Article summary: Managing people is a significant challenge in farm businesses due to the difficulty of finding and retaining skilled workers in rural areas. The physically demanding and seasonal nature of farm work, coupled with low wages and limited professional growth opportunities, contributes to high turnover rates. This article suggests solutions like offering competitive wages, training, and clear career paths, as well as leveraging agricultural technology to streamline operations. Let’s see how you can be a better farm manager by creating a supportive work environment and providing access to essential resources to enhance employee retention and productivity.

For a farm business, managing people might be the most significant difficulty for several reasons. First, various talents are often required for agricultural operations, from physical work to administrative duties in marketing and logistics. Everyone is different and has varying skill sets, life situations and resolve. 

It can be challenging to locate people with the proper training and experience, especially in rural locations with fewer available workers. Mental health has never been more important too.

However, agtech comes to the forefront again. Along with a respectful and safe workplace, plus good management, integrating modern farm management information systems can streamline operations and aid in better decision-making regarding human resource allocation.

In this article, you’ll learn about how to manage the biggest challenge for your farm business—your people.

Want to be a better people manager? Read on!

Challenges of retaining people in agriculture

  • Labour Intensity: Agricultural labour may be physically taxing and labour-intensive, which causes a high employee turnover rate as people look for less taxing jobs.

  • Seasonal Nature: The demand for jobs varies throughout the year due to the seasonal nature of many agricultural operations. This uncertainty may deter employees from committing to long-term employment in the industry.

  • Low Wages: In some areas, recruiting and retaining talented individuals in the agriculture sector can be challenging since agricultural workers get lower pay than those in other sectors.

  • Restricted Professional Growth: Talented people may be discouraged from pursuing long-term careers in agriculture if they believe there are few prospects for professional advancement.

  • Lack of Resources: People who lack appropriate access to resources like land, money, and technology may need help establishing themselves as prosperous farmers or agricultural experts. 

Suggestions for motivating, incentivising, and supporting your staff 

Here are some ways to can work towards supporting your staff, even if you’re managing them remotely:

  1. Provide Competitive Wages and Benefits: Skilled workers in agriculture may be attracted and retained by offering competitive wages and benefit packages. This includes providing retirement programs, health insurance, and performance-based bonuses.

  2. Offer Training and Chances for Skill Development: By investing in training programs and opportunities for skill development, employees may be empowered and assisted in advancing their careers in the agriculture industry.

  3. Encourage Work-Life Balance: You may increase employee satisfaction and retention rates by implementing flexible work schedules and encouraging a healthy work-life balance. Regular breaks, a two-way communication loop and a safe workplace both physically and psychologically are all non-negotiables in the employment space.

  4. Make Clear Career tracks: Offering staff options for growth and development inside the company and clear career tracks can encourage them to remain and progress in the agriculture industry.

  5. Provide Access to Resources: Aspiring agricultural professionals can succeed in their undertakings by having more accessible access to resources, including land, money, and technology.

Employee retention management

Retention management aims to keep valued and skilled staff members in your business for longer. It’s vital to the success of your farm!

You can promote better managing staff retention by:

  • Understanding the aspects contributing to your workers' job happiness and what drives them. 

  • One of the most significant ways to improve employee retention is to cultivate a healthy work environment that values honest communication, respect for one another, and acknowledging accomplishments. Have open discussions, regular catch ups in a way that works for you and your staff (phone calls, ad-hoc check ins, monthly team meetings in person or via Zoom or Facetime).

  • Attracting and keeping top people, through offering competitive pay, incentives, and benefits packages is recommended.

  • Promoting a work-life balance through paid time off, wellness initiatives, and flexible work schedules that can reduce employee turnover and burnout. Offering chances for career advancement and professional development shows your dedication to your staff members' long-term well-being and career growth..

Providing opportunities for growth and learning

Offering development and education opportunities is crucial for keeping employees on board. Training programs, career development initiatives, and mentorship opportunities enable workers to grow professionally, enhance their skill set, and maintain engagement at work.

Have you thought about sending your people to farming conferences or training webinars?

Promoting ongoing education not only helps staff members individually but also makes the company stronger by encouraging an innovative and flexible culture.

Giving employees more responsibility

Giving your employees more responsibility alleviates the burden of trying to manage everything at once and empowers them to take ownership of their work and contribute meaningfully to the organisation's success. Delegating tasks and projects demonstrates your trust in their abilities and provides growth and skill development opportunities. 

Additionally, adding a human touch to interactions by showing empathy, actively listening, and supporting their well-being fosters a positive work environment where employees feel valued and cared for. It’s not always easy, but taking the time to think about how you could do this is generally very appreciated—belonging is everything!

Prioritising professional growth and personal well-being strengthens employee engagement and loyalty, ultimately contributing to higher retention rates and organisational effectiveness.

How adopting agtech can help you redirect your focus and ensure you can manage your operations

Embracing advancements in agricultural technology (agtech) is crucial for boosting a farm’s efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. This subject drives our work at

Despite the agricultural sector's overall openness to innovation, some farmers encounter obstacles to adopting these groundbreaking technologies. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

AI and satellites allow you to oversee duties remotely and streamline operations by implementing agricultural technology, eliminating the need for a personal presence on your farm. Tools like drones, sensors, and automated machinery that can be accessed from any location with an internet connection make real-time crop, soil, and equipment performance monitoring possible.

And then there’s data. Data analytics platforms offer insights into resource usage, productivity, and possible problems, facilitating proactive problem-solving and well-informed decision-making. By utilising agtech solutions while controlling and supervising operations, you can maximise productivity, reduce manual labour, and shift their attention to innovation, company growth, and strategic planning. helps you with this!

Make better farming decisions with agtech

While you can't completely eradicate employee challenges, agtech can help free you and your employees up so they're not overworked and you can make better farming decisions. Managing people in farm businesses is a significant challenge due to diverse skill demands, high turnover rates, and limited growth prospects. Strategies such as competitive wages, training, work-life balance, and career paths can enhance retention and ensure the viability of the ag industry for years to come.

For a holistic approach that combines incentives, supportive environments, and technological advancements to drive sustainable growth,’s Pio, along with sound farm management skills, might just be the answer! 

Learn more about what we do here, or use the chat box to get in touch with one of our farming experts today!

Until we meet again, Happy Farming!

- The Dedicated Team of, 2024-04-11