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NOFA-VT and VTC Offers Workshops for Farmers on Human Resources

http://nofavt.org/annual-events/farmer-courses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 15, 2014 

 

NOFA Vermont Offers Workshops for Farmers on Human Resources

1/2 day intensive training sessions will cover wide array of labor management issues

RICHMOND, VERMONT – The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), in partnership with Vermont Technical College’s Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems (VTC), will be launching a new winter workshop series related to human resources and labor management for farmers. Each session features real-life stories, practical advice, and useful resources from successful farmers and experts from around Vermont and beyond.

Labor is often the highest expense on a farm, and labor management is frequently cited as critical to a farm's success. Many farmers are drawn to the production side of farming, not to the management of labor.  Additionally, many farms are run by couples who may find it challenging to make business decisions together as well as work side by side on a daily basis. The NOFA-VT and VTC workshop series will give farmers practical skills from both professionals working in human resources as well as from vegetable, dairy and fruit farm managers and value-added producers.

NOFA-VT and VTC's human resources and labor management series will cover an array of relevant topics, including employee management and communication, interpersonal relationships, labor regulations, staff recruitment, retention and even firing. The workshops include: “Get Your Team: Hire, Train and Retain a Strong Farm Crew,” “Run Your Team: Tools for Managing and Motivating Employees on the Farm,” and “Conflict on the Team: Effective Leadership and Communication with Farm Employees.” The seminars will be offered January through March, with each workshop being hosted in two different regions in Vermont to make them more accessible to attendees. Participants who attend all three sessions can receive a certificate in farm labor management from Vermont Technical College.

Walk-ins are welcome the day of the workshop; however, preregistration is required for discounts and to guarantee lunch. Funding is provided by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2012-49200-20031 and the Department of Labor. For additional information and online registration please go to www.nofavt.org/farmerHR. If you have any questions regarding the workshop content or registration process please contact Rachel Fussell, NOFA-VT’s Education Coordinator, at rachel@nofavt.org or (802) 434-4122 x28. If interested in signing up for the certificate program, please contact Cara Gauthier, Vermont Technical College’s Outreach Coordinator, at cbutterlygauthier@vtc.edu.

Founded in 1971, NOFA-VT is a statewide organization with over 1,200 members, serving farmers, gardeners and consumers. NOFA is responsible for a wide variety of programs, including providing technical support for commercial dairy, livestock, fruit and vegetable farmers; offering educational programs for beginning farmers such as the Journey Farmer and CRAFT programs; VT Food Education Every Day (VT FEED), a farm-to-school initiative; maintaining a farm apprentice listing; and administering Vermont Organic Farmers, the organic certification body for the state of Vermont. 

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About Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont: NOFA Vermont is member-based organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts – anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.