Pork Board, NCBA and University team up to host employee management conference

by 5m Editor
7 August 2007, at 2:45pm

KANSAS - Kansas State University is joining forces with the National Pork Board and the National Cattleman´s Beef Association to offer the "Employee Management For Production Agriculture Conference"

Scheduled for October 11-12, 2007, the conference will be held at the Kansas City (Mo.) Airport Marriott Hotel near Kansas City International Airport. The meeting begins with registration at 9 a.m., and the program starts at 10 a.m. on Oct. 11 and ends Friday afternoon after 1 p.m.

The sessions will be filled with information relating to the diverse cultures in agricultural businesses,including: dealing with difficult times, and legal issues, said K-State Research and Extension agricultural economist Sarah Fogleman.

Fogleman, who is a K-State Research and Extension specialist in employment management issues in agriculture, is one of the conference coordinators. One of the general sessions will focus on 'Managing Across Cultures'. Fogleman said: "This session is designed to help everyone think about what makes us different and what makes us alike - and most of all, what makes us better."

Breakout session topics will include:
  • Being a Boss vs. Being a Buddy - This popular session will help managers learn to walk that fine line.
  • Legal Issues 101 (emphasis on immigration) - Learn to insulate yourself from legal risks and how to navigate tricky legal waters associated with employing a non-citizen workforce.
  • Family - Family workplaces are wonderful when they work and terrible when they don´t. This session will help family members recognize the pitfalls and possibilities that come from running a family business.
  • Workers´ Compensation - Learn to navigate risky waters by understanding the rules and laws and learning the keys that can help you master Workers´ Compensation.
  • Orientation and Training from the Ground Up - More and more agricultural employees have no agricultural experience. Learn to use this to your advantage by designing an orientation and training program that takes nothing for granted.
  • Compensation - Like it or not, compensation is the one issue that ALL managers have to address sometime. This session will help producers build compensation packages that meet their employee´s needs without breaking the bank.
  • Growing Your Own Replacements - People are maybe the most important resource our businesses have. But where do we go for replacements? Learn to identify, recruit, train and empower employees who will be your next managers.
  • Recruiting - Most managers have broken down and hired a "warm body" at one time or another. Learn where to look, how to advertise, and how to think like a potential employee.
  • Conflict Management - Conflict is everywhere. This informative session will help producers learn strategies for recognizing and diffusing workplace conflicts.
  • Turnover: Symptom or Disease - People frequently think of turnover as a problem, but sometimes it´s a symptom of other problems. Learn to identify the root of turnover in your business and how to cut it off at the source.
There will also be a selection of industry workshops for beef and pork producers on Friday afternoon. The Pork Checkoff program is hosting a producer workforce development awareness panel and will provide a farm level tool on developing leadership skills.

Early registration for the conference is $150 for the first two attendees from a business, due by 26 September, after which the fee increases to $200 per person. For businesses sending three or more participants, the group rate is $125 per person. The registration fee covers lunch on both days, refreshments at breaks and all conference materials.

More information about the conference, including links to the hotel, is available on the Web at:

5m Editor