Whatever the sector and whatever the geography, qualified employees are in demand and hard to find. For Indiana agriculture, that is a problem. So, the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo has partnered with the Indiana State department of Agriculture (ISDA) to host an agricultural career fair as part of the annual Expo in December.
“The first thing everybody talks about if you say what are your concerns or what are your issues, the first thing they say is, and has been now for over a year is labor,” says Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler.
“Whether it’s on the farm or farm equipment dealers, feed suppliers, crop input suppliers, they all say the same thing, and it’s one of the reasons I was excited that you’re going to have a career fair. I think everybody understands the need for good people, for qualified people. And so being able to have that at the Farm Equipment Expo is just I think a great tie in for what we hear from all the folks that we talk to.”
Kettler is concerned, as are employers, over the length of this labor shortage. It started with Covid lockdowns but doesn’t seem to be improving.
“Everybody you talk to does not have a good, real positive outlook,” Kettler tells HAT. “And that’s what concerns me. You know sometimes you might hear people say, oh yeah, things are getting a little better, supply chains are maybe improving a little bit. The labor piece of this does not seem to be getting much better for anybody.”
But for someone looking for a great job in agriculture, there are excellent options.
“I think that’s why the career fair was an important part to us as a department to try to maybe find a way for us to be able to get to a little different crowd, people that we would talk to, our stakeholders within the department. And absolutely, it does present some real opportunities.”
The one-day career fair at the Indiana Farm Expo is Thursday, December 15, from 9am to 1pm at the Grand Park Event Center in Westfield, IN, the Expo home for the second year.
Companies interested in participating at the Ag Career Fair should contact Gary Truitt at email@example.com. Priority will be given to companies exhibiting at the Expo. Other companies may participate if space is available. The Expo runs from December 13th through the 15th.
Full news release from the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo:
Farm Show and ISDA to Host Ag Career Fair to Help with Labor Shortage
The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo in partnership with the Indiana State department of Agriculture (ISDA) will host an agricultural career fair as part of its annual Expo in December. The one-day event will give Indiana agribusinesses the chance to interview potential candidates for their open positions. It will also expose those not familiar with careers in agriculture to the opportunities there are in this field. The career fair will take place on Thursday, December 15, from 9am to 1pm at the Grand Park Event Center in Westfield, IN where the Expo is being held.
“Labor is one of the biggest challenges facing Hoosier ag companies today,” said Gary Truitt, President of the annual Expo. “Many of our exhibitors have multiple openings for a wide variety of positions.” Many of these positions require mechanical, computer, and electronic skills; but there are also many in the service side as well. Familiarity with agriculture and farming are not always needed; and, in many cases, training is provided.
“Agriculture contributes more than $31 billion to the Hoosier economy, so it’s critical that we help the Hoosier ag industry find staff,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We are happy to partner with Hoosier Ag Today to help attract people into this vital industry.”
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler went on to say, “This career fair will be an amazing opportunity for anyone looking for a new career or to continue their career in agriculture. We know that labor is an issue statewide and especially within certain agriculture sectors. I am excited for Hoosiers and agri-businesses to benefit from this unique career search opportunity,” Kettler added.
A special room just off the Expo trade show floor will be set up with representatives from a large number of companies willing to talk with prospective applicants. Those attending the career fair can also visit the Expo to gain further exposure to the careers possible in the industry of agriculture. There is no cost of admission to the career fair, and the Expo and parking at Grand Park are free. The Grand Park Event Center is located at 19000 Grand Park Blvd, Westfield, IN 46074. The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo will run from December 13 – 15. Expo hours are 9am -4pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and 9am- 3pm on Thursday. For more information, visit indianafarmexpo.com.
Companies interested in participating at the Ag Career Fair should contact Gary Truitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority will be given to companies exhibiting at the Expo. Other companies may participate if space is available. Companies interested in exhibiting at the expo should contact Toni Hodson at Toni Hodson at email@example.com.
About the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo
The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo is the joint venture of the two largest, agricultural media organizations in Indiana: Hoosier Ag Today and Farm World Newspaper. In 2018, the two organizations formed Midwest Ag Events, LLC and purchased the Indiana-Illinois Farm Equipment and Outdoor Power Show from Richard Sherman, who had owned and operated the show for 40 years. The show’s name was changed and its focus expanded to encompass new developments in technology that impact production agriculture. With expanding show attendance and the increasing size of farm equipment, the Expo decided to relocate to the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana. The Expo is held in December each year after farmers have completed their production season and as they begin to plan for the next year. More than just a trade show, the Expo features a free seminar series with informational programs covering top issues and also new trends and developments in agriculture. There is no charge for the 3-day event. More information can be found at indianafarmexpo.com.