Re-Thinking Finding Farm Labour in the Face of Expansion

How come we’ve accepted technology in most aspects of growing crops, but we still use job boards and local papers to find hired help? Chances are, the person you’re looking for doesn’t live in the surrounding area, or you’d have hired them by now.

Kristjan Hebert, farmer at Moosomin, Sask. and chair of Global Ag Risk Solutions, had an ah-ha moment as he and his wife worked through finding an au pair to care for their children. “We used a service where we filled out a profile about our family and what makes us unique, and then selected what we were looking for. The pool of thousands of people was narrowed to a few and we selected from that list to Skype interview and make our choice,” he says.

Hebert then took that same concept and moved it to hiring farm labour through WorkHorse Hub, a company he started in partnership with Morgan Knezacek. A website and app, WorkHorseHub uses a similar concept of matching farms to farm workers locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Independent of whether you choose to use WorkHorse or not, Hebert says that farmers need to re-think how they “sell” the farm. Young, energetic workers need a job description and relatively set hours and expectations. Also, the time of the long-term farm hand is likely passed — it’s time to start thinking in short-term, focused jobs (especially for grain farms), and if you can wrap your head around that, you’ll find not just great people, but also a critical piece of the farm-expansion puzzle. More, in the interview below:

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