Nearly 47 percent of U.S. workers are female. Women own close to 10 million businesses. Almost 40 percent of all managers are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2016. The majority of managers in human resources, social and community services, and education administration are female (bls.gov). Those are the statistics. Gender equality at work has been an important topic in workplaces, educational institutions, and the news. But what’s the perception of women in leadership roles? Do people prefer male or female managers? Let’s look at data that illustrates how this preference has changed over the years:
90% of Dr. Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell’s female Dartmouth MBA students said that they’d prefer a male manager.
GALLUP found that both genders still preferred a male boss in 2014; 26% of men and 39% of women said they’d prefer a male boss if they were taking a new job.
Meet Jason McAlister: Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph Foods . He is also known as “The Pig Whisperer” to many in the industry. He started his career at a small local locker plant in Iowa and since then, has climbed the ladder to attain his role that he has today. Jason talks about how he got to where he is now and how to get started in the Animal Welfare industry.
What is your title and how long have you worked in your field?
My title is Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph, Missouri. I have been in the live harvest field since 1993 starting in a local locker plant in Gilbertville, Iowa to IBP and Tyson. I was recruited by Triumph Foods in 2007.
What made you want to become a Director of Animal Welfare?
I have a passion for learning and passing my knowledge on to those around me. Leadership is a family trait; my Grandfather was a General Foreman for Firestone Tires. My father and mother both were managers and naturally I do the same. I think this is where my passion for training others comes from.
What is a day in the life like for you?
The majority of my day is consumed with problem solving and interacting/training my employees. I start each day in the barns visiting with each employee followed by staff meetings and visiting support areas. I like to be seen in each department daily (HR, the clinic, employment, and accounting). Visits with these folks is sometimes required but mostly it is just team/relationship building when you depend on these teams to be successful it is important that they know you care about their needs and don’t just come around when you need something.
Rita Cook always knew she wanted to work with farmers. She recently returned to her home county to work as an Ag Loan Officer in Iowa Falls, Iowa with Green Belt Bank & Trust where she has been for one year. Rita talks about what she has learned in her first year of work as an ag loan officer and her advice for those interested in the career path.
What made you want to become an ag loan officer?
I grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa, and knew I wanted to work hands-on with farmers to help them be successful. The bank had an opening for an ag lender. It was a perfect fit to combine my passion of helping farmers with lending.
What is a day in the life like for you?
A lot of days are spent meeting with customers or visiting with them on the phone. I work with customers to update their balance sheets, put together projected cash flows for the coming year, and then analyze those numbers. Once the analysis is done, I present the customer’s request to our internal loan review committee for approval. There’s a lot of leg work that goes on behind the scenes, especially if a farmer is purchasing farm ground or a putting up a livestock barn.
I talk about podcasts a lot. I am fascinated by the creativity, wide topic range and knowledge that is offered through this medium. Maybe you share my excitement, or perhaps you haven’t yet subscribed because you’re not sure where to start or haven’t found any that interest you. There are seemingly thousands of podcasts available and to be honest, some aren’t that great. So, when I find a good series to follow I am eager to share with others! Below are my current favorite agriculture podcasts:
Keeping Ag Real hosted by Jenny Schweigert – I recently found this series and have really enjoyed the variation of length (as short as 12 minutes or as long as 45 minutes) as well as the diversity of topics. Jenny tackles all sectors of the industry, even the challenges, while bringing in outside perspectives.
As a 26-year-old, it’s crazy for me to say that I remember what the agricultural landscape looked like 20 years ago. I grew up on a small hog, soybean, and corn operation in northern Iowa where, at age six, our first desktop computer with the brick maze screensaver was cutting-edge and we could not fathom how technology could and would impact the agricultural industry as we knew it. Today, we’re fortunate that, like the world around us, agriculture has become incredibly advanced and we’re able to multiply production to better feed and fuel the world. And while it’s popular to assume that technology is diminishing agricultural roles of the past, it has also created a vast number of new jobs in agriculture that previously did not exist. Here are four jobs in agriculture I can safely say did not exist twenty years ago:
Precision Agriculture Specialist: This role may be what first comes to your mind when considering new jobs in agriculture. Precision ag workers build and work with precision agriculture technologies to improve and collect data around the planting and harvesting of crops.
Geospatial Analytics Scientist: GPS is helpful for more than just finding your way out of a city. These agriculturalists use GPS in precision agriculture capacities and more. Drones are popular tools utilized by geospatial analytics scientists.
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.
Unless you have a finance degree, the topics of a 401l(k) and investing are generally tedious topics for most folks. Learning about some of the key terms can make the topic a little easier to digest. While I am not a financial advisor and do not aim to give financial advice for investing in a 401(k), the only qualifying tip that I can give is that the earlier you start investing, the more prepared for retirement you’ll be.
What is a 401(k)? The name 401(k) is derived from the Internal Revenue Code, section 401, subsection k, which talks about qualified pension plans. A 401 (k) is a pre-tax account that allows you to set aside money on a tax-free basis. Though note you will have to pay taxes on the money once you take the money out. In 2017, the IRS set the contribution limits to $18,000 per year and those age 50 or older may contribute an additional $6,00 per year.
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)
If you are interested in a career as a Career Consultant with a collegiate career services office, you may think you know it all, especially if you’ve worked closely with a career services professional. Michelle Foulke, Career Consultant for College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Environment + Design, Odum School of Ecology and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, shares her insights from working in career services for the past three years.
What made you want to pursue working in ag career services?
Throughout my time in undergraduate and graduate school, I completed internships in housing, career services and judicial services. What I found unique about career services was that you can see the progress a student makes through an appointment, while that was not always the case in my other roles. There is something to be said about a student seeking out your advice instead of being required to meet with you, student appointments are usually the highlight of my entire day.
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.