UT Extension to Help Tennessee Farmers Navigate Labor Management

Aug 07, 2023

University of Tennessee (UT) Extension and GAP Connections recently received a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center to launch a series of workshops across the state to help agricultural producers and agribusinesses navigate the intricacies of labor management.

Tennessee’s labor-intensive farming operations are increasingly in need of agricultural labor options, creating challenges for agricultural employers that have transitioned from readily available family labor to scarce hired labor that must be sourced and managed in compliance with complex laws.

UT Extension and GAP Connections developed this workshop series to help address these issues, as well as explain best practices for managing labor and maintaining compliance, helping workshop attendees make better informed decisions for their operations.

Workshop topics include sourcing options and associated costs, agricultural laws and regulations, and practices that guide agricultural employers to move beyond compliance to implementation of best practices for recordkeeping, communication, training, housing, and more.

“Ultimately, our goal is to improve the economic sustainability of labor-intensive agricultural enterprises in Tennessee by reducing the risk associated with the ability to attract, secure, and retain agricultural labor,” says project co-director Margarita Velandia, professor and interim department head in UT’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Workshop locations include Jonesborough on November 2, Clarksville on November 14, and Murfreesboro on November 16. To learn more and register for the free workshop series, visit gapconnections.com/what-we-do/labor-management or contact Margarita Velandia at mvelandi@utk.edu.

This work is supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture under award number 2021-70027-34722.

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