Dairy Incentive Pay page

This incentive pay publication is in its fourth edition (2005) and is now available in PDF format. It was designed to help dairy farmers establish or troubleshoot an incentive pay program. You will also need the latest free version of adobe reader, or will not be able to open it. If you prefer to download or view individual chapters, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Jobs that call for creativity, analysis, and personal growth may provide the best motivator of all: intrinsic rewards. Such satisfaction originates from within the employee. An intrinsically motivated dairy worker does not obtain his motivation from external stimulation provided by the dairy farmer. An overemphasis on external rewards may be responsible for elimination of internally originated ones. There are personal and organizational objectives that simply cannot be realized through pay.

On the down side, intrinsic motivators, as wonderful as they may appear, are not equally found among all workers, nor do they always motivate the type of performance you may desire. Pay can be a powerful management tool and a compelling motivator. Employees often consider pay a measure of individual achievement and social status. The importance of pay, then, ought neither to be over or underrated.

We hope that in the pages of the fourth edition of Dairy Incentive Pay you will find information on how to establish and troubleshoot an incentive pay program at your dairy operation.Certainly, establishing incentives is not easy and much can go wrong. When properly established, however, incentives can make a big difference in the improved management of your dairy. In effect, they help employees learn to see from a manager or owner’s perspective.

Chapter 1 lays out key management principles regarding incentives. This is a critical chapter in that it outlines why some incentive pay programs succeed while others fail, and it should be read in conjunction with the other chapters on specific types of incentives (chapters 3 through 8).

Besides incentive pay, also known as pay for performance programs, dairy farmers sometimes have questions about how to set the wages for milkers in contrast to those of calf feeders, cow feeders, or herd managers. Or, how much to pay in relation to what a neighbor may pay. Chapter 2, on internal wage structures, is included to guide you in making these types of decisions.

Chapters 3 through 8 deal with specific goals you may want to achieve, such as increasing pregnancy rate and calf health, incentives for improving milk quality, feeding management goals, and improving hoof or health care at the dairy.

Even dairy farmers who have no interest in tying employee performance to pay can greatly benefit from this publication. There is much here on managing dairy employees in terms of specific dairy science measures.

    Prefatory materials
    Chapter 1 - Pay for Performance
    Chapter 2 - Internal Wage Structure
    Chapter 3 - Incentives for Increasing Pregnancy Rate
    Chapter 4 - Incentives for Calf Raising
    Chapter 5 - Milk Quality Incentives
    Chapter 6 - Feeding Management Incentives
    Chapter 7 - Hoof Care Incentives
    Chapter 8 - Herd Health Incentives

Agricultural Labor Management

E-mail: gebillikopf@ucdavis.edu

Gregorio Billikopf Encina
University of California
(209) 525-6800

5 December 2006