|Finding Feedlot Employees Can Be Tricky|
|Written by Sharon Vanhouwe|
|Friday, 27 July 2012 11:18|
The Western Canada Feedlot Management School was held this week at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
The first day speakers focused on employee recruitment and retention challenges faced by feedlots.
Brent Chaffee manages Strangmuir Farms in Strathmore, Alberta and we caught up to him, on the road. He talked about his experience, mostly with foreign workers that are brought in through either the Seasonal Ag Workers Program or Ag Stream.
Through the Seasonal Ag Workers Program employees can be here about 8 months and the process to get them here is fairly quick. Ag Stream allows for a longer work permit but the process time is longer.
Chaffee, whose company has about 24 employees says with plenty of employment choices these days it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract employees with any kind of agricultural background or equipment experience. He says a lot of those guys are getting sucked up into the construction trade.
That's why his feedlot has turned to foreign workers. He says they've had a fair bit of luck this year, with some workers from Mexico, one from the Philippines and one from Ukraine. Chaffee says many of the Mexican workers have agricultural, equipment and livestock experience. He says they've also got a fellow from the Philippines who is one of their longest standing foreign workers and has worked out really well. He says the employee from Ukraine hasn't been with the company for too long so it's hard to say yet how he will work out. But from a mechanically inclined standpoint, he is very versed in all the equipment repairs.
He says the downside of hiring foreign workers is the additional supervision they need and that means there's a loss of some efficiencies. He says it takes some extra time to give the employee instruction to ensure they fully grasp what you are trying to say. Chaffee says, in the feedlot business, things are done on a quarterly basis and it takes at least a year before a foreign worker gets a good idea of what is going on and what's next.
On the upside though, Chaffee says they've gotten some really good help that's loyal and they tend to stay with the company for the duration of their contract, and many times want to extend it.
Participants at the Feed Lot School also heard from speakers on the issue of manure management, managing risk and feedlot nutrition and health.
|Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 11:24|