what interns hateYour interns will be starting soon and you’re likely making final preparations for them. So what should you avoid? AgCareers.com has worked with and surveyed students interning in the agricultural industry for years. We’ve developed a list of what interns hate and can quickly create a negative experience for both the intern and your organization.


What Interns Hate


1. Isolation: Students don’t want to be stuck in one office or location for the entire summer. Let them travel and see everything your company has to offer. Interns frequently tell us that visits to other locations or facilities are one of their favorite experiences. “Make sure interns see every side of the company instead of just the area that they are working in,” shared one intern. They also dislike isolation from coworkers and other interns. “More interaction with peers as well as team members,” noted an intern when asked for improvements. Create opportunities for interns to network with upper management and fellow interns. If your company doesn’t have many interns, make an effort to introduce them to interns at other organizations in your area.

Published on April 28th, 2016

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Ag & Food HR Roundtable 2016Ahhh! 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.

Published on April 27th, 2016

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what it means to be a mentorI’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.


Published on April 22nd, 2016

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recruiting advice“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
– Doris Lessing
Here is a statement that hopefully we can all relate to, the importance of learning even when you think you are a “master” of the trait. Recruiting methods have evolved and it is important to learn from your peers and to keep up with the changes to best attract the candidates you are searching for. We have compiled a list of some of the best advice recruiters have received.


5 Best Pieces of Recruiting Advice


1. The importance of a good job description

Many do not realize the true importance of a well-written job description. Don’t just give the job seekers the basics. Make sure you are appealing to the A+ candidates and use this as an opportunity to brand the company. Set yourself apart and ask yourself, “Would this job description make me want to apply to this position and/or leave the current job I am at?”

Published on April 20th, 2016

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overtime compensation“We are going to need you to work late/extra time.” “We need to you meet this deadline no matter what.” “We are short staffed; can you come in on your day off?”


Overtime Compensation


In a factory/production setting, it may be pulling an extra shift for a co-worker or it could be you need that extra income by making overtime hours exceeding your normal work week.


The requirements can vary state to state, but typically overtime is calculated for non-exempt employees as time and one-half per hour as we all know. This would be defined as an employee working more than 40 hours in one work week, for the hours worked over 40 – the employer would pay the employee for those hours at a rate of time and one-half.


If an employer is paying overtime and the workload or final product of the employee is not being completed in a timely manner, or to employer’s standards – the issues within the workforce need to be identified. Employee hours worked vs. end product/sales results must be correlated accordingly.

Published on April 18th, 2016

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unexpected interview questionsI think almost everyone can recount some unexpected interview questions that caught them off guard and became the most memorable part of a job interview. You know, those non-traditional questions like “If you could be doing anything, what would you do?”, or “If you could have any super power, what would it be?” Truth be told, these types of unique, thought-provoking questions often lead to the pivotal point in a job interview where even the most prepared, well-rehearsed candidates drop their guard and begin to reveal more about themselves than they may have anticipated.


Interviewing strategically using some unexpected interview questions can help the hiring manager dig deeper to find the best candidate for the job. These types of questions break the rhythm of the interview and allow unique qualities to be revealed. Such traits could be essential to the position, such as interpersonal skills, management style, integrity, and the ability to work with others.


After polling co-workers and industry peers, I have come up with a list of ten unexpected interview questions that tend to reveal the true candidate:

Published on April 15th, 2016

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hiring seasonal or temporary workersAgriculture has a higher need than any other industry for seasonal and temporary workers. These roles tend to last for 4-6 months and can be incredibly difficult to fill –usually the openings are for general laborers and are on-farm with long hours during the growing season.


Let’s take a look at some of the key factors to keep in mind when hiring seasonal or temporary staff.


What to Consider when Hiring Seasonal or Temporary Workers



You may naturally assume that this new hire won’t be around for long so you don’t have to spend too much time on training and safety, but the exact opposite is true. Even if they have prior farm experience, the hire doesn’t know you, your operation, your machinery, or the unique hazards that as an owner you probably don’t even think about anymore. Pair that with a new hire that is eager to please and just get the job done, and it could be a recipe for an on-farm accident. Don’t assume that they know everything. Take one day to do a walk around. Talk about confined space, talk about the chemicals you use on your operation, and even which animals may act unexpectedly or which loader has a hydraulic leak to be careful when the bucket is lifted. This kind of walk around also creates the right open dialogue that will continue through this employees’ term. No question is silly and you would rather be approachable and informative than have an accident on your farm.


Published on April 8th, 2016

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