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This program plan was written collaboratively by Tracey Erickson and Alvaro Garcia.


Agricultural Human Resource Management Program Business Plan – Grant Extension Overview

The Agricultural Human Resource Management Grant Extension is focused on expanding the Human Resource Management skillset of dairy producers, dairy employees and the dairy support industries. The video training modules are being designed to enhance personal knowledge about the Hispanic workforce, their culture, and best communication methods, along with teaching managers and owners about Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), utilizing a hands-on teaching method by putting people through an actual SOP that focuses on milk quality assurance best management practices. These two training module videos, offered in both English and Spanish, would be developed for download and available through the internet web presence on iGrow.org at South Dakota State University.

The number of milk cow operations continues to decline in the United States. There were 65,000 milk cow operations in 2009 compared to 97,460 in 2001, a decline of 33 percent (USDA, 2010). Despite the large decrease in milk cow operations during this time period, both milk production and milk cow numbers have been on the rise. Milk production increased 15 percent, from 165,332 million pounds in 2001 to 189,320 million pounds in 2009. Milk cow inventory showed a smaller increase of 1 percent, from 9.10 million head in 2001 to 9.20 million head in 2009 (USDA, 2010). It is also important to note that as farms get larger they will require more employees per farm. A majority of these employees are of Hispanic origin. These same trends are evidenced in the Central Plains States of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

The intention of the program is to target a majority of the dairy producers in the states of South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska. These states represent 852,410 dairy cows as reported in 2010 by USDA NASS. These states are also the same states that are often known as the “Central Plains States” and often targeted in marketing development titled as the “Central Plains Dairy Industry”.

Dairies will employ on average 5-6 workers per 300 cows or approximately one worker per 50-55 cows in a free-stall barn. It is our hope to access 10% of these estimated employees which would be approximately 1,500 employees. The ability of dairy owners/managers to be successful will be directly dependent upon their ability to effectively manage employees. Of the 1,500 people targeted to access the training module videos (dairy producers, employees, and others in the dairy industry) our desired outcome is that they will increase their personal knowledge of the Hispanic culture while improving communication skills with Hispanics. Additionally, dairy managers, owners, and employees will improve their understanding of how to implement training on Standard Operating Procedures with Hispanics and their impact on dairy operations while utilizing dairy milk quality assurance best management practices as the training protocol example. Through the utilization of these training modules, there will be improved employee relations and competencies resulting in higher employee performance and overall profitability of the dairies. In addition, due to improved communication skills and training ability of Hispanic employees a higher quality dairy product will be produced instilling consumer confidence in the dairy industry.

This grant extension proposal would utilize the remaining funds in the Project Number: RME-M4004365 (SDSU Fund # 3M2742) to an estimated total of $21,886. This grant extension proposal would be a joint collaborative effort between Tracey Erickson (Renelt) and Dr. Alvaro Garcia, with Tracey Erickson (Renelt) being the primary investigator.

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