Amy Gazaway, Career Development Coordinator for Oklahoma State University – College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been to so many AgCareers.com Roundtable events that she says she’s lost count. Which is why she wants to let university professionals know what they also stand to gain and how they can develop their careers at the annual Ag & Food HR Roundtable presented by AgCareers.com.
Why have you continued to attend the Roundtable? What is valuable about it for university professionals, specifically?
The AgCareers.com HR Roundtable provides the best opportunity for university professionals to develop relationships with and learn from industry representatives about how to best prepare students for and connect students to industry talent needs. There is no other opportunity that brings together the number of industry organizations specifically in agriculture and food for this purpose.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. From the gathering of ideas and input of our Organizing Committee and then molding that into an agenda that will intrigue and provide solutions to the challenges our audience faces. To the meeting new people and making valuable connections for myself but also among the participants. Each step along the way is rewarding, knowing that this event provides a unique opportunity for human resource and university/college career services professionals within agriculture and food found nowhere else.
It is hard to believe that this will be the Roundtable’s fifteenth year. Yes, I know this ages me, but I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been a part of all but the first one! Plan to join us for a fun celebration of 15 years of success, August 1 – 3 in Kansas City, MO. Our Organizing Committee, yet again, has developed a great agenda and we have plenty of fun networking opportunities – can I say, Boulevard Brewery!!!
AgCareers.com is anxiously awaiting and preparing for the 2017 Ag & Food HR Roundtable in Kansas City, Missouri! This year’s event takes place from August 1-3 and, as always, is chock-full of exciting sessions with a broad range of topics. Not sure if you’d like to attend? Longtime Roundtable attendee Tina Dorner with CHS, Inc. may persuade you with her answers to these questions regarding the 2017 Roundtable:
What keeps you returning to the Roundtable each year?
Each year the roundtable topics are current and relevant to the agriculture industry. It’s an opportunity for me to learn from the presenters and to network with other HR and educational professionals in agriculture.
Wow! What a jam packed few days!
I absolutely loved attending my first AgCareers.com Ag & Food HR Roundtable and look forward to being able to attend again. The networking is amazing! I loved watching all different types of companies from different places with similar goals and challenges get together and share ideas, laugh about similar stories or just vent! Whether it was at a breakfast, break in between sessions or reception in the evening you could spot information being spread throughout.
For me it was awesome to be able to meet people I email and talk to over the phone live and in the flesh! One of my most memorable experiences is when a client told me they expected me to be taller! Well I am all of 5 feet tall but I guess my voice sounds a lot bigger!
Have you secured your spot at the 2016 Ag & Food HR Roundtable yet? You don’t want to miss it! There about as many reasons to attend this valuable HR conference as there are attendees, but the main ones our guests list year after year are:
• Invaluable networking with industry professionals
• Educational and collaborative sessions discussing problems in agricultural recruitment and retention
• A chance to re-energize from the daily grind and return to work refreshed and ready to take action
Historically, agricultural employers such as human resources professionals, recruiting and hiring managers have been the bulk of attendees at each Ag & Food HR Roundtable. This year, we look forward to seeing more than 100 in attendance along with collegiate career services professionals and association representatives from strong agricultural organizations such as FFA and AFA.
The countdown is on! With less than a month to go before the AgCareers.com Ag & Food HR Roundtable, it’s time to get those last-minute registrations in to guarantee your spot to this fun, educational networking event held in Des Moines, Iowa August 2-4, 2016.
The Ag & Food HR Roundtable is an incredibly unique event tailored to all parties involved in the active recruitment and retention of North America’s agricultural workforce. This event sees all kinds of professionals in human resources, recruitment, college career services and agricultural associations from all industries come together to bond over the common issues we face and how we can work together to continue to build the agricultural industry.
As mentioned, career services personnel from universities, colleges and community colleges across the United States and Canada are a crucial part of the Ag & Food HR Roundtable, as major agricultural companies and association representatives are eager to connect with them in order to better their recruitment efforts. University professionals also take advantage of gathering with agriculture-specific career services professionals to share strategies and explore solutions to problems with one another.
While attending an AgChat conference I had the opportunity to listen to a gentleman by the name of Matt Rush. Matt is a fourth generation farmer and cattle rancher from New Mexico. He is also the Executive Vice President of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau. Matt is very passionate about his values and the future of agriculture. I really enjoyed his keynote speech and thought his message would fit perfectly with our topic of ag-vocating.
Today, probably more than ever, it is extremely important for all of us to advocate for the agricultural industry. In a world where information is at our fingertips, it is our responsibility to be sure that people are receiving the correct information about the industry. Matt Rush broke down our responsibility using the three V’s. He explained that we all need to be viable, valuable and visible when we agvocate.
Early in my career, during the mid-90’s I was in a role that allowed me to help an organization grow very rapidly. My responsibilities included both talent acquisition and helping develop and deliver leadership training programs. It was very rewarding to not only help recruit top talent to a growing company, but to be a part of helping them grow professionally with respect to their leadership skills.
The ownership of the organization would routinely review our training content to ensure alignment to the mission and vision of the company. During one such point, an executive the family had hired requested our training team incorporate some content around “accountability”. Following some research, our team adopted the content and principles within the book The Oz Principle by Roger Conners, Craig Hickman, and Tom Smith. This book focuses on how personal accountability is the critical path/journey to organizational accountability. I cannot go into much detail, but during the mid-90’s, while incorporating The Oz Principle into our training programs, I experienced a work-related challenge that was very painful for me personally and professionally. Basically, I was very deflated and unimpressed by a hiring decision that ownership had made. Initially for several months, everyone knew how I felt about this decision; not only my co-workers but my friends and family. Looking back, I’m not very proud of my actions and attitude during that time. In fact, it almost cost me my job! But, fortunately and thanks to some very concerned team members, I was able to apply the principles outlined within The Oz Principle and “rise above my circumstances” while learning and growing from the experience. I’ve told many people, I’m a much more successful professional and leader today as a result of this experience.
Ahhh! The AgCareers.com Ag & Food HR Roundtable…for those that know me, you know that this is a BIG deal. I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the planning of the Roundtable since nearly the beginning. I’ve missed only one, the first one. This year AgCareers.com will be hosting the 14th annual conference. Register today, so you don’t miss out!
The Ag & Food HR Roundtable brings together human resources professionals, business leaders, university/college career services staff and association representatives from across North America within the agricultural industry to discuss, learn and influence change around recruitment and retention within the industry. It truly is a one-of-a-kind event.
The thing that I’m most excited about for this year’s Roundtable is pretty simple! I’m excited for our participants to enjoy it! I’m fascinated with the planning aspects of this event, particularly the crafting of the agenda through the help of the Roundtable Organizing Committee. It is always fun to see the thoughts and discussion mold itself into a dynamic and unique conference unlike any other. This year is no exception! The committee has developed a great educational agenda and a dynamic line-up of speakers is expected. I’m looking forward to the event kick-off, Tuesday, August 2nd in Des Moines, Iowa on our host’s, DuPont Ag & Nutrition, campus. Thank you to DuPont and our other sponsors for what is sure to be an exceptional conference.
I’m 33 years old. I initially questioned my expertise for writing this blog post. I had always had a mental picture of mentors looking like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf, or Mary Poppins, none of which I feel I come close to a visual likeness of and they’re all older than 33. I was profiling mentors, and profiling is wrong! Then just like a spoon full of sugar, or divine intervention I received not one, or two but three messages, in the course of about eight weeks, from people thanking me for the influence I had on their lives and careers. I can assure you if you haven’t already, the day you receive a message like that will be one that causes you to slow down a little and examine yourself and the bigger picture of your life.
Two of the individuals who sent me messages were students I had worked with in a professional setting whom I did manage for very brief chapters of their careers. The other was a young lady who grew up in church with me but was six or more years younger than I. In reading their messages and thinking about the time I spent with each of the three, I realized a critical trait for being a mentor. A synonym for the word mentor is a teacher, and in all three examples, I realized I had taught by example. I hadn’t practiced a formal curriculum for mentoring someone, I was just honest and offered advice when asked for advice.