With foreign markets expanding, unpredictable weather patterns, and rising regulations, finding innovative ways to succeed in agriculture is more important than ever. With science of crop production becoming more sophisticated, farmers have more access to data, where they used to rely more heavily on history and intuition.
Advancements are twofold however, and with more growth comes more challenges including:
1. Physical hazards
Working in agriculture is risky. Between heat illness, falls, vehicle rollovers, hazardous equipment, and exposure to pesticides, your frontline workers must deal with challenges unique to working outdoors. The more educated workers are on safety, the more confident they will be to take smart actions that reduce incidents and increase productivity. A safety training program customized to reflect your company or plant’s specific needs is more effective than generic training. When workers recognize themselves or their facility in training content, they’re more likely to pay attention and retain important information. Watch this video to see how even less-than-tech-savvy trainers can create customized training content specific to your site(s).
2. Seasonal workforce
Crop production is highly seasonal and having a contingent workforce presents its own set of challenges. Safety training needs to be quick, yet thorough, and able to reach a diverse workforce. Crop production workers span cultures, education levels, and backgrounds. A multilingual training program that delivers messaging in a variety of ways is key to engaging workers so they understand safety procedures. When workers are confident in their knowledge, they are empowered to act smarter. View this webinar to see how engaging employees can create value for your company.
3. Outdoor working conditions
Contrary to traditional food manufacturing jobs, crop production primarily takes place outdoors. This means safety training often needs to be done in short bursts, on breaks, and without access to Internet. Getting creative in how, when, and where you deliver important safety training depends on the flexibility of your training tools. This video shows how Green Valley Pecan trained their seasonal workers out in the fields — literally — with a safety program designed to function both on and offline, while still storing important training documentation.
4. Increasing demand for food
It’s no secret the world’s population is rising exponentially. More people means more demand for more food. While meeting global demand for food has always been a challenge, crop producers will have to continue to devise innovative ways to raise production levels while adhering to environmental best practices and evolving regulations, like ag ops-focused HACCP plans.This blog post shows some tried and true strategies for validating HACCP requirements.
5. Weather contingency plans
Weather is unpredictable, and with La Nina on the horizon, the outlook is hardly sunny. Severe weather like natural disasters, flooding, and drought have major impacts on crop production. Producers need well-trained workers confident enough to take smart action in the face of disaster. Being knowledgeable on numerous safety topics becomes even more crucial during a crisis. This webinar demonstrates how to implement a safety learning program that engages employees so that safety become second hat — even under duress.
6. New legislation
The 2014 Farm Bill expires September 2018. Nothing in the current Administration has been predictable, so your record-keeping should be spick and span. The more you document, the better chance you’ll have to stay compliant amid evolving regulations. One way to do this is to ditch analog methods of tracking training. A safety program that confirms, documents, and records important training data online, so it’s always audit-ready saves hours of administrative time. This webinar shows how to stay audit-ready all the time.
Are you certain your current or seasonal workforce understands how to minimize safety risk during crop production? Share your thoughts below!