Tuesday, 03 March 2020 12:03

Be a good boss and we're unstoppable

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Federated Farmers Dairy chair Chris Lewis and farm worker Cheyanne Wilson at the launch. Federated Farmers Dairy chair Chris Lewis and farm worker Cheyanne Wilson at the launch.

A dairy sector made up of good bosses would make us unstoppable, says Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Chris Lewis.

Good bosses would attract workers to dairy farms. “Therefore, the recruitment process would be more competitive and the calibre of those you employed would increase,” he says.

“Your staff would solve more problems, find more opportunities therefore you and your farm business would be more successful.”

Speaking at the launch of the Good Boss campaign in Wellington last month, he urged all farmers to be great bosses.

He admitted that in the dairy sector, everyone isn’t a good boss.

Some people are letting the side down.

“Because when someone has an experience of a bad boss in dairy they talk about it to their mates. And their mates then think twice about working in dairy.

“And then they all tell their families it isn’t a good idea to work in dairy. And so it goes on.”

Lewis noted that the opposite is also true. 

People with good bosses talk about them: their families and mates think that sounds pretty good and are likely to give dairying a try.

“If they then experience a good boss then that positive story is reinforced and more people are keen to promote dairy, work in dairy.”

Lewis says the Good Boss campaign is about farmers leading farmers: employee farmers telling employer farmers what they want in a boss.

“It is about employer farmers remembering what made their best boss a good boss. And it is about us listening to all farmers about why and how that good boss is a good boss and sharing it with other farmers until we are all good bosses.”

Lewis acknowledged that the sector is facing staff shortages.

“We are short staffed. Many of you live and feel the impacts of this every day. Without our 4000 odd (highly valued) migrant workers on temporary work visas we would be stuffed, cows would not be being milked.

“There are of course a number of reasons we can’t find enough capable employees – socio ecomomic policy, urban migration, generational expectations etc. Some of these things are outside our control. But the thing that is inside our control that would make a difference? Being a good boss.”

More like this

Friends?

OPINION: After years of fighting over farming, freshwater and sustainability Federated Farmers and Fish & Game are trying to kiss and make up.

Slow learners?

Our old mate does wonder about the financial acumen of brain’s trust running Federated Farmers these days!

Nice speech, but...

OPINION: Publisher Stuff and lobby group Federated Farmers both like to preach about their respective high-minded virtues – Stuff, about “funding journalism”, Feds about “supporting our farming communities”.

A dangerous precedent

A proposal by the Timaru District Council (TDC) to extend setbacks in rural areas is raising eyebrows.

National

Dry cow therapy minus antibiotics

Taranaki sharemilker Shaun Eichstaedt was the first New Zealander to replace traditional antibiotic dry cow therapy (DCT) with a high-strength…

Changes are afoot

There has been a mixed response by the agriculture sector to the recently released Climate Change Commission’s 2021 draft report. 

Machinery & Products

Bigfoot comes up trumps

Call them what you will, but UTVs, or side-by-sides, have certainly found a place in much of New Zealand’s rural…

Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Oat milk sells

OPINION: Fake milk works for some. Fashionable Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly is seeking a US stock market listing that could…

Labour shortage

If you think labour shortage on New Zealand dairy farms is unique to our country, then think again.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter