MSU Extension trains animal ag employees

Michigan State University Extension says animal agriculture training programs are developing a stronger workforce in the state.

Jeannine Schweihofer is with Extension’s Institute of Agriculture and Agribusiness. She tells Brownfield virtual and hands-on learning opportunities reached more than 850,000 community members last year.

“Some of our employers are having large turnovers in employees and when a training is only offered a few times a year, it might be harder to get a new employee in there and trained as quickly as they need,” she explains. “I think that’s where the online on-demand trainings are really fitting.”

Schweihofer says demand following the pandemic has increased for some specialized skillsets, especially in meat cutting.

“We need not only employees in meat cutting for the industry, but we’re getting an interest from people that are wanting to learn how to do it for their own use and do home studying as well as those that are direct marketing,” she says.

Extension programs in 2022 covered a diverse range of topics including working with dairy robotics, grazing management, meat processing, and first responder training.

Schweihofer says new priorities are currently being reviewed as educators work with industry to identify workforce and resource needs for 2024.

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