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Know How to Communicate with All Generations

January 31, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
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Four generations currently make up the agricultural workforce. Know how to communicate with all of them.

For the first time ever, four generations are involved in agriculture. You have the matures (ages 62 and over), baby boomers (ages 43 – 61), generation X (ages 31 – 42) and generation Y (ages 13 – 30).

Chris Barron, an Iowa farmer and a Top Producer columnist, says you should define all of the people in your operation, in terms of their generational group, and then determine how each individual would like to communicate.

Barron says the matures believe that hard work and dedication lead to rewards.

They are:

  • Punctual and rarely miss work
  • Committed to organization
  • Respect authority
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Good worth ethic

 

He says matures tend to struggle with diversity and change, and technology.

The baby boomers are considered the "me" generation. They tend to be:

  • Competitive and hard-working
  • Want to get the job done at any cost
  • Seen as sacrificing personal life to achieve personal goals
  • Driven and service-oriented
  • Team players

 

Barron says baby boomers don’t deal with conflict or diversity well. Also, they tend to be self-promoting.

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