Grow your career on

Advanced Search

Feed Your Future Webinar-January 19
February 04, 2022
Courtney Allen

Feed Your Future Webinar- How to train a new employee without an agriculture background

This webinar was presented by Feed Your Future and partnered with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, with funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Our panelists Nancy Charlton (DeLaval), Mark Kerry (Syngenta), Gwen Paddock (Southwestern Ontario Agriculture at RBC), Maggie Van Camp (BDO Canada), and moderator Katie Hunter (Ag Careers) were able to sit down to discuss the concerns and importance of hiring and training a new employee without an agriculture background. Through the webinar, the panelists were able to share experiences and knowledge to allow other employers to feel more confident with hiring a candidate with no ag background. Kerry said, “never underestimate what people outside of agriculture can bring to your company, your business…Diversity, inclusion, and equity is a big part of what we are trying to do in our organization today”. Hiring a candidate without a background can provide you with new concepts, new skills, new abilities that can be impactful in your company.


For employers, it is important to understand the differences in Agriculture backgrounds. Some candidates may have grown up on a farm while others may have grown up in the city and discovered their passion for agriculture later in life. During the webinar, some concerns that surfaced about hiring non-ag background candidates included the language barrier of understanding the industry and their understanding of the legacy behind farms.


Although there are some setbacks when hiring a candidate from an agriculture industry, many companies are finding that some of the roles they’re needing to fill within their organization cannot always be filled with someone that has a strong Ag background already. Kerry spoke about his experience and success in hiring non-agriculture candidates as sales associates. Through their beginning position, they were able to gradually increase their responsibilities and knowledge which allowed them to be successful in a higher position.


Setting the individual up for success included Attaching them to someone who has experience in the role and who can help guide the associate with no experience. Through this experience, some panelists were able to learn that industry knowledge can be learned. “You don’t have to grow up on a farm to learn about the seed business… you can learn that” quoted Kerry. You want to bring people in who are curious, want to learn, want to work in a team environment, these things cannot be taught. “I always try to hire my future boss” bringing people in who can take on bigger roles, show great potential, and demonstrate natural skills. 


To watch the webinar and to learn more about training a new employee without an agriculture background, watch the January 19th Webinar at /feed-your-future-ontario.cfm.

Red Alert

Register for your free account to receive exclusive information and features.

Candidate | Employer