Farm policies


2 min read

Policies your farm needs Getting started Ensure everyone follows the rules Additional resources

Policies provide guiding principles, procedures outline steps for specific tasks, and rules state what to do or avoid in certain situations. Using effective policies, procedures and rules together helps empower your team and can improve workplace efficiency, productivity and culture. The best policies and procedures are those the whole team are involved in creating. Keep them simple, easy to understand, and regularly review and update them. A Farm Policy Manual can centralise all your policies and procedures for easy access.

What policies and procedures does my farm need?

  • A policy is a guiding principle used to explain the ‘way things are done around here’.
  • A procedure is a series of steps to be followed to accomplish an end result - find out more on the Standard operating procedures page.
  • A rule is a statement about what to do, or not to do, in a specific situation.

All farms require written policies for Health and Safety. A Code of Conduct,Animal Welfare and Effluent policies are also highly recommended. Other useful policies include Drug and Alcohol, Confidentiality, and Equipment.

A simple set of farm rules, including non-negotiable employer requirements and team decided work methods, helps the team understand expectations and maintain accountability. It’s a great idea to display these on the dairy wall.

Getting started

Draw up a template for each policy or rule. Include a title, why it is needed , who it affects, when it is to be followed, what the policy or procedure is, and include a space for comments.

Get everyone in your team involved in creating these. They will have some great ideas, and it will save you time. Most importantly it will help everyone feel part of the process, meaning people are more likely to live by the outcomes. Use plain language that everyone can understand.

Create a farm manual where all policies and rules are filed. Keep at least one copy in the farm dairy so everyone can easily access it.

Policies should be reviewed at least once a year to check they are still up to date. Specific policies should also be reviewed following any incidents or accidents which relate to them.

How to ensure everyone follows farm policies and rules

Critical farm policies and rules should be discussed during the hiring process. A a written copy should be given to the successful applicant , along with their employment agreement. This should also refer them to the full farm manual for further information. This will mean new employees know your expectations upfront.

Regular review and discussion of your farm policies and rules with the team allows them to be front of mind and provides reminders on how to complete seasonal or uncommon tasks.

If people are simply not following the agreed policies or rules, then you can follow a performance management process, or if the breaches are serious, a disciplinary process.

Last updated: Jun 2024

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