The pork industry seeks to maintain a motivated, properly trained workforce. Investing in recruiting, job training, safety and retention are vital to the business of pig farming. However, many farms aren’t large enough to dedicate resources to developing tools, training programs and workplace safety campaigns. For this reason, national and state farming organizations provide these necessary resources, which cover important areas such as:
- Effective hiring, recruitment and retention policies
- Job training, including standard operating procedures to manage farm tasks and reduce the risk of accidents
- Management tools to support good employee relations
The Pork Checkoff has developed human resource tools that may assist you as you develop a caretaker hiring process that includes informing your prospective employees about your organization’s values and policies.
The Barn Culture resource provides information and templates to help producers effectively recruit, develop, train and retain employees and to create a positive Barn Culture while inspiring professionalism.
Effective education and training of caretakers is key to a safe work environment for animals and people. Pork producers have reputable, national training and certification programs designed to bring the latest knowledge and practices to the farm. These programs teach producers how to provide a work environment that promotes the health and safety of caretakers, educate caretakers on the ethical principles of farming and prepare them to meet their obligations consistent with these principles, and provide a work environment where caretakers are treated fairly and with respect.
Farming is one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America, which is why the Pork Checkoff has invested in creating several resources to improve worker safety.
The Employee Safety Toolkit addresses the hands-on, visual learning styles of barn workers. Its six units focus on preparedness, movement, environment, hazards, tools and equipment. By protecting the caretakers and the animals in the barn using these tools, producers can work toward daily goals of reducing accidents and injuries.
Producers can compare their farm’s safety records with others to provide a benchmark. A confidential third-party database allows operations to be compared with the top 25 percent, allowing producers to identify ways to enhance safety on the farm and focus on continuous improvement.
The importance of understanding animal behavior and executing proper handling techniques cannot be overstated, as it keeps both hogs and handlers safe while reducing unnecessary stress on the animal, which can have adverse effects on productivity and meat quality.
On the Farm
A well-documented emergency action plan (EAP) can be a valuable tool to reduce the impact of an emergency on your operation.
The Environmental Sustainability toolkit provides training resources to help the animal caretaker understand and recognize the impact they can have on preventing environmental problems.