The Illinois Pork Producers Association is releasing two new employee benefit programs in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim. The initiative is a result of a pork industry employee survey that was conducted by IPPA and a third-party consultant prior to the current pandemic.
While this year has presented additional challenges throughout the agriculture industry, pork producers are facing a large labor shortage now, more than ever. It is the association's goal to help producers support and retain their employees. Additionally, IPPA hopes to recruit the next generation of pork industry advocates.
Based on results from the survey, IPPA and BI are rolling out two new initiatives.
First is the Employee Betterment Initiative, sponsored by BI. This cost-share program is for farm owners to invest in their employees. These funds can be utilized on resources such as: training opportunities, employee appreciation luncheons, breakroom improvements or on-farm attire needs. Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a maximum of five farms per entity.
Edgar Diaz, director of marketing for Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S. Swine Business, says the company is proud to support the efforts in increasing employee satisfaction.
"Our philosophy at Boehringer Ingelheim has always been to support our customers and the industry at large in ways that extend beyond our products and services," says Diaz. "Being a partner in swine health means supporting everyone involved in raising pigs, especially those who are in the barn each and every day caring for animals. With employee satisfaction and retention consistently ranked as a challenge for many producers, we're excited to be part of this effort with IPPA to help address these issues."
The second program to kick off during Pork Month is the Employee Spotlight series. Each month IPPA invites nominations of on-farm employees that go above and beyond. Each month a new winner will be chosen as the Employee Spotlight to be featured on IPPA's social channels and monthly newsletter. They will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize in October 2021.
In addition to these two new programs, IPPA is releasing a bi-weekly e-mail titled Barn Talk Bulletin. The mission of this new outreach tool is to offer updates and resources for employees in the pork industry. This electronic newsletter will cover recent news topics in agriculture, educational segments, professional development materials and farm resources.
To learn more about these new programs and find applications, visit the IPPA site and click on the Farm Resources tab.