Like farm machinery and methods, hiring farmworkers has changed in recent years, says University of Missouri (MU) Extension agricultural economist Ryan Milhollin.

MU Extension’s Missouri Farm Labor Guide can help. The guide, available for free download at, lets farmers know the right practices to identify, hire and retain the right workers. It explains ways to mentor workers to help them move into their new jobs.

Changing labor laws and government regulations make hiring more complex, Milhollin says. Like many business owners, farmers may lack knowledge about recruiting, hiring and keeping workers. Attention to this process can save a farm operation time and money.

Rules regarding farm labor differ in some respects from other occupations, says Milhollin. To ensure compliance, it is important to understand how these rules differ, he says.

Milhollin says the guide offers tips on how to find new employees. It tells how to write job descriptions that set clear expectations for employer and employee. It includes links to interview questions and farm job descriptions. The 46-page guide tells how to use background checks, reference checks and drug testing, and gives links to databases.

Source: University of Missouri extension