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UC center's ag labor book offers advice

A new book published by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center suggests ways agricultural employers, managers and supervisors can cultivate greater productivity and reduce turnover among employees.

In the book, Labor Management in Agriculture: Cultivating Personnel Productivity, second edition, author Gregory Encina Billikopf discusses motivation and other factors that affect job performance.

“When it comes to profitability, there are many factors that farmers have little control over, such as cost of feed, crop prices and the weather,” said Billikopf, a University of California labor-management farm advisor. “Much of what growers can do to enhance their bottom line, however, is associated with their employees.”

Topics summary

Labor Management in Agriculture covers such topics as the use of practical tests in hiring, the fine-tuning of incentive pay (including piece rates), the advantages and disadvantages of different pay structures, performance evaluations, interpersonal conflicts and employee discipline. The book focuses on management and supervision techniques rather than on legal requirements, and includes examples from the experiences of farm employers.

Labor Management in Agriculture (in English or Spanish) costs $12.50 plus tax and shipping (where applicable) and can be ordered through the UC Cooperative Extension office in Stanislaus County. For more information, contact Elizabeth Resendez at 209-525-6800 or

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