Ag business leaders change workforce recruiting strategies

Labor problems are a nationwide concern, but a group of agriculture professionals shared how they are changing the way they recruit new and future employees. 

Jill Leitzen from Kuhn North America says employers now recruit with a focus on work culture, compensation, and offering an appealing work-life balance. She also says, unlike in past years, there are fewer young people growing up on the farm and entering ag careers. “We’re seeing less and less people coming from agriculture into our business because we have to teach agriculture, and really, that hard-working work ethic that comes along with that.”

Ben Huber with Insight FS Cooperative says bringing new employees into any business has changed a lot in the past ten years. “That runway to working used to be graduation, start, go. Right? Today, I think it’s more graduation, training, onboarding, mentorship, training, all right, go. that runway got a lot longer on us and it happened in a really short period of time.”

And, Huber tells Brownfield the cooperative is bringing on a new staff member next month whose sole job will be outreach and recruiting to pre-high school students to show the math, science, and technology opportunities available in agriculture careers. 

Lietzen and Huber were part of a workforce panel discussion during an Ag Day event Thursday at Blackhawk Technical College.

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