Don’t get stuck onfarm this spring

Tapping into the potential workforce in your local community could be a game changer for dairy farmers this spring and a new online platform has made it easier to connect with people. Words Sheryl Haitana.

Beck Riordan says dairy farmers can rethink how they use relief staff to cover all the jobs onfarm or around the house.

Working long hours without a day off, missing the kids’ sport and falling asleep on the couch doesn’t have to be the picture again this spring.

Dairy farmers can be a bit traditional when it comes to work ethic and employment, but there are different ways to structure the roster and various skill levels they can benefit from.

Farmers could look for a skilled person to relieve themselves or their core staff during calving, or simply get in an extra pair of hands to wash the calf feeders, milk the second herd, lock cows away, or even just cover some of the household duties to lighten the load.

There are different pockets living in the community that dairy farmers can turn to, Ag Assist customer success manager Beck Riordan says.

“There is a massive workforce out there that may not necessarily want to work 60 hours a week, but might want to work 15–20 hours and are  willing to travel to your farm. There are also a lot of people who want to help farmers. There is a huge heart of the agricultural community out there who understand what farming means to our community and want to help a farmer out.”

Ag Assist is a new online platform where farmers can directly connect to available workers who can fill labour gaps onfarm.

Beck, a former dairy farmer, jumped at the opportunity to work for Ag Assist because she immediately saw the benefits to the rural community.

“I would have loved, loved, loved this when I was farming,” Beck says. “During calving I would have used it. I used to do all the calves myself, and I was stuck in the mentality that I was the only person who could do it. My husband and I were stuck onfarm and couldn’t even get to watch our kids play rep sport.

“But Ag Assist gives you the option to structure your life differently. You skin it your way.”

Having the flexibility to bring in staff to cover short- or medium-term shortages is powerful. It’s also a good option for when events occur that were not in the plan, such as an injury, sickness or death.

“It’s really important if you, or your staff, have a family member who is sick or dying, that they can spend that time with their family and not have to be off milking the cows. 

“Ag Assist is an option during those busy times; we may have someone who can help you onfarm. We’ve worked really hard as a team to create a platform that moulds and flexes to the farmer.”