Published Sep 27, 2013

Employee Manual Templates and More

By Sally Worley

This past year Practical Farmers has had a focus on labor at several events, including an annual conference session led by Ben Saunders of Wabi Sabi Farm on how he hires different forms of labor, an annual conference session led by Paul and Sandy Arnold on how they train employees for efficiency and profitability, a workshop led by Chris Blanchard on employee management and employee handbooks, a farminar featuring Jill Beebout and Julia Slocum on how trainers work with trainees on their farm, a farminar featuring Jeanne Hansen, Ben Saunders, Michael Staebell, Dave Eklund and Karen Pfab on how to hire farm laborers by the books, a farminar with Pete Johnson and Melissa Dunham on employing workers year-round, a field day with Melissa and Andy Dunham on efficient employee management on the farm and a field day with John, Jana and Jessica Wesselius on farm productivity. We also published a newsletter article (page 4) featuring how Paul and Sandy Arnold measure farm employee efficiency for profitability.

Chris Blanchard displays employee management tools on his farm

Chris Blanchard displays employee management tools on his farm

Along the way, we have collected resources regarding how to hire employees, create employee manuals and create employee checklists. Some of these are listed here:

Farm employee management: Do we need an employee handbook? by Iowa State Extension

Checklist for Iowa Agricultural Employers, by Ag Decision Maker

Labor Law and Tip Sheets for Employee Management, by Buy Locally Grown

Employee Handbooks, A Valuable Management Tool, by University of Vermont

Hiring Farm Employees? Check this list, by

Sample Log Sheets, by University of Minnesota

Do you need a farm employee handbook? by Farm Futures

The attendees at the employee handbook workshop we held were able to view copies of employee handbooks and manuals from a few Midwest farms. Our members appreciate farmer-to-farmer learning and often ask to see ‘real life examples’ of resources such as employee manuals or business plans. If you have a resource you have created that you are willing to share with our members, please email me ( We can feature it in an upcoming newsletter article, on our website or at an event.