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.
What a year! Thanks for reading our AgCareers.com blog Talent Harvest this past year. We’ve had a lot of fun providing valuable content for agricultural recruiters and human resources personnel, introducing you to our team members, and AGvocating for careers in agriculture. If you have been keeping up with the Talent Harvest blog and are enjoying our posts, be sure to subscribe to receive updates by email. You can also bookmark us to keep up with AgCareers.com’s blogging specific to agriculture employers. Our most popular blogs this year are as follows.
“Hard-to-fill Roles in Agriculture” by Western Canada Account Manager Carolyn Lee. Carolyn writes about those not-so-attractive jobs that are very difficult to fill. She stresses some important items to remember including focusing on your brand and beefing up the job descriptions, but ultimately suggests being as clear as possible.
AgCareers.com just completed our second “Take Your Kids to Work Month” photo contest. In it, we asked parents working in agriculture to take their child or children with them to their place of employment for a day or a portion of a day so that their kids could see firsthand what their parents do. The main goal was to educate kids about careers in agriculture. We received nearly 60 submissions, all posted to our Facebook page, and awarded all children who participated a free “Future AgCareers.com Job Seeker” t-shirt.
Though our contest has concluded, there is no reason why you can’t still take your kids to work for the day with you. Here are three reasons why you should take your kids to work with you.
Last Friday AgCareers.com presented a webinar for employers, Why do Smart People Make Unethical Decisions? Ethics expert Chuck Gallagher discussed human dynamics when it comes to ethical decisions, the phases of “The Unethical Continuum” and establishing a road map to keep employees’ behavior between the ethical lines.
Gallagher said that our intentions create our behavior, but the culture of an organization should create a system to help keep people between ethical lines. He shared The Ethical Continuum: