Staff

Ben B

Member
Mixed Farmer
My advice is to scessfully employ people you need to be happy for them to do it their way. ie Whether you would feed one group first and then another and they do it the other way. A good employer wouldn't care as long as they're fed the right amount.

I find people who struggle to get employees are generally people who say it's my way or the highway and cant be flexible with how a job is done. Ie bloke works for Dad and doesnt keep the tractors as clean as I like, but he shows up on time at work and does a very good job so it's not worth sacking him over that ( I know people who would). But also to be flexible with them ie they need time off give it to them you may have plans but if you are painful about it people won't stick around.

Pay as well, as one bloke said pay peanuts get monkeys, I have heard of herd managers paid less than s##T kicking tractor drivers. Guess what they had trouble employing herd managers. For the right person, you pay not only for work but for reliability and dependability. You could pay them less but you may receive less.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
I'm in the process of redoing budgets and cashflows taking into account the price rises. Ive been warned by my dad that after this year he doesn't want to be doing farm work on a day to day basis (deteriorating health from years of abuse when he milked). The suckler cows will be going in the autumn and the ewes being dropped over the summer/autumn with the exception of a few pets (maybe 20-30 ewes).
I've coped up until now because I've had dad to help me when I need a second pair of hands (eg: dehorning).
The plan at the moment is to use dads farm to rear youngstock and grow silage + corn for the milkers which will obviously be kept here.

I'm going to need a second pair of hands in order to cope next year, so a few questions:
What do I advertise for? I see so many job titles now and wonder what is really involved with each one (general farm worker, assistant herdsman, etc). I would like someone who would milk maybe 3-5 times a week and be happy to do general yard work (scraping up, feeding heifers etc) but also jump in a tractor when needed.

How many hours per week is normal? And what hours/days? Was thinking 4 days a week plus a weekend milking? 8 hour days (plus an hour for lunch) and 4 hours(?) On the weekend?
Salary vs hourly? What's a fair amount to offer either per hour or on a salary? I would have to talk to dad but there is a possibility of a 2 bedroom cottage to come with the job (this would be at dads farm not mine) but I would obviously have to pay the rent on it.

Then finally how do I make it attractive to people and so when I do find someone they enjoy coming here and don't want to go elsewhere? I'm not completely awful but I'm sure there will be areas I could make life easier/better for them to make it more enjoyable
Thanks
How many cows are you milking? I was thinking it was less than 100, how can the milk cheque pay another wage?
I think you need to simplify things, cows make the money, you love cows and I don't think you'd be happy with other people working with them, so you look after them.
Get rid of ALL non dairy stock, as soon as possible, especially pets, I'd get all machinery work done by contractors so I don't miss anything with the cows but if you must do that work in house and keep the gear, find a self employed operator/farmers son that likes tractors and let them do the work as it comes up, and go away at quiet times. If you're lucky they might be willing to do a bit of relief milking to give you the odd day off, even if its in the week.
 
Location
southwest
I think you would have trouble finding someone who is prepared to milk on what seems to be a random basis. Also, as others have noted, you are pretty anal about your cows, which most people would find challenging to deal with.

You need to decide if you want a person to milk your cows five days out of seven, or just a gfw who would milk once a day.

Best thing you can do is let out the surplus ground for a year or two and use the income to pay for contractors or part time help.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Why would you all let the land out? Ok it’s good money but you could have a mess to clean up after.
Trust me when I say the last thing that will happen is it will be let out, I know the mess and how much it will cost me to repair the damage from the potato/daffodil/Broccoli boys 🙈 there's a reason they have to pay over £300 an acre... if I was to do anything along those lines I would pay someone to make the grass into hay/silage and sell it instead, I would lose less money than renting it out to anyone who runs a packing fleet 🙄
 

Jdunn55

Member
Regarding staff, thankyou for all the replies. I guess I'll just carry on on my own for another year.

The reasoning behind wanting someone full time is firstly because I'll be able to keep on top of things a lot better, at busy times (calving, silage etc) I'll be able to keep my head above water and then lastly I'll be able to spend more than a few hours away from the farm. Sounds stupid but it would be nice to be able to just go to market and see a dispersal sale every now and then, or even spend an afternoon away from the farm etc. I haven't actually left the farm for more than a few hours since well before Christmas. Currently I can't leave because I spend all morning doing the routine work, then after lunch I have a few hours before I have to be back for milking, I can't go out in the evening because I've got to be up to milk in the morning etc

I'll add to that, I am really enjoying myself for the most part and am incredibly proud of my cows but I do feel like I'm missing out on things every now and again - especially when I get invited to things and have to decline
 
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frederick

Member
Location
south west
Regarding staff, thankyou for all the replies. I guess I'll just carry on on my own for another year.

The reasoning behind wanting someone full time is firstly because I'll be able to keep on top of things a lot better, at busy times (calving, silage etc) I'll be able to keep my head above water and then lastly I'll be able to spend more than a few hours away from the farm. Sounds stupid but it would be nice to be able to just go to market and see a dispersal sale every now and then, or even spend an afternoon away from the farm etc. I haven't actually left the farm for more than a few hours since well before Christmas. Currently I can't leave because I spend all morning doing the routine work, then after lunch I have a few hours before I have to be back for milking, I can't go out in the evening because I've got to be up to milk in the morning etc

I'll add to that, I am really enjoying myself for the most part and am incredibly proud of my cows but I do feel like I'm missing out on things every now and again
When could you afford this person. There is very little point in doing too much until 8 weeks before you want them to start.

But get on and do it then the more you learn and get wrong about employing people the sooner you will be good at it.

If you can get them to 6-8 milkings a week and you have a house consider talking to lkl. It will cost more but removes lots of hassle especially in long term with employees rights.
 

Rossymons

Member
Location
Cornwall
Rent the ground out for cereals or maize to a neighbour rather Than the broccoli boys.

Take that money, find someone decent and pay them decent too because you need an experienced hand to help you and someone you can leave get on with it.

I don't See the problem Of renting out this land. You arent able to farm it and your Dad don't want to. Simplify the whole job and make your life easier.
 
Location
Sw Scotland
i know your in to your ped cattle.but you would be better milking 120 cows as a flying herd.bulled with the blue all calves sold at 4 weeks.
You could pee that on your own make a good living and have a life
This ^ and just have a relief milker that you pay over the odds every second weekend and when needed. Just 3 groups of cattle to look after milk cows dry cows and young calves job done for 8:30am away to the beach for rest of day.
 

Dead Rabbits

Member
Location
'Merica
Regarding staff, thankyou for all the replies. I guess I'll just carry on on my own for another year.

The reasoning behind wanting someone full time is firstly because I'll be able to keep on top of things a lot better, at busy times (calving, silage etc) I'll be able to keep my head above water and then lastly I'll be able to spend more than a few hours away from the farm. Sounds stupid but it would be nice to be able to just go to market and see a dispersal sale every now and then, or even spend an afternoon away from the farm etc. I haven't actually left the farm for more than a few hours since well before Christmas. Currently I can't leave because I spend all morning doing the routine work, then after lunch I have a few hours before I have to be back for milking, I can't go out in the evening because I've got to be up to milk in the morning etc

I'll add to that, I am really enjoying myself for the most part and am incredibly proud of my cows but I do feel like I'm missing out on things every now and again - especially when I get invited to things and have to decline
Did you get into this to manage people or manage cows? They are two very different things, don’t let anyone try to discount that. I did not ever want to manage people but that’s now most of my job and it’s been a challenge for me. I realized years ago that I got extremely frustrated with myself as I could only accomplish a given amount of things in a day. Then I realized that to progress into being more productive I would have to have others working productively as well. Then you have to train and create an environment of clear expectations and standards that is fun to work in with mutual respect. I’m an employee myself but my crew does not work for the company, they work for me, if you see what I mean. I actually like it and I’ve gotten to know myself better because of it.

The reason everyone is urging caution or to simplify your system is because it’s very difficult to show someone where to go when you have no idea yourself. That’s not to say you are a bad manager or person, it’s just that you are very early in the game and don’t have a core system developed or settled yet. Focus on getting the basics mastered then move to the next skill set.
 

milkloss

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Sussex
I reckon you should go for it. Sorry I can't remember much about the op but having someone to take the reins for whatever reason is necessary imo. Be it weekends away, birth of children or having time with a loved one doesn't matter, everyone should try and make sure they have the ability to walk away for a few hours at least and clear their head/thinking time or whatever.

I also reckon it'll take quite a while finding someone that fits the position so get started now before you're desperate.
 

DairyNerd

Member
Livestock Farmer
Can't comment on your particular situation but i worked several farms before going on my own, also came from non farming background and was very lucky that i worked for some great people which encouraged me to make it a career. If you do employ anyone i would not underestimate a few of things which go a long way:

1. Get on with the person - this is so vital, can't really highlight it enough, you will go the extra mile for someone you like regardless of farm or circumstance.

2. Give responsibility where you can, involve them in as many aspects of the farm as you can, be open about it. Take them to events, training.

3. If you want something done a certain way then explain why, if it doesn't matter so much then give them some freedom to find their way.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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