Growing up on the farm has its perks and its challenges. Growing up on a farm often leads to finding yourself so involved in the business that you may not leave or experience other roles. Writing a resume or talking about your experiences may have you drawing a blank. But farm experience is some of the best experience! Here’s how to draw from your experiences working on the farm while interviewing and secure a new role for yourself.
Farming involves being able to think and react in a short amount of time. When something goes wrong, you have to be able to improvise on the spot while remaining calm and executing the new plan safely. Equipment breaks down at the most inopportune times. So explain the time that a piece of equipment broke down and you had five minutes to make a decision on what the plan to fix it, whether that be driving to town or calling the local equipment dealer for spare parts. Talk about how you took initiative and developed a plan of action quickly in a moment of stress. This can also apply to a livestock emergency.
Planning to do an internship? You’ve probably heard some things over the years that might deter you. But to be honest, there’s probably not a lot of truth to those rumors. Check out these intern myth busts to get the real story.
Intern Myth #1: Interns do the grunt work.
Not all interns are just coffee runners like you might see in the movies. Most interns will take on numerous large projects to complete by the end of their internship. As well as advancing their career skills in several different areas.
Intern Myth #2: Internships are only in the summer.
If you are someone who has a hard time committing your warm summer days off of school to a job, then a summer internship may not be in your best interest. And it doesn’t have to be! Internships can take place during the spring and fall as well. The only downfall is that your internship might have to be limited to the hours between school and other commitments. Some students even take a semester off and work a full-time internship during the school year.
I fall into a unique age bracket where some people consider me to be a millennial and others consider me a member of Generation X, point being, I kept my first job out of college for nearly 13 years and that makes me a bit of an oddity. So, as you can imagine the choice to start exploring other opportunities was a daunting one. Speaking from my experience, below are some things to evaluate when deciding whether or not changing jobs is the right decision for you.
Are You Happy?
Honestly, this made the top of my list because just recently I ran into someone I worked with in my previous career who asked if I was happy now that I have made a career change. My guess is the question came from her assumption that I wasn’t happy which led to my decision to make the change I did. This seems like a fair analysis, but there are so many components of a career that can make you happy or unhappy. Leadership, job duties, compensation, etc.
According to the AgCareers.com Candidate Motivation and Behavior Survey, dissatisfaction with their boss or supervisor has a high level of correlation to the likelihood of that person changing jobs. The same question shows that satisfaction with coworkers appears to have less impact on employees searching for another job. I will say for me, this was one of the things that kept me happy for many years in my career. I felt committed to my teammates as much as I did my supervisors. But when you reach a point when you are no longer happy with the direction of leadership, your compensation, or the day to day tasks of your job, then it is probably time to explore a change.
Between high school and college, most students have served some type of leadership position. It can be difficult to shine in a job interview when several of the candidates have the same experience as yourself. So, what makes you exceptional? Standing out to employers may be simpler than you think.
Utilize Your Resources
Ask a previous employer or an organization you were involved in to send a recommendation letter to a future employer testifying some of your key strengths or positive work attributions.
You have probably already heard this one a million times but I will say it again. Building connections is so important to establish relationships no matter what industry you are in. Employers talk and references are key, so take the time to establish contacts with anyone in the industry.
There are numerous reasons to consider a degree in an agricultural field of study. Not only will students earn academic credentials that can open doors to new job opportunities, they will also learn skills that apply across a variety of career paths. Here are just a few of the ways ag students benefit from their degrees:
1. Time management: If there is one skill that’s essential in agriculture, it’s working on a schedule. To complete assignments and other projects on a deadline, students must delegate their time wisely. Earning an agricultural degree requires students to set both short-term and long-term goals. Studying in an online program can help provide more flexibility and an opportunity to master time management skills. Learning effective organizational strategies will serve students well for the rest of their careers.
By Traci Via, Agriculture Future of America
While there are more than 6,500 languages around the world, body language is the most universal. We all speak body language. The handshake is probably the oldest and most used body language phrase, if you will, in the world. In fact, archaeological ruins depict soldiers shaking hands in the 5th-century BC. Some believe the origination of the handshake was a sign of peace.
Today, the handshake is used to greet, meet, congratulate, confirm an agreement and is a sign of good sportsmanship. The purpose of a handshake is to convey trust, respect, balance.
There’s a lot of science in a simple handshake: the pressure, angle, what you do with your other hand, and other expectations, especially within another culture. Here are just a few hand shake tips.
Textbooks are great, don’t get me wrong. In fact, if you’re currently participating in one of White Commercial Corporation’s basis trading courses there’s a very good chance that you are also using our textbook The Art of Grain Merchandising. The thing with textbooks is that they aren’t particularly well suited to interacting with you the way your future customer or co-worker will once you enter the field. While you certainly can learn the underlying structures and functions of the grain marketing industry in college, here are four items you need to know that aren’t found in any textbook or class.
1) We are in the relationship business, we just happen to trade grain – You can (and should) become the expert for your regional grain market, but if you can’t interact effectively with others in the marketplace (farmers and end users) you will find that no amount of expertise will make you successful in the long run. Lesson: You merchandise with the people, not the bushels.
As you got older while growing up on a family farm, you might have been itching to leave the farm, so you decided to pursue a degree and find a job off the farm and gain an education. Although at the time it felt right, you might feel like climbing the corporate ladder didn’t seem to quite fit what you were after. There might be a little voice in the back of your head telling you where your true passion lies. Ultimately, your goals are to return to the farm where you grew up and first fell in love with agriculture.
Now hold on… just because you are longing to farm doesn’t mean you can’t and it doesn’t mean getting an education was the wrong choice. Education is absolutely vital to help advance the agricultural industry due to the rapidly changing way of life.
So, let’s develop a plan and start thinking long term! Maybe you decided you want to return to the farm someday, whether it’s family owned or maybe it’s not. But your goal is to farm. Look at some things listed below that you’ll need to do to reach your goal.
Agriculture: there’s a lot to it! There’s so much information and knowledge to be had about the industry that it’s quite impossible for anyone to grasp it, and you may even think that you don’t need to know much about agriculture to work in it. Sure…but at the risk of embarrassing yourself at a networking event or when discussing something about the industry with a coworker, there are some things that should just be common knowledge. AgCareers.com intern Danielle Tucker gathered up these 20 facts that you should know about agriculture if you plan to work in the industry. And if you already know them, enlighten your friends with this crash course in Ag 101!
1. Most corn in the field, known as field corn (or dent corn), is meant for livestock, ethanol production, and other manufactured goods. Sweet corn is the corn that you eat but makes up less than 1% of all the corn grown in the U.S. each year. (Source)
2. Pigs can get sunburned just like humans. (Source)
3. Free range means that chickens have (and this may be limited) access to outdoor spaces. Cage-free means they are not kept in cages but are not required to have outdoor access. (Source)
You are a hardworking and special person who has made the decision to pursue a career path in agriculture to help feed the world and provide for the future generations to come: an ag student! However, this does come with certain side effects that you might have noticed along the way.
Here are 15 things ag students likely know to be true:
1. You most likely leave a trail of dirt behind everywhere you go.
You’re sitting in class and look down at a pile of dirt you just left from your boots, then casually look back up hoping no one pays attention to the floor and the mess you just left. Let’s face it, you leave a crumb trail of dirt and manure wherever you go.
2. You will often go to class hungover from foal/lamb/calf watch, not the bars.
While your friends are out late at the bars, parties, and other social gatherings, you are spending your time in a barn on foal/lamb/calve/etc. watch because of your degree requirements. You might slightly resemble a zombie the next day you walk into class.