Major farm management decisions concern capital and labor. Too little attention goes to the labor side of farming, agricultural economist Joe Horner said.

To help decision-makers, he has planned three University of Missouri Extension workshops across Missouri.

Farm labor management isn’t like the old days, when a farmer could hire neighbor boys to help. Also, present-day labor is more complex. Big machinery bought to cut labor takes skilled operators.

The machines bring more concerns with farm safety.

More government regulations add to decision-making. Legal issues arise.

Getting farm labor divides into three parts, Horner said. There is recruiting, hiring and keeping workers.

If things don’t work out, termination might be needed. That raises more legal concerns.

When hiring, likely more attention will be given to training. When looking for alternative sources of labor, there won’t be many with farm experience. Mentoring time goes up.

A new Missouri Farm Labor Guide has been prepared by MU Extension economists and labor specialists. The 43-page book comes free with workshop enrollment.

The workshop dates and places with local contacts to sign up include the following:

• Nov. 29, Martin Community Center, Marshall; Katie Neuner, (660) 584-3658.

• Dec. 6, Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, Springfield; Wes Tucker, (417) 326-4916.

• Dec. 13, City of Miner Convention Center, Sikeston; David Reinbott, (573) 545-3516.

The day meeting includes lunch.

More details can be found at agebb.missouri.edu/commag/farmlabor.

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