June 30, 2017
By: Jenn Pfenning and Racheal Duckers

One of the best things about what we do is people.  We get to build relationships with a diverse group of interesting and fantastic people who are each important to making the magic happen that gets great food to your plate.

HR.  Human resources.  We work to encourage, coach, support, motivate and understand every person we work with.  Our goal is to provide tools and policies that enable our team leads to effectively manage their teams while giving each person what they need individually to succeed and be happy.

Over the years we have approached creating policies around our workplace culture from a perspective of maintaining and sustaining the family and community feeling of working on our farm.  As our farm Pfamily grew, so has our understanding and thinking about what it takes to have a happy and healthy workplace.  We haven’t figured out all the answers yet!

One way of finding more ideas and better solutions is attending conferences and sharing with other employers and industry professionals. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council is celebrating ten years of helping develop solutions to support the HR management needs of agriculture.  We were happy to be invited to participate in a roundtable event this week to hear perspectives form other farms and experts as well as government staff.

This required a roadtrip!

After the conference we took a walk around downtown Ottawa. There are lots of preparations being made for Canada Day celebrations this weekend. We stand for Canada and the best it can be!

We got to ride the train to Ottawa.  The train rolling through tracts of cattails, forest, towns and farms gave us time to reflect on what we learned and an opportunity to share with you.

Some of the roundtable sessions focused on compensation strategies and creating jobs that are enjoyable and fulfilling, that meet personal needs as well.  We were given an international perspective of wages and labour regulations in the USA as well as Australia and the United Kingdom.  The final speaker of the day was from Employment and Social Development Canada.  He talked about a review of primary agriculture that will involve a labour market study, reviewing housing standards and will include stakeholder consultations.

One of the presenters shared a map of minimum wages across the USA

Throughout the day the same key themes came up in every presentation:

  • Farming requires skilled labour that is not easy to find
  • There are many different successful compensation strategies
  • The best ideas come from the people doing the work

We are coming home with renewed inspiration and some new ideas!

Parliament seen from the gardens