How to be the best on-farm employer

Rural Exchange 04/11/2018

Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor says attracting and keeping the best people working in the primary industries is one of the most significant challenges for the sector.

Recognising those who have shown commitment to good employment practices such as training, paying and treating staff well are vital for the success of our economy.

“Good staff are the foundation of all good businesses and I congratulate the finalists announced today who are doing their bit to keep their employees safe, motivated and with plenty of room to grow,” Minister O’Connor said.

Dairy farmer Ben Allomes is a finalist in the first Primary Industries Good Employer Awards.

He told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange he is “very proud” to be acknowledged.

“It’s been a hard journey for us over the last few years. We’ve made all the mistakes but we’ve made some big changes in our business and we’re glad to be able to celebrate them.”

He runs Hopelands Dairies with partner Nicky in Woodville, Manawatu.

A couple of years ago, the couple changed some of their business practices, Mr Allomes said.

“We thought of ourselves as dairy farmers, and we’ve been employing people for the last few years as contract milkers or as farm managers and staff.

“And we sort of thought hang on a minute, now that we’ve got these poeple in our team all the time, we’re actually not dairy farmers – we are managers and employers of people.”

Mr Allomes said that “realisation” made him think more about the people his business employed.

“Managing and treating and working with them, in the right way, is the way that we’re going to be successful moving forward,” he told RadioLIVE.

The winners will be announced at Parliament in Wellington on 27 November 2018.

Watch the full interview with Ben Allomes above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.