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3 January 2011

Posted by | Topic: Recruiting, Agronomy

Welcome to the Career Solutions Blog

Thanks for stopping by our new blog. We're pretty excited to finally get this thing launched. We're also pretty new at blogging, so we're getting a bit of istance. However, what we ARE good at is finding some of the best agricultural positions out there, all over the country.

Why choose a career in the Ag world?

This is one of the number one questions we get asked. Did you know that over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related? There are millions of people who don't know this. Here are some more benefits of choosing a career in the agriculture field:

  • Stability - When you think about it, people have to eat every year. Period. Farmers' will always be planting and harvesting product.
  • Diversity - the multiple sectors in agriculture field require varied ag backgrounds and skill sets.
  • The agriculture field is international in scope, which increases the number of job locations.
  • The United States is the world leader in agri-business. As mentioned above, 1/4 of the US GDP is from agriculture. People all over the world rely on this constantly evolving industry.
  • Cutting edge technology and new innovations are constantly being developed.
  • Compensation has steadily been increasing. We'll talk about salary negotiations soon.
  • The culture and people of agriculture make it a great place to work.

Most of us have grown up in this industry. You could call it a way of life. What we're here to do is give you the most current information, give you hot jobs of the week, and help you walk into your Ag career with your eyes wide open by giving strait-forward resume and interviewing tips.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things agriculture-related.

10 January 2011

Posted by | Topic: Interviewing

Interviewing tips and strategies


We’ve been talking about getting your foot in the door to a great agriculture career by looking organized on paper or LinkedIn, but now, how do you transfer this organization and professionalism over to your interview? ; We’re going to do a series this week on interviewing, starting with how to prep leading up to the interview.

There are typically two types of interviews we do here at Career Solutions:
  • Face to face interviews
  • Phone interviews

So, you may be wondering why we would do phone interviews versus face-to-face interviews. Well, for starters, we’re physically located in Indiana. We serve agriculture, equipment, and livestock companies all over the United States. We wouldn’t ask you to fly into Indiana if you were in Iowa and we were hiring for a position out there. No, rather, we’d do a phone interview and move onto the next steps if you qualify. (See our last blog post on the Career Solutions candidate process.)

If you were around the Northern Indiana region, we would most likely ask you to come in for a face-to-face interview. A couple of things we recommend:

1. Remain flexible and make yourself available - There is nothing worse than attempting to pin down a candidate for a position and either a) not being able to get a hold of them, or b) they’re too busy. Also, be sure to confirm the time, itinerary, get the proper address and directions if needed.

2. Find out appropriate dress attire - If you have piercings or tattoos, take the piercings out and I’d cover up any tattoos. We understand that tattoos are more mainstream, but when you’re interviewing, you still need to maintain professionalism.

3. Always, ALWAYS, do research on the company - The more you know about the history and progression of the company you’re interviewing for, the more impressed your interviewer will be. It shows you CARE about the company and that you want to be a team player. It also lets the interviewer know that you took time learning about them.

4. Always be honest about your experience - According to Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: “Up to 25% of C-Suite executives falsify their resumes and at least one third of all resumes contain misinformation: a made-up award; an embellished title; even an imaginary degree." Lying or falsifying your resume is not cool, and can lead to termination if found out. Always be honest, and if you need help on something, be up front about that as well. We’ll work with you, especially if the passion is there.

5. Write down any specific questions you may have - Yes, there always comes a time where your interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Now is the time to ask. This part is pretty easy if you’ve done your research as suggested in step three. We’ll talk about appropriate questions and questions to avoid in the next posts. Having questions prepared lets the company know you’re interested in your future and is also a sign of preparedness.

We hope this helps you prepare for your interview. Stay tuned for our next blog over more interviewing tips!

25 February 2011

Posted by | Topic: Job Tips, Agronomy

Agricultural Jobs and Resources



When a person goes off to college and has to answer that one question that everyone asks, "What do you want to do with your life?" or "What do you want to declare as your major?" It can be completely overwhelming. Seven years ago, up to 80% of college freshman did not declare a major. With so many areas of study and so many different fields, it's hard to make a decision. So, since we know agriculture, we're going to fill you in on what we know about that.

In one of the first blog posts we ever wrote, we talked about agriculture and why choosing a job in this field was worth it because over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related. This translates to jobs. And Career Solutions is one of the best places to find these jobs.

But to answer that question on what type of jobs a degree in agriculture can get you, I've done some research and here's a couple of good resources I found.

1. Georgia Agricultural Education - This site lists dozens of agricultural positions and explains them all. It's a great tool resource to

2. The University of Phoenix has a good list of agricultural careers by positions too.

3. Another excellent resource is Purdue University. One of their specialties is in agronomy. Their website can help answer any questions regarding agriculture and education.

4. There is also the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. Their website is full of current statistics, budgets, and laws and regulations and more.

There are so many areas you could explore. Have a look. What are your thoughts?
21 March 2011

Posted by | Topic: Agronomy

Japan's conditions and the effect on US Agriculture

As most of you know, the crisis that happened in Japan has had tremendous affects in so many areas. This won’t be excluding the agricultural sect here in the US. According to an article from Inforum, growers and marketers of wheat, soybeans and other farm products are watching Japan with concern as conditions threaten to disrupt a top market for U.S. goods.

“Anytime you get something this catastrophic happening in your No. 1 customer, it does raise some levels of concern,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission.

Japan is the No. 2 export market for U.S. wheat and the top export market for North Dakota hard red spring wheat, representing 25 percent of demand in some years, Peterson said.

As of early March, Japan had purchased 60 million bushels of North Dakota hard red spring wheat for the marketing year that ends May 31, putting it on pace to break the previous record of 61.5 million bushels set in 2006-07, Peterson said.

Read the rest of the article here.

We’re going to be keeping a close eye on how the tsunami in Japan is affecting the US agriculture industry and bringing it to you.

20 April 2011

Posted by | Topic: Agronomy

Agriculture concerns with rising costs



There has been rising concerns recently in the agriculture community about the costs of crop production continually rising, and according to Fox News, it's most likely going to get worse. For decades, farmers have had a sacred place in the federal budget and have received massive handouts from congress. Fox News says this may be coming to an end, but not without a fight.

Here are the three programs that face cuts:
conservation subsides that give farmers money to take marginal lands out of production for wildlife, crop insurance, and direct payments to farmers who plant corn, cotton, wheat, soybean, rice and peanuts. The farmers of these commodities are eligible for government payouts whether they farm or not.

That's only one issue concerning rising crop prices. According to the Huffington Post:

Groundbreaking events are adding to the list of things pushing up food prices. Erratic weather in key grain exporting countries, the increasing crop use for biofuel production, export restrictions, and low global stocks, have been key contributors to the spike.

Now, it is also linked to surging fuel prices connected to events in the Middle East and North Africa. Crude oil, for instance, increased 21 percent in the first three months of 2011, pushing food prices up because it raises the cost of inputs needed in agriculture, among other things.

Just last month, a gang of thieves absconds with $300,000 worth of tomatoes, cucumbers and meat. As food and commodity prices continue to increase, is this the tip of the iceberg?
13 May 2011

Posted by | Topic: Agronomy

An Agriculture Plague - The Black Cutworm Moth



According to a Purdue Extension Entomologist, the presence of the Black Cutworm Moth has never been greater. Cooperators throughout the state have been catching abnormally large numbers of these moths over the past few weeks with pheromone traps.

The Purdue Newsletter article informs us that barren fields are not an appealing place to lay eggs, however, the black cutworm has a broad range of hosts so fields showing green, yellow and purple weeds are still at the highest risk. The moths are also particularly attracted to winter annuals, such as chickweed and mustards.

"Remember, corn is one of the black cutworm's least favorite foods," Krupke said. "It just so happens it is the only plant remaining by the time larvae have emerged and weeds have been killed."

Typically, cutworm larvae will starve if weeds are treated with tillage or herbicide two to three weeks before corn emerges, but with the wet Indiana spring, Krupke said it is already too late for that.

He also suggested farmers pay attention to seed-applied insecticide and Bt corn labels to determine management strategies so farmers don’t get a false sense of security. They need to know what they’re getting.

With so little of the state's corn crop in the ground right now, Krupke said it would be awhile before growers start to see black cutworm damage. He encouraged scouting fields once crops are planted and determining control strategies as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, cooperatives are going to continue to work with the traps and keep us posted on what’s going on in the coming weeks.

For up-to-date black cutworm scouting and treatment guidelines, watch future issues of the Purdue Pest and Crop Newsletter at http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/pestcrop/index.html

Photo from Something Wonderful

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