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2011 North American Ag HR Roundtable

August 01, 2011 - August 03, 2011
West Lafayette, Indiana,
Presented By

This 2-day conference is open to all human resource professionals, career services staff and relevant association representatives within the agriculture, food science, natural resources and biotechnology industries and is an excellent networking opportunity. Plan to attend this informative meeting addressing topics and areas of high interest that you’ll find nowhere else. 

This program has been approved for 8.75 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

Sponsored By
ADM     CHS    

Organizing Committee
Who Should Attend
Current Registrants
Past Registrants


August 1, 2011
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Optional Tour (times are tentative)
Take in the sights and sounds of beautiful Purdue University! This brief tour will showcase the highlights of some of the interesting agriculture work taking place at Purdue. This tour is a great way to see some of the campus as well as get started networking with other conference participants. *Registration with RSVP must be received by July 10th to participate. (Space is limited)
2:30 - 3:00 pm Registration Opens - Stewart Center
3:00 - 3:15 pm Welcoming Comments
3:15 - 4:00 pm

A Focus on Human Capital Development in Agriculture
Hear from our co- host, Purdue University, as they share from a university perspective how the importance of human capital development plays a more critical role in agribusiness today more than ever before. Purdue University will welcome participants and focus discussions on what they see as critical skills, characteristics and knowledge necessary to succeed and survive in the future of agriculture.

4:00 - 5:00 pm Keynote Address:  The 'Buzz' of Ag and Its Impact on Human Resources
An informative session on some of agriculture’s top macro trends and hot topics of today and tomorrow – participants will take away how these emerging trends will impact recruitment and retention of human capital within the industry. Learn what we should be telling job seekers, both students and experienced professionals, about the evolving and exciting agriculture industry. The agriculture industry is poised for even more change in the upcoming years, more so than any other industry. How we influence and inform current employees of how these respective changes will impact the business is crucial for an organization's success. 
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Welcome Reception 
Join us for the official opening of the 2011 Ag HR Roundtable and begin to network early! This social event is a great way to reconnect with old friends and meet new participants. Begin to discuss some of the topics with peers and what you hope to take away from the conference over cocktails and heavy appetizers.

August 2, 2011
8:00 – 9:00 am

Optional Breakfast - Table Topics 
This fun networking opportunity allows participants to explore and discuss a topic that is relevant to them and their organization with peers wanting to explore that same topic. A variety of topics will be available to be selected from that morning – choice of topic is first come first serve. Topics examples include: healthcare reform; new things in resumes; international internships; employer pet peeves; SWAG ideas; clichés in hiring; and much more. Breakfast will be served! *Registration with RSVP must be received by July 10th to participate. 

9:00 - 9:30 am Opening Comments - Stewart Center
9:30 - 10:30 am  Raising the Bar - Student Recruitment into the Agriculture Industry
Like many industries, the agriculture industry will need more young talent to fill the plentiful job opportunities within agriculture. An additional hurdle to overcome within agriculture is that career opportunities within the industry are not abundant, production focused and low paying. While we know that this is not entirely true, convincing youth and their parents of this is a challenge. This session will discuss ideas for how we as an industry can do a better job of marketing agriculture as a whole and when the appropriate time is to do so. We’ll review how diversity, Generation Z and upcoming trends will play a part in this as well as industry gaps that hold job possibilities for this upcoming generation. Participants will take away tangible ideas for how employers and academia can interact to achieve the common goal of raising the level of talent entering agriculture programs.
10:30 - 11:00 am Break
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Understanding Recruitment Philosophy
As an employer, have you ever called the career services professional at the local university for advice on selecting the best student? Or, as a career services professional, have you ever been perplexed why an employer chooses not to be flexible about an offer? Well, this session is for you! A guided panel discussion featuring both employers and career services representatives will help participants understand some of those longing questions about recruitment. Panelists will share how to most appropriately interact with students, alumni and career services during the recruitment process. Also covered will be typical practices and timelines employers are utilizing as well as some of the changing facets being seen in terms of recruitment.   As well, panelists will touch on how recruitment practices vary for non-traditional majors, 2-year schools and experienced professionals. To wrap up the session, conference participants will have time to ask their own specific questions of the panelists.
12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 - 2:30 pm Special Session:  Influencing the Development of Talent
In this unique session, Roundtable participants will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to help identify and influence how talent is developed from an educational standpoint. In conjunction with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, participants can contribute to a nationwide survey to help identify the skill sets the agriculture industry values in employees. This information will be used to help identify gaps and therefore develop curriculum that will help to cover these gaps. Results of our audience’s input will be immediate and followed with a facilitated discussion of those results. This is an opportunity for employers and career services professionals to have a voice in what gets conveyed to youth about the skills necessary to succeed in the agriculture industry.
2:30 - 3:00 pm Break
3:00- 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions - Series 1

Track 1:  HR Management Track
Effective Performance Management Strategies
Moving a 'B' player to an 'A' player is something that most employers strive for.  The cost of retaining and improving a current employee versus that of recruiting for a new employee is a much more cost effective option for organizations.  However, how to do so effectively and quickly can be a challenge.  This session will review why performance management is so important; current trends in performance management; what systems/tools are available; and tips for positively resolving conflict.  Finally, participants will have the opportunity to discuss as a group and share ideas with each other.

Track 2: Recruiting Focus
Best Practices in On-Boarding Programs
On-boarding a new employee into an organization is oftentimes looked at as a one week to one month process.  However, to be truly effective, companies should look at the process to train and fully engage a new employee into the organization as at least a 6-month to full year process, known as on-boarding.  This session will share some of the best practices in developing and implementing a successful on-boarding program as well as why it is so important. 

Track 3: University Track
Preparing Students for a Total Compensation Package
From a career services perspective, the ever-changing compensation package can be a tricky thing to navigate.  With new healthcare options and retirement planning, helping students understand and evaluate all of the options employers make available to students can be daunting.  This session will take a look at many of the most common compensation package components as well as examples of additional items that employers are using to leverage their compensation packages.  The presenter will also share some pointers on how to evaluate these components and provide guidance to students.

4:15 - 4:30 pm Closing Comments
5:30 - 8:30 pm Informal Networking Dinner
After a full day of learning, join us for a fun networking dinner with a tailgating theme at the Ross Ade Stadium Pavilion! Wear your employer, school or alma mater attire and spend time mingling, socializing and enjoying great food at this relaxed networking dinner!

August 3, 2011
7:30 – 8:30 am

Optional Breakfast

Social Media in the Workplace
As social media has grown in popularity, it has created a new set of issues and challenges for employers, from employees using Facebook and Twitter in the workplace to utilizing social media to profile potential employees. As this new medium continues to develop organizations will have to revisit policies on technology usage in the workplace; ethics of communication and profiling; as well as corporate social media presence during non-work hours. This session will provide participants with positive ways to address and handle these issues within their organizations. *Registration with RSVP must be received by July 10th to participate.

8:30 - 8:45 am Opening Comments
8:45 - 9:45 am

Utilizing Employer Brand to Enhance Recruitment (New and Experienced Professionals)
Employer branding has been around for awhile. Now that companies have all caught on, what is it about an employer brand that helps recruit the right talent for an organization? This session will explore how to enhance your employer brand to hone in on the candidates that best fit the job and company culture, knowing that not all candidates are a fit. Participants will take away ideas for how to explain to a job seeker why you fit here versus there and how that message needs to be tweaked for experienced professionals versus entry level professionals. In a case study format, hear how one company was able to focus on employment brand to achieve recruitment and retention success.

9:45 - 10:10 am Break
10:10 - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions - Series 2

Track 1:  HR Management Track
Getting a Foothold on Effective Career Pathing and Succession Planning Strategy
Determining an approach or strategy to effective career pathing/ succession planning can be one of the single most influential components to understanding recruitment needs. The ability to understand the needs and therefore drive recruitment efforts can lead to substantial cost savings. The challenge is that all organizations have different needs or philosophy as to how to do career pathing/succession planning effectively and efficiently. This session will provide several examples of models that organizations are using with some success as well as how to translate that to employees and potential employees. Finally, this session will conclude with an open discussion of session participants about this topic.

Track 2: Recruiting Focus
HR Metrics - What Should We Be Measuring
To further validate programs and resources, business professionals look to business metrics to help guide decision making. This is no different for human resources and the business practices that are derived around human capital. However, there are so many things that can be measured and when dealing with people how things can be measured isn’t so clear. During this session, participants will explore what some of the traditional metrics still being used are and their importance as well as new metrics. This session will also explore what to do with those metrics once they’ve been found. Like several of the other concurrent sessions, this session will conclude with an open discussion where participants can share how they use HR metrics within their organizations.

Track 3: University Track
Beg, Borrow and Share Session
This closed session open only for university and college career professionals is a perfect opportunity for exchanging of ideas in a variety of areas as it pertains to career services or faculty role.  Topics could include getting more involvement from employers; counseling students; working with alumni; career fair planning; and much more.  This session is truly for idea sharing!

11:30 am - 12:00 pm Closing Comments and Evaluation

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