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Program to Help Farm Managers and Small Business Owners Become an ‘Employer of Choice’

In addition to the daily responsibilities of keeping an agricultural operation or small business running, managers also have to become human resource specialists in their quest to find and retain the best employees.

To help develop those skills, Purdue Extension in Huntington and Whitley Counties will offer the Becoming the Employer of Choice program on March 14, 15, and 16, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Roanoke Brethren Church, 415 S Main Street, Roanoke, IN. The program is a series, so participants would need to plan on attending all three sessions. The popular program, developed by the University of Wisconsin Extension, is designed to improve human resource skills through hands-on activities and interactive sessions.

"An issue identified in the ag industry is the tight labor market and lack of skilled labor currently available," said John Woodmansee, Purdue Extension educator in Whitley County. "You have to objectively ask yourself what your strengths and weaknesses are as a manager, and if your farm or business is the kind of place where people want to work.” Content will also be applicable to agribusinesses and small businesses, helping managers become an employer of choice who can more effectively compete for the best available employees.

Attendees will gain effective and practical approaches to managing human resource challenges. The program consists of seven modules, addressing topics such as: how different leadership styles are used, reducing mis-hires and turnover through hiring best practices, learning about organizational culture and how it impacts employee motivation and engagement, identifying keys to creating a motivating environment, learning how to effectively communicate expectations to employees, developing skills to provide effective feedback, and learning ways to address and work through conflict.

The registration deadline is March 6, 2023.  The registration form can be downloaded from the Purdue Extension - Whitley County website or by contacting or 260-244-7615. The cost is $45 for the first registrant and $10 per person for additional attendees from the same business or farm operation. The fee includes handouts, program resources, and snacks.

If you have questions about this event, contact Ed Farris in Huntington County at, (260) 358-4826, or John Woodmansee in Whitley County at, (260) 244-7615. 

Click here for a flyer with the registration form.

Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution.

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