Sally Murfet 

Chief Inspiration Officer, Inspire AG


The  objective  of  this  Paper  is to  review  how  workforce management  has  changed over time, using agriculture as a  framework.    This  Paper looks at the advancement from the  pre-industrial  revolution period, where local economies comprised  of  small-scale agriculture  where  master craftsmen trained apprentices to learn a trade; through to the contemporary  approaches  for Human  Resource Management  (HRM)  where  it has yet again progressed into Strategic  Human  Resource Management  (SHRM).  The potential  impacts  on  farm profitability  will  also  be explored.  The  workforce  on  Australia farms  has  experienced  many changes  over  the  past  few decades,  such  as  shifts  in consumer  demands, environmental  changes, changes to government policy, advancements  in  technology, developments in innovation, to name a few. While farms have primarily  been  owned  and operated by families, in recent times  the  agricultural workforce  has  begun  to transform from ‘mum and dad operators’  to  a  reliance  on non-family labour, and a shift in  the  skills  and  knowledge required  to  operate  a successful farming enterprise.