August 11, 2006 has largest Agri HR Roundtable Conference in St. Louis.

The 2006 US Ag HR Roundtable was held last week, August 7-9, 2006, and brought together nearly 150 human resources, university career services, and association professionals from the agribusiness industry.

This year’s conference, hosted by Monsanto in St. Louis, Missouri, was packed with a great line-up of topics and speakers to help participants explore opportunities for growth and improvement when recruiting and retaining talent. Participants had multiple opportunities to network and collaborate to solve these issues.

“This was the largest and best conference yet,” says Eric Spell, President of, “we have definitely raised the bar and look forward to the challenge of having an even better event next year.”

The event kicked off with a keynote address from Director Fred Ferrell of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Director Ferrell’s speech set the stage for the overall event by sharing his experience regarding the general public’s perception of career opportunities in agriculture.

Andy Overbay, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Dr. Levon Esters, Iowa State University, reviewed how employers and universities can work together to recruit students into agriculture majors. Andy shared recent research that he has done that shows that half of kids determine their career path between first and ninth grade. Dr. Esters shared his experiences of recruiting students into the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

Pete Heidelberg of Monsanto shared the new plan that they have implemented to help streamline the on-boarding process in hopes to impact retention. To conclude the days speakers, Jim Welch with The Growth Leader Inc., shared an inspirational talk on bringing four generations together in the workplace and how to brand the agribusiness industry.

On the final day, Dennis Clark of John Deere, addressed the upcoming problem of ‘Baby Boomer’ retirement. He stated that as of July 2005, the first ‘Boomers’ turned 59 ½ and 25,000 ‘Boomers’ will turn 59 ½ each day for the next decade. He shared how John Deere as well as a few other companies are planning to deal with this issue.

To conclude the day, Liz Anderson with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and Bob Broeckelman with Farm Credit, shared some up and coming recruitment tools. Their demonstration changed the way participants thought about pre-screening options and also recruitment management products.

Other educational components were provided through a Monsanto corporate tour and multiple breakout sessions.

Beyond the educational aspect, participants had many great opportunities to network provided by our sponsors. The Welcome Reception, sponsored by Partners Advantage, had a great turn out. And the Grant’s Farm dinner and Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, were one of a kind.

Thank you again to our participants, presenters, Monsanto, Partners Advantage, and Anheuser-Busch for helping to make the 2006 US Ag HR Roundtable a success.

If you missed the US Ag HR Roundtable, you still have a chance to get in on the action. Plan to attend the Canadian Ag HR Roundtable on September 26 – 28, 2006 in Guelph, Ontario. For more information click here ( Ltd. is a leading provider of innovative information products and services for the global agriculture and food industries. can be accessed through its internationally recognized agriculture information portal, which has business services and resources for the 16,000-plus agribusiness professionals and livestock and crop producers who use it each day for business services and resources. The family includes -- the leading human resources website for the agriculture and food industry; and PigCHAMP, Inc. ( -- the leading swine industry software and knowledge management company. operates across North America with offices in Ames, Iowa; Clinton, North Carolina; Fresno, California; and London, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit:

For additional Information contact:

Erika Brand
AgCareers - Ltd.