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.
By Annie Storey, Agriculture Future of America
Econ 101 – Check! Principles of Management – Check! Introduction to English Literature – Check!
No matter your degree program, chances are there are key classes the majority of us had to take to receive our diploma. They allow us to build an academic foundation for a successful career. While you may not remember which author wrote which book, that course may have been out of your comfort zone and taught you how to think differently than you were used to.
Your degree signifies academic success, goal setting, achievement and knowledge of a certain discipline. What your degree doesn’t necessarily showcase is the other skills you need to be successful post-graduation.
There is consistency among research that the following five skills are needed in the workplace – and that most college graduates aren’t work-ready in these areas.
Military veterans and professionals: if you are utilizing AgCareers.com and have not registered as an Ag Warrior, you are missing out! Ag Warriors is a program within AgCareers.com for military veterans and professionals to let employers know that they have served in the armed forces. Employers can then seek out Ag Warriors through the AgCareers.com Resume Database or simply know that they are a veteran when they apply. Want to know about all the companies that actively support and recruit Ag Warriors?
ADM: Archer Daniels Midland Company converts oilseeds, corn, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses.
Bunge: Bunge supplies agricultural food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, food services and bakery industries.
• Ultra-Passive Talent – Very content where you are in your career and not even contemplating a career move in the foreseeable future.
• Passive Talent – Reasonably content with your current position, but there are times throughout the year that you contemplate a career move.
• Displaced Talent – Soon to be displaced or already displaced due to a company decision, merger, acquisition, etc.
Whichever the category you identified with, chances are you have a LinkedIn profile established. LinkedIn has become a wonderful resource for professionals to network and become connected. It has become a source for prospective employers, recruiters, and professionals to find each other. AgCareers.com made the decision a couple of years ago that there was a need to develop a community within our site specifically for upper-level and highly specialized talent to discretely navigate a career move. This community is called Elite Talent.
You’ve likely heard the saying that finding a job is a job in itself, right? Well if you utilize AgCareers.com, we cut out some of that legwork for you. Here are the best AgCareers.com tools for busy job seekers.
Advanced Search: Tired of job search engines that don’t offer criteria specific enough to the exact type of job you’re looking for? AgCareers.com’s Advanced Search option allows you to choose from criteria including industry sector, industry type, career type, years’ experience required, country, region, state or province, and more. Visit AgCareers.com and utilize the advanced search option next time you visit.
Listen up, military veterans: agricultural employers WANT YOU! In a preliminary snapshot of the “Veterans and Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workplace” survey by AgCareers.com, 85% of agricultural employers agreed that military professionals and veterans have experiences and transferable skills that make them a good fit for the agricultural industry. If you are unfamiliar with the agricultural industry or simply aren’t sure which career your military skills would best align with, here are 7 high-demand ag jobs for veterans of the military.
1. Logistics: Military veterans and professionals are calculating, quick on their toes, and organized. This is the perfect combination for a career in logistics and supply chain management. Logistics professionals hold the responsibility of oversight of factory or customer deliveries, freight quotations, onsite pickup, and overflow and direct-to-port. They also implement the supply chain goals of a company. Learn the educational requirements and employers of logistics professionals.
According to the most recent Job Report from AgCareers.com about 32% of our applicants aren’t coming from an agriculture-related job or educational program. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for these non-ag candidates on AgCareers.com-quite the opposite actually.
Looking at the top ten careers types posted on AgCareers.com, many of them aren’t ag-specific. Types like sales, labor, manufacturing, accounting, maintenance, and technicians aren’t necessarily ag-specific roles. Many of these job postings may require knowledge of the agriculture industry, without having been immersed in it with previous work place employment.
Being realistic about your prior education and experience, your job is to relay to the company that your skills and experience are transferrable to what they are looking for. Traditionally resumes have focused on job duties and tasks performed, however now employers find skills and achievements more important. If you did sales for a non-ag product, don’t focus on the product and your sales process. Instead, highlight what you accomplished, did you increase sales by a certain percentage over time, did you bring on a certain number or percentage of fresh clients, did you do your own business development and lead sourcing. Show that you were creative in territory expansion and revenue increases. To the employer revenues are the top priority – you can teach someone a new product, but you can’t easily teach sales skills.
Where the ag jobs are, one waits for you. AgCareers.com recently released its 2015 Job Reports for the United States and Canada. Check out the following findings regarding the states and provinces with the most ag jobs posted in 2015 by employers.
1. Iowa – Reigning again as the top state for agricultural jobs, Iowa is known for its pork and corn production.
2. California – Very close behind Iowa is the state of California. As a very agriculturally diverse state, you can find produce, livestock, crop and agribusiness jobs in California.
There are many sectors that come to mind when I think of jobs on AgCareers.com. One of the top 5 includes Poultry jobs! As the International Production & Processing Expo (Formerly known as International Poultry Expo) starts this week it is only fitting to discuss some hot jobs in Poultry that are constantly on AgCareers.com.
Poultry jobs have been an increasing trend on AgCareers.com over the years. With many large and small companies posting a variety of jobs, you can see that the poultry industry is more than just working in poultry houses. If you are looking at becoming a Farm Manager, the Poultry industry may be a perfect match for you! Trends show Poultry Farm Managers make almost 20% more than a general Farm Manager.
Here are a few of the poultry companies that post and a unique job that they have open currently on AgCareers.com. If you are looking at this blog after they are expired please search by company or keyword “poultry” or go to our poultry jobs page.
The time is right; you are fresh out of school and a position in the family farm business awaits, or so you thought. Is it really the right time to return home; is it your idea or your parents? Understanding why the time to invest these early career years back at the family farm or business immediately after completing a few years away from home is crucial.
Is the business expanding and all hands on deck are needed? Have you been given a unique opportunity to be a part of this growth? Or are you the easiest candidate to hire because mom and dad are getting burnt out from a heavy work load? Or are there other factors such as health that out of their own control? Or is it that you need a job and expect a position be available, because after all, you have a newly minted agriculture degree?
Think about your return home to the farm and ask the same questions you would when considering other employment opportunities: what is my role, my responsibilities, my compensation and hours? Think about strategic questions like, what are the goals of the business? Do they match my personal goals? Is management willing to consider my opinion? It’s critical to have conversations with your family members before taking on, or assuming any role will be made available.