, and USDA released the data this week.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
senior director of the agri-food analytics lab and a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University.
‘Lab-grown’ animal-free dairy protein receives approval, paving the way for sustainable alternatives in the dairy industry.
February 2024
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