Getting Organized with Electronic File Keeping

I recently attended the UF Farm Labor Supervisor Training Program and was impressed with the instructors and the interactive nature of the educational sessions focused on wage-and-hour and HR compliance.

I was amazed at the challenges that crew leaders experienced while keeping up with the various rules for regular and H2A workers. For example, a harvesting bus stops by the store to pick up a bag of ice and a couple of the workers volunteer to get the ice and fill up the ice chest. When does the clock start? The answer is right at that moment. There is no such thing as a “volunteer” in the eyes of labor-compliance agencies. So, you better be organized whether on paper or with electronic timekeeping software.

In addition, after attending a Gulf Coast Citrus Growers Association event, I heard about the potential of requiring spray records to accompany citrus harvesting tickets. It seems there will be more demand for electronic paperwork as our food chain tightens the reins due to many food safety shortfalls over the past few years.

The day will come for the Florida citrus and agriculture industry to automate harvest tickets, with electronic tickets becoming the norm. So, if you have not started electronic file keeping for spray records, caretaking activities, and harvesting, you should research your options. Start with baby steps like electronic time keeping and move to other areas like electronic work orders for caretaking functions.


column by RICK MONTNEY

BIO: Rick Montney is the vice president of ProPak Software. His extensive experience spans more than 35 years in business information systems technologies, with previous employment at Exxon Office Systems, Information & Computing Services, and IBM. For the past 20 years, his focus has been on agricultural software technologies.

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