Do you know about presentation alternatives to Powerpoint? Personally, I did not have a lot of experience with presentation alternatives. I had used Prezi and Google Slides in college but those three were the extent of my knowledge.


The topic for this blog was geared toward some Powerpoint alternatives for meetings, so I did a little bit of research into some other options. Below are my initial thoughts as I was exploring the different avenues. For some insight on my perspective, I am a Millennial but have still been known to ask my younger siblings for help on technology. So here we go.


Google Slides
This is what I used most often in college. It is free and you can work with users from multiple locations (great for group presentations!). It is user-friendly, provides templates and helps center your text. No complaints here!

Published on September 12th, 2019

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motivation in 2020I did not set out to write about motivation…there are likely thousands of blog posts out there with tips on how to motivate your team. Motivation was just on my mind as I thought about goal setting for the coming year. Therefore, this post just came about from a place of personal reflection and intention.


A team’s success is closely tied to how motivated they are to win, so as leaders, we can feel a lot of pressure and responsibility when it comes to motivation. There are so many factors that affect motivation; it’s hard to know what we actually need to DO day in and day out to motivate our teams. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic list of what to do and exactly how to motivate each individual team member? The keyword there being individual… unfortunately, what motivates us is different for every person. That magic list is a little easier to nail down these days with the abundance of personality assessments available to outline what drives each type of personality. However, things can get a little tricky when you add the complexity of your own personality as a leader to the mix. Of course, it’s always a good practice to simply ask a team member what motivates them. Although, having been on the other side of that conversation, I can say it can feel like there are certain answers that might be more well-received than others.

Published on September 5th, 2019

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FFA chaptersInterested in helping local FFA chapters? Consider starting an FFA Alumni and Supporters chapter at your company or organization.


By Jami Stall, National FFA Organization


Grant Belden gets excited just talking about all the shared experiences an FFA Alumni and Supporters chapter can provide. Vice President of North American Shelling at Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts—one of many Archer Daniels Midland Company-owned entities—Belden is president of ADM’s FFA Alumni and Supporters chapter.


Because ADM employs so many past FFA members, the chapter originally was established more than a decade ago so they could serve local FFA chapters. Then it was decided the chapter should include anyone willing to volunteer his or her time and experience—not just former members.


Grateful for his own FFA days and his professional success in agribusiness, Belden views his efforts with ADM’s chapter as a way to reciprocate to an organization that profoundly impacted the course of his life.


“I’ve been very fortunate, very blessed, working for a global company that gives me the opportunity to travel extensively and learn all about soybeans and a luxury product like chocolate,” he says. I’ve lived in Nebraska, Wisconsin, The Netherlands, and Switzerland, and spent time working with colleagues in West Africa. Now I’m back, in the suburbs of Atlanta, Ga. To come full circle and be involved in our alumni chapter, connecting to FFA—the original organization—and to help other young people have these types of opportunities? C’mon, that’s brilliant, right? I think it’s an outstanding opportunity.”

Published on July 16th, 2019

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grow your networkYou’re not job searching, so why do you need to continually grow your network? Personally, and professionally, we all benefit from the exchange of information and services, cultivating relationships to build our business and our brand. If your organization wants to succeed, employees want and need networking and development opportunities.


Why you still need to build your network:


• The obvious social networking piece– more than 80% of ag employers use social media for recruitment efforts, up double-digits from last year.


• More than half of companies plan to do more graduate recruitment in the next five years. Students and young professionals know the value of networking and use it.


Published on July 9th, 2019

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roundtableWith labor markets so tight, the pressure on human resource professionals to successfully staff agribusinesses is tough, overwhelming at times. Perhaps solace can be found in knowing you are not alone. Join others facing similar situations to learn, grow and exchange ideas. Register today for the 2019 Ag & Food HR Roundtable, July 30 – August 1 in Ames, IA. Thank you to our hosts Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and BASF.


I believe that together we can make more headway on some of our deepest challenges. The Roundtable provides a close-knit industry event to work together to influence change. As a 2018 Roundtable attendee noted, “I always enjoy this conference. Energizing and motivating. The alignment between industry and academic is critical with employee shortage.”


Need even more reasons why you should attend?

Published on June 6th, 2019

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tiffany marketing internTiffany Tomlin, a junior at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, joins the marketing staff, also based in Ames, for the summer as our marketing intern. Tiffany is an agricultural education major and participates as a member of the ISU Livestock Judging Team.


What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with


Every day I get the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks with the team. Some highlight items that I am currently working on include internship surveys, Career Profile extensions, promoting the 2019 HR Roundtable, and writing content for blogs, newsletters, and the Ag and Food Career Guide.


What do you enjoy about working with


I enjoy having the freedom to take the lead on a wide variety of tasks. Through this, I am getting valuable experiences outside of what I would get in the typical classroom while having the help of the friendly team when needed.


What advice would you give to employers using for the first time?


Be as active on the site as possible! It is a great resource to find the perfect fit for your job opening.

Published on May 24th, 2019

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skilled labor shortageIf you employ skilled labor and skilled trade professionals, you don’t need anyone to tell you there’s a shortage of candidates. You’ve likely been swapping experienced employees back and forth with your competitors routinely. It’s a miracle to be able to find and net new talent with the experience needed. My colleague Jessica Bartow and I recently gathered human resource professionals from agricultural employers in Tulare, California and surrounding areas to discuss the skilled trade shortage, and we identified five strategies they use to try and keep the candidates flowing.


The tactics below can serve as a quick checklist. If you are finding it challenging to attract people to your skilled positions, it’s time to ensure you’re developing programs like the ones below.


Skilled Labor To-Do List


1. Employee Referral Bonuses


2. Training Initiatives tied to Managers’ pay and intentional development paths for current employees to reduce turnover – develop a mentoring/buddy program

Published on March 5th, 2019

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regulatory hours agricultureAgribusiness professionals gathered in Tulare, California on January 15, 2019 to join a discussion in their top talent acquisition challenges. Not surprisingly, the topic of regulatory hours jumped to the top as a high interest among the group. Multiple HR professionals shared that this issue has been a challenge for them. Together, they shared ideas on three main subgroups within this topic:


Agricultural Industry Concerns about Regulatory Hours

1. Overtime Payment
2. Making it about the whole company
3. Being proactive for change


Employers shared that some had lost previous employees due to overtime payment, or rather the lack thereof. Employees had grown to expect being paid overtime, and when they did not end up working the extra hours to receive payment they left to go elsewhere. One company stated that they have paid their overtime early to stay ahead of the curve and guarantee the pay for their employees. It was a shared feeling that most employees might not be aware of the entire package they receive from their work, including overtime pay and standard wages. A recommendation that stood out was to educate employees by using a chart to show the entire breakdown of the net pay and benefits each employee receives.

Published on February 28th, 2019

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hr certificationBenjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I know this to be true because my grandmother supported this by instilling in me that education is the one thing someone can never take from you. An HR Certification, will challenge you to learn more about the HR field and reinforce many principles you may already know. Once you’ve completed the certification it will signal to employers and colleagues that you are well versed in HR competencies. Think of it as a good housekeeping seal of approval on your resume!


As a first step to determining if a HR Certification is for you, it is worthwhile to identify where you are in your career path and where you would like to go. With that in mind, identify which certification makes the most sense for you to pursue. It is a good idea to meet with your manager, cover career goals, and your interest in a certification. Your manager may offer support as you purse an HR Certification and there also might be a chance that your company will support your efforts financially as well.

Published on October 11th, 2018

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the office hr managementIt’s no secret to those close to me that The Office is my favorite television show. My husband and I have probably Netflix’ed the entire series at least 10 times. I’m constantly quoting lines and relating my life experiences to something that happened on the show. Though I have learned much about HR since joining nearly five years ago, I must say that I also often see parallels between my industry colleagues’ work and the humorous and often outrageous scenarios played out on the hit NBC sitcom. Here are lessons The Office has taught me about HR and management that I think are relevant and valuable to anyone working in this field.


1. How NOT to Behave in the Office or Workplace.


This probably goes without saying, even if you haven’t seen The Office. Between spending weeks planning pranks to pull, creating playlists for your office crush, constant parties, and pointless meetings, not a lot of work is actually done on this show. Are your employees really working behind their computers? But more than that, unethical and inappropriate happenings that would make any HR professional spill their chili are the norm in Scranton, PA.


2. Show Your Staff They are Appreciated.


Aside from his unacceptable comments to and about women in the workplace (which would certainly never fly on a sitcom today) and his treatment of Toby, Michael Scott has to be commended for his treatment of his staff. He holds an award ceremony for them, he participates in great initiatives like “Take Your Kids to Work” Day, he sponsors a (albeit ridiculous) charity 5K for his employees to run in, he gives the entire staff the Friday off before Jim and Pam’s wedding, and don’t get me started about all the goodbyes he gives his staff in “Goodbye Michael.” I could go on. Take cues from the golden Michael Scott moments, after he gets all his fake firing and “that’s what she said’s” out of the way: he goes the distance for his staff.

Published on June 28th, 2018

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