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!
I was not able to attend every session but I learned so much from each one I could attend. The first job I had out of college was assistant Grain Buyer so Mike Pearson hit my inner core when he spoke, and Kara Yarnot impressed me with so much knowledge on the solutions available for companies on so many sides of the HR spectrum.
Two sessions I wish we could have had more time:
I loved hearing from the young professionals in the Student Recruitment Focus group on their perspective. The free flowing question and answers were awesome! It is great to pick the brains so to speak of the people that are joining our work force and see things very differently than those of use that entered 15+ years ago. While there are both good and bad changes in our industry it is comforting to see young professionals with so much promise choosing to go into the Agriculture Industry and changing our workforce for the better!
Diversity Recruitment Begins with Youth session was so informative and I feel like we just skimmed the top of the information available to us by the panel. Of course I had a special connection with Dr Jesse Thompson when I found out we are from the same small county in NC but I was truly in awe of his contribution to the discussion. He challenged companies to take a look at the commercials and marketing and see why all the applicants look the same. Karl Binns challenged all of our thinking on perspective just by asking us to point to North! And Karl reminded us its not just about the offer to work but the work experience as a whole! Keegan Kautzky gave me a new way of thinking and encouraging our children by saying if you want to save the world don’t become a doctor, become a crop scientist, work to feed the world!
And lastly, I was so excited to learn about www.agexplorer.com that I couldn’t wait to share (as you can see on my social media posts). I believe this is a great tool in allowing people to think outside of the box and see where the interests and skills they already have fit into the agricultural world!
I am proud to be a part of this amazing industry and can’t wait to see it grow! Consider joining us next year for the AgCareers.com Ag & Food HR Roundtable.