Dairy farmers go online to fine-tune being a good boss

4 June 2020

Before COVID-19, farmers might have met for group discussions on a nearby farm, but on June 11 dairy farm employers nationwide will go online to fine-tune what they already know about being a good boss and holding on to valued staff.

They will be taking part in a ‘starting on the right foot’ DairyNZ webinar, as part of the Go Dairy campaign to recruit people into farming, having lost jobs due to COVID-19.

While being a good boss applies at all times, they will address how to be a good employer of people coming into farming from other careers. Dairy farm employers interested in joining the conversation can register at dairynz.co.nz/redeploy.

DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – farm performance, Dr Jenny Jago, says with the need to fill more than 1,000 job vacancies, the rising number of unemployed people presents farm businesses with opportunity to attract new talent into dairy.

“On one hand redeploying people who have had careers in sectors like tourism and hospitality to work on farms is a great opportunity. However, being successful in recruiting people suited to the farming way of life – and retaining them – is also a challenge.

“This webinar will enable our farming employers to share what they believe it takes to be a good boss and retain the staff they value – and for any who need to enhance their workplaces, to pick up a few tips on changes they can readily make.” 

Dr Jago says the DairyNZ career changer recruitment campaign has a major focus on training newcomers to be ‘farm ready’. “We have designed a three-week course that begins with online sessions providing an introduction to farming. This first course begins on Monday.”

“Every farmer wants employees who show initiative, are problem solvers, reliable and good team members,” she says. 

“The flip side, though, is that staff quite rightly expect farm employers to be good bosses. To be a good boss, farmers need to ensure their people are supported and understand their roles and responsibilities. They must communicate effectively, be fair and provide opportunities for employees to excel.”

Farm employers interested in participating in the June 11 webinar, which runs from 7-8.30pm, should register prior at dairynz.co.nz/redeploy

Information about how to manage the recruitment, selection and onboarding of new staff, plus guidance on being a good boss is available at dairynz.co.nz/goodboss

Details of the Go Dairy career changer campaign are at godairy.co.nz/career-changers

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Fever

Senior Media Manager

Phone 027 836 6295


Ali Tocker

Media Advisor

Phone 027 211 2159


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