Federated Farmers national dairy chairman sayssays high turnover of employees on dairy farms is still an issue.
Willy Leferink told the Primary Industry Forum in Wellington this week that the industry is trying to turn it around with more training for both farmers and their workers.
He said the dairy industry has a very high turnover of farm workers which is as high as McDonald's.
Mr Leferink said it has been deemed that if a person works too long on a farm then they don't want to progress.
He said a lot of workers do not have the skills to work on the farm and farmers don't have the time to put effort into ensuring their workers get those skills.
"I think it's very important that we create a good working environment to help the people to grow and contribute to their full potential and provide a safe workplace - if we don't do that then we're doomed and we can't be competitive."
But Mr Leferink said the industry has come a long way in the last decade and there are now courses where those who do the training are trained.
He said having fast broadband access is also important to give farm workers the sort of access to internet services that urban people have.