Staff using phones while milking.

ColinV6

Member
When I do a shift in the parlour I’m usually bored after 20 cows have been through. A funny text or snapchat can make it more tolerable.

Now granted the difference is that dairymen or reliefs do this as their choice so shouldn’t be bored/fed up, but even so, I fail to see the issue here.

Sometimes even a quick Shazam if there’s a good tune on the radio! Or are you going to ban the radio as well? :ROFLMAO:
 

Jdunn55

Member
Completely agree, however Amazon is not desperate for workers and has a steady stream of young people coming in.

Agriculture has virtually zero young people coming into the industry.
We have a staff shortage anyway, ESPECIALLY skilled labour and people who arent general trained idiots.
I'll add, at my last relief milking job I also worked part time for them during the week doing bits and pieces.
They went through a time of having lost their weekend worker so I covered the shift for them whilst they looked for one (it was all day saturday and sunday morning).

I trained no less than 6 people (I think it was more like 10 - I ended up losing count) how to do that job.
It was NOT difficult, scraping up, bedding and feeding calves, washing down after milking etc
None of them (except from the last one obviously) could/would do it. The longest lasted 3 weekends.
They were all bar 1 maybe 2, absolute rubbish (all except 2 were under 20 - 1 of the older ones was ok but didn't want the job in the end the other kept smacking things up with the scraper). Some kept hitting and breaking things, one let the robot cows in with the milkers, some took ALL day to bed down the calves, some didn't listen at all, some were rude etc

So that makes 1 in 10 of the young recruits (of which are few and far between) decent workers.
 
Surely this is all about output?

what would they be doing if not on phone?

if output has fallen or they aren’t as observant (for example) then you have your answer?
 
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Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
For clarity, are these employees or contractors/ self employed? If either of the latter groups, I’d suggest you have far less right to ban anything - you’re buying a service, and they may still have their own businesses to run alongside giving you that service.
 
Location
southwest
Completely agree, however Amazon is not desperate for workers and has a steady stream of young people coming in.

Agriculture has virtually zero young people coming into the industry.
We have a staff shortage anyway, ESPECIALLY skilled labour and people who arent general trained idiots.
Think you'll find that most staff at Amazon are agency, not employed.

So if agriculture has a staffing shortage, should the job adverts be:

"Come and work on a farm, looking after hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of livestock or machinery. Don't worry if you think that's boring, we'll let you play with you tech toys while you are milking cows, driving tractors etc. Please apply, we are DESPERATE!"

Don't lower your standards, raise the job spec!
 

dairyrow

Member
I'd leave it if theyre doing the job alright. My trainee came in one morning at 8:30 and immediately took a selfie to go on instagram. Like she'd been there all morning. She does use the bluetooth for the radio to play her music. Do wonder if i should get a perspex holder for it one end the parlour GF firm has a pouch for workers to keep their mobiles in the office.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Think you'll find that most staff at Amazon are agency, not employed.

So if agriculture has a staffing shortage, should the job adverts be:

"Come and work on a farm, looking after hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of livestock or machinery. Don't worry if you think that's boring, we'll let you play with you tech toys while you are milking cows, driving tractors etc. Please apply, we are DESPERATE!"

Don't lower your standards, raise the job spec!
That's not my point though. If they're doing the job correctly and in good time to a decent standard why upset things and create issues where there arent any? I have enough bloody problems as it is without making more! I dont see why banning something would do any good just because you dont like it? I don't like ankle socks, dealer boots and ripped Jean's but unless they're causing issues I wont be banning them?! If someone was milking in dealer boots then I would ban them because the likelihood is they're not washing down enough because they would get soaked, however if they're only using them when on silage etc who cares?!

In terms of the shortage of labour, I wouldn't word it quite like that however, it's hard to raise standards when you havent got time to stand still - usually standards slip instead. I would rather make-do than have to sell up.
 
Location
southwest
If people are on the phone they aren't paying attention to what they should be doing, so things can go wrong. And it's not "just" a phone any more-there's usually an internet connection, so e-mails, social media etc

Lot's of workplaces have a "no phones while you are working" policy, either on H&S or performance grounds.

Would you be happy with someone reading an e-book when they're supposed to be looking after your dairy herd?
 
Thanks for all the points, I have one full time employee and 2 relief milkers all in their twenties who seem to be looking at their phones almost whenever I go in the parlour. I haven't had any trouble recruiting staff as milking goats is a lot cleaner and easier than cows. I don't mind them checking for texts, time etc but it seems scrolling through social media is distracting. The ACRs often take a unit off a goat that hasn't been milked out and it needs putting back on, it's a 20_40 swing over and when I milk I have little spare time. I am planning on installing cctv following the animal welfare groups sting on a goat farm in Yorkshire last week, this will let me monitor it a bit more. I need WiFi for the robot silage pusher btw!
 

TheTallGuy

Member
Location
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for all the points, I have one full time employee and 2 relief milkers all in their twenties who seem to be looking at their phones almost whenever I go in the parlour. I haven't had any trouble recruiting staff as milking goats is a lot cleaner and easier than cows. I don't mind them checking for texts, time etc but it seems scrolling through social media is distracting. The ACRs often take a unit off a goat that hasn't been milked out and it needs putting back on, it's a 20_40 swing over and when I milk I have little spare time. I am planning on installing cctv following the animal welfare groups sting on a goat farm in Yorkshire last week, this will let me monitor it a bit more. I need WiFi for the robot silage pusher btw!
If you intend using cctv evidence for employee performance management then you need to ensure that it's covered in their employment contract & in your GDPR data protection policy etc.
 

Will 1594

Member
Arable Farmer
do they still get the job done effectively? if so what’s the issue ?

this is an industry that’s struggling to attract young people - run a “Dickensian”business that doesn’t respect employees needs and wants and we make that worse ?
Do you "need" to look at your phone when milking , no ,should be too much going on to have time,
Maybe they are just cup applicators ,not a true herdsperson
What if they miss a lame ,or mastitis , or an antibiotic ,
What would you say if some one wrapped drill or sprayer round a pylon , when looking at phone , or lokingbat phone while on combine , ,😡
Wife has one at moment ,always on phone ,when shoild be packing ,biscuit bags ,
She flatly denied she was on phone ,when asked , but the big boss had been looking on face book monitering her ,


I say phone ban when milking ,3 hours ,work ,if you cannot live with out looking at the addiction , Bad craic
 
If people are on the phone they aren't paying attention to what they should be doing, so things can go wrong. And it's not "just" a phone any more-there's usually an internet connection, so e-mails, social media etc

Lot's of workplaces have a "no phones while you are working" policy, either on H&S or performance grounds.

Would you be happy with someone reading an e-book when they're supposed to be looking after your dairy herd?
If you want people to be engaged with the farm a good place to start is to drop the “your herd” and without being so them and us, talk through your thought process, what you’re reasons are and be prepared to listen to another view. Farming needs to change to attract new blood if it doesn’t when the current generation dies so will a lot of farms
 
If you want people to be engaged with the farm a good place to start is to drop the “your herd” and without being so them and us, talk through your thought process, what you’re reasons are and be prepared to listen to another view. Farming needs to change to attract new blood if it doesn’t when the current generation dies so will a lot of farms
That's utter bullshìt. Who elses herd is it if it's not the owners. To the OP , dont let them get away with it . Tell them it's not on. Occasionally checking will lead to constant checking. The flogs are addicted to the damn things as it is. Put signs up in dairy "no mobiles during work hours" What's more important to them? Coin in their pocket or stupid snap chat. As has been said, try it In many other industries and see how long you have a job.
 
Location
southwest
Forget mobile phones for a minute.

If you had a herdsman that left the parlour and stood in the yard for a couple of minutes every half hour, would you be happy?

No, of course you wouldn't!

But that's what someone using a mobile phone is doing-their body is in the pit, but their mind isn't.

I'd be seriously concerned if whoever was milking my cows thought it wasn't necessary to concentrate on the job in hand!
 

thewalrus

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Northern Ireland
You don’t see people on the till at tesco scrolling through their phone or taking pictures because they are bored. You wouldn’t be allowed to do it working on a production line. It wouldn’t be Acceptable for a judge to be doing it because the case was dragging on a bit.

why do people think the rules are different on a farm? If you are in the milking parlour it’s to milk 100% concentration on the job it’s the most important thing going on!
 

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Agricultural contractors and their role in the farming industry

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Agricultural contractors and their role in the farming industry

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