Minnesota Department of Labor seeks ag sector wage information
(Kevin Walli, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick)
A provision resulting from the 2014 Minnesota legislative session called for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to survey agricultural operations to gather overtime and work week information, and to submit a report to the 2015 legislature. This requested report is a remnant of the legislative proposal which would have changed the current 48-hour agricultural work week to 40 hours.
The Department of Labor will be sending a short survey to all agricultural operations (including dairies) that are large enough to have an unemployment insurance account number. Generally, the dairy operations that will receive the survey are those which paid at least $20,000 in wages during at least one quarter, or had at least four employees in each of 20 weeks in 2013. Data from the Department of Labor and Industry indicates that there are just under 300 dairy operations that are being sent a survey.
The two-page survey will be mailed Aug. 11, and will ask for employment information from four different weeks during 2013. Survey responses can be submitted by mail or online. None of the information gathered from individual respondents will identify their particular farming operation.
If you have concerns about the survey, contact the Minnesota Milk office at 1-877-577-0741 or email@example.com.
Summer Extension dairy field days set in Stearns County
The University of Minnesota Dairy Extension Field Days continues in August.
• Aug. 12, 10 am-3 pm – West Central ROC Organic Dairy Field Day, Morris, MN. The university’s organic 230-cow dairy will feature Hue Karreman and his seminar on organic animal health and lameness. Updates of current research on organic projects at the West Central ROC will also be included. Field tours and a pasture walk will include alternative forages and cover crops for grazing as well as organic fly control methods. Lunch will be provided. If you plan to attend, or would like more information, contact WCROC at 320-589-1711 or by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Aug. 14, 10 am-2 pm – Rohe Dairy, LLC, Marv, Jim & Mike Rohe, Freeport, MN. Rohe Dairy milks nearly 250 cows 2x per day and runs 600 acres of corn and alfalfa. A major feature of Rohe Dairy is their calf barn, built in August of 2012. The Rohes remodeled and added onto their original barn to make room for three group pens and a Lely Calm automatic calf feeder with two feeding stations. Besides the feeder, the calf barn also features 14-ft ceilings which the Rohes credit for the good ventilation in the barn. The afternoon session will include a cow handling demonstration and discussion with Dr. Gerard Cramer at the dairy cow barn. Lunch will be provided.