Monthly training opportunities provide a regularly scheduled time for skill development, team building and employee/employer “housekeeping.”

“Training does not require large chunks of time,” says Dean Ross, a Michigan-based agrosecurity consultant. “Tackle one or two topics a month.”

For example, invite the herd veterinarian to talk about a current health issue in the herd. Follow that discussion with a single safety-training topic or train employees on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a particular farm task. At the next monthly meeting, cover other topics or follow up on training from the previous meeting.

Creating an ongoing training process fits well with the way agriculture is changing.

“Many farms are now associated with environmental and animal-welfare related programs,” Ross says.

These programs want evidence that employees have been given training in SOPs and best practices for animal care and handling, safety and other operational practices.

“A ‘training day’ program creates a framework from which these requirements can be met while developing new strengths within the employees on the farm,” Ross says.