Help! I Don’t Have Ag Experience!

By   |   April 21st, 2016   |   0 Comments

According to the most recent Job Report from 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 the opposite actually.


ag experienceLooking at the top ten careers types posted on, 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.


If you don’t have ag experience, don’t try to sell yourself like you do. If it isn’t directly applicable (like visiting a farm on a class trip in grade 7, or cutting into a juicy steak) don’t mention it. However, if you have chosen agriculture as an industry that you would like to explore for future job opportunities; start being involved! Set up a Google News Alert for Agriculture or Farming in your local area, attend a local ag-show or fall fair to learn more, or ask someone you know in the industry to visit their company or operation. If you’ve done a bit of research you can even approach the company you are applying to, to learn more if you see them exhibiting somewhere. Often times it’s sales staff manning the booths and they would probably love to have a relaxed conversation about their company and product to someone who is interested in the industry.


The industry is vast, agriculture companies still need to hire all the same roles as any other company: finance, administration, human resources, sales, marketing, communications… the list goes on. is a great place to start your job search and upload your resume. It is continually growing, involving and looking to hire candidates with skills like yours!


Check out the Career Profiles to give you an idea of all of the different careers possible in the agricultural industry.


Image is Figure 8 from the 2014 US Job outlook report


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