During an employee’s first day on the job—or second or third day for that matter—it may be difficult to absorb all of the new protocols, procedures and responsibilities required for the job.

That is why Duschee Hills Dairy in southeast Minnesota developed a training manual for its employees. The 24-page manual lists the key steps expected of employees in the milking parlor and elsewhere on the farm.

Duschee Hills’ Pat Troendle says he wants employees to absorb information in the following sequence: 

  • Watch the procedures performed by someone else.
  • Perform the procedures while being monitored.
  • After about seven to 10 days on the job, read the training manual.

Troendle says this approach to learning works well. By the time the employees read the training manual, it makes sense. It also facilitates the learning process of part-time employees, such as high school students, or those who have never worked on a dairy before.