Session
Title: Hiring and Retention
Date: Tue Jul 25, 2017
Time: 3:40 PM - 5:40 PM
Moderator: Ernie Chappell
Recruiting and Retaining a Precision Ag Team
Mark Waschek (speaker)
Vice President, Agronomy
Ag 1 Source
Hesston, KS 67062
US
Mark Waschek joined Ag 1 Source in 2006. Since that time he has been responsible for leading the Agronomy, Seed, Crop Production, and Grain activities of the organization in the upper Midwest. He became a partner in the firm in 2007, was named Vice President, Agronomy in 2013, and has continued to be a leader in the industry while working with job seekers and organizations throughout the US and Canada. Mark has partnered with employers and job seekers to place everything from sales people to CEOs, and has successfully improved hiring practices in companies ranging from small agronomy operations to Fortune 100 companies. In addition to recruiting and consulting, Mark has been writing Human Resource based articles for CropLife Magazine since 2008, and has assisted several state and national ag retail organizations develop programs and resources to improve hiring and employee related practices for their members.
Length (approx): 40 min
 
Defining Characteristics for PA People and How These Relate to Your Customers

Precision Agriculture brings a whole new set of criteria when looking for staff.  We will look at these characteristics and how they may interact with other staff members but also how they may interact with your customers.  The set of skills that you may be looking for will be different than other positions that exist in your operations.  Often people possessing these skills will interact differently with other staff and customers than you may be used to.  This can create challenges but also opportunities.  These will be discussed in the presentation.

Thom Weir (speaker)
Senior Precision Agronomist
Farmers Edge
Yorkton, SK S3N 3L8
CA
Thom grew up on a grain farm in west central Saskatchewan. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a Plant Science Major at the University of Saskatchewan in 1976. After graduation, Thom spent 11 years with American Cyanamid where he became Product Manager for the introduction of IMI chemistry to Canada. He then spent ten years with Westco Fertilizer as an Agronomist. For the past eight years Thom has worked on Variable Rate Fertilizer Applications. He is currently Senior Precision Agronomist with Farmers Edge, a precision agriculture and independent data management solutions company. His rolls include mentoring agronomists, training them to write the CCA exam and applying VRT for unique solutions for customers. He has spent the majority of the last 25 years working directly with farmers, helping them develop and adopt the latest technologies for their farms. Thom is the recipient of the Distinguished Agrologist Award from the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists and was awarded the Certified Crop Advisor of the Year from the Prairie Certified Crop Advisor Board. He was among the initial group to pass the CCA exams in Canada in 1997 and served on the Prairie Provinces CCA board from 2008 to 2014 where he was initially elected as Provincial Rep. and continued on as Vice, Chair and Past Chair. He has served on the N.A. CCA Board and Int. CCA Board since 2012 and now as Vice Chair for that board, being the first person from western Canada to be elected to that position.
Length (approx): 40 min
 
Creating a Culture To Grow Your Precision Business

Selecting the right mix of talent and getting them in the right roles can be a daunting task for any business manager.  Learn about some of the supportive tools that Wheat Growers uses to identify key individuals to not only help grow their Precision business, but help to create a culture that keeps employees engaged and working towards that next career advancement.

Brent Weisenburger (speaker)
Precision Ag Manager
Wheat Growers
Aberdeen, SD, NA 57401
US
Brent Wiesenburger is a South Dakota Native growing up on a farm in the small town of Eureka in North Eastern SD. He attended 1 year of college at North Dakota State University and finished his education at Dakota Aero Tech in Fargo ND with an Associate Degree in Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics. His passion for Agriculture brought him to Aberdeen SD where he worked with Olsen Flying Service for 2 seasons, maintaining an Air Tractor 301 as well as culturing relationships with local farms doing scouting work for Pesticide applications. These 2 years also introduced Brent to South Dakota Wheat Growers and the Bath Fertilizer location. He started work for them in 1994 and has been with Wheat Growers since, receiving his 20 year service recognition in 2015. Brent cut his teeth as an applicator for 4 years and quickly found a passion for the Precision Agriculture space in those early years of the technology. Brent started the formal Precision Ag Program at Wheat Growers that has grown to over 1.2 Million acres and 12 million in sales annually. He also saw the need for Hardware sales/support in those early years that has developed to nearly 3.5 million in sales annually and a team of 7. The Precision Program at Wheat Growers was Nationally recognized in 2014 by earning the Precision Ag Impact Award from Ag Professional Magazine as well as the Precision Farming Dealer of the Year award from Precision Farming Dealer Magazine. Brent was recognized in 2016 as one of the top 10 most influential people in Precision Agriculture by Precision Ag Magazine. He currently resides in Aberdeen SD with his wife Angie.
Length (approx): 40 min