Tuesday, February 26, 2013

5 Ways to Prepare for a Career in Ag

Submitted by Lacey Hargrave, BCS Communications

Follow these steps to set yourself apart and stand out as a job candidate in the field of agriculture!
  1. Research—Become familiar with, and stay up-to-date on, industry trends, current events and new information in the ag community. Subscribing to weekly newsletters and blogs from relevant publications, such as Agriculture.com, FarmProgress.com and dtnProgressiveFarmer.com, will keep you current and give you a leg up.
  2. Experience—Getting hands-on experience through internships and job shadowing is invaluable. Real world experience will show your eagerness to learn and make you a desirable candidate. It will also give you a chance to learn what it’s like in the field and what specific areas you are interested in. Search websites like InternMatch for opportunities near you.
  3. Get Involved—Attend industry events such as Ag Day 2013! Get involved with your local NAMA chapter, FFA, 4-H, agriculture clubs at your college or university, and local professional ag organizations in your area. These are great résumé builders, too!

  4. Network—Form relationships with industry professionals and others with similar career interests. When you attend an industry event, make it worth your while. Gather business cards, handout your résumé and follow up with new contacts after the event. Then when you begin the job search, you’ll have individuals to help distribute your résumé and get your foot in the door.
  5. References—Develop a good list of professional references. References can be past professors, employers, internship co-workers, etc. These are people who know you well and will shed a positive light when prospective employers call on them for a reference. Also, make sure to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, as this is where professionals will go to learn more about you.