AgriSmart is technology that can help bring about positive changes to the employment story in the dairy industry, Manawatu sharemilkers Emily and Gerard Eder say.

The couple milk 1000 cows at Mangatainoka employing five staff and have used AgriSmart in their business for the last six years.

“It’s been more than a game changer. AgriSmart is tailor-made for farming and the uniqueness that comes with our industry,” Emily says.

“It keeps tabs on everything for me, I don’t have to worry if the staff do too many hours, it lets me know, if they fall below minimum wage, it lets me know.”

With the dairy industry facing labour shortages and challenges to attract staff, this sort of technology can help make change, she says.

“I think this app helps bring about positive changes because it makes us accountable as an employer.

“I think it works more for our staff than it works for us. There is a record of everything and it’s transparent for both the employer and the employee.”

Sometimes, as an employer, the stress of paperwork and keeping accurate records of staff hours can be daunting. AgriSmart keeps tabs on everything, Emily says.

Emily and Gerard employ quite a few migrant workers, and it makes it easy to work out their salaries and keep perfect records for immigration paperwork.

They have staff on different rosters, and varying at different times in the season, which is easy to create and manage using AgriSmart, along with different pay rates.

It is an all-in-one solution, with offline timesheet capability, inbuilt rosters, payroll, task management, through to health and safety.

The technology is easy to use for non-tech savvy people or staff with English as their second language, Emily says.

Staff members have the app on their phones and log their own hours and can apply for annual leave. Emily and Gerard can see every time they log in how much annual leave each staff member has pending.

There is also a Tasks icon, where Emily and Gerard can assign tasks each day to individual staff members. Staff can click on the Team page and see everyone else’s tasks as well.

“On a farm this size, you can waste a lot of fuel and time going around the farm looking for people or explaining tasks.

“Instead of having to ring a staff member on their weekend off on a Sunday night to tell them what they’re doing the next day, it’s all on their phone for them to check.”

If a team member calls in sick while you’re out for dinner one night, you don’t have to ring around all the other staff, you can easily make adjustments on their Tasks for the next day.

“You get so time deficient, but this does everything for you – I love it,” Emily says.

  • Farm Facts:
    Sharemilkers: Emily and Gerard Eder
  • Location: Mangatainoka
  • Area: 900ha
  • Cows: 1000 Friesian/Friesian cross
  • Farm dairy: 60-bale rotary, no automation or auto cup removers
  • Staff: 5 fulltime + Emily and Gerard