MacFarlane Pheasants has been able provide the best pheasants in the United States since 1929 because of one reason: our staff. At full strength MacFarlane has 85 full- and part-time employees, and when it’s egg season (right now), we bring on another 30. They are our most valuable resource, and just like we’re building a better bird, we nurture our staff year after year to help us achieve our goal of being not just the biggest, but also the best pheasant farm in the country.
Our employee development begins with hands-on training, whether our staff is outdoors in the pens, inside in the brooding rooms, or in the front office. With the unpredictability of life, we make sure that each employee is cross-trained on one or two other employees’ jobs so that, if need be, they can slip seamlessly into that role. Not only does this help them understand the many pieces that go into delivering a hunt-ready pheasant to your doorstep, but it also gives them real-world experience in other jobs.
In our office, it’s even more imperative that the staff knows each other’s jobs. Vacation, a death in family, or out-of-office training can all mean absence, and training in a variety of jobs means that the workload is handled even as the unexpected comes up. This isn’t a formal program. It’s just how we do things at MacFarlane.
What if your dream job is just in the next barn over? That’s another benefit of a diversely trained workforce. Our employees are able to find out where their skills best fit, and we help them make moves based on their skill set and interest. Those whose hearts are more compassionate seem to gravitate toward the brooder department with the baby birds. Those who are stronger, more physically fit, and need the fresh air tend toward designing and building the outdoor pens, which requires lifting poles and netting. We’ve found that you tend to do a better job when your heart’s in it.
We work with both government agencies and major universities to discover the best recruits. Our summer internship program works with the University of Wisconsin — Madison to invite lucky college kids with a Poultry Science major to join us in our busy season. (Our current Hungarian partridge manager is a Badger alum, and was recruited out of this program.) We also work with the Kansas State University’s Wildlife Management degree program to provide us with another two interns. They get experience, a paycheck, and some great stories, and we get to scout the next generation of MacFarlane staff.
Finally, we work in tandem with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to find quality employees that may be down on their luck. Two of our full-time employees have come through this program, one of which has been with us for three years.
And at MacFarlane Pheasants, we’re always looking for great people to join our team. Check out our Employee Opportunities page (http://www.pheasant.com/ContactEmployment/Employment.aspx), or email our Human Resources head Sarah Pope at email@example.com.