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Advanced Search Celebrates 10 Successful Years of the Ag & Food HR Roundtable marked ten years of the Ag & Food HR Roundtable at the event last week. More than 150 professionals from businesses, organizations, colleges and universities attended the 10th Annual Ag & Food HR Roundtable in Springdale, Arkansas, August 7-9 at the headquarters of Tyson Foods, Inc.

The event kicked-off with Donnie Smith, President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc. welcoming everyone to their headquarters.  He went into the importance of people and how Tyson is fostering a culture where people matter.  Greg Honey of Farm Credit Canada opened with a presentation about reinventing the image of the agriculture and food industries.  Economist and futurist, Dr. Jay Lehr, shared his knowledge about the influencers in today’s agricultural markets and how they can impact recruitment and retention.  His dynamic personality and humorous take on the public’s perception of agriculture were memorable.

The second day of the Ag HR Roundtable was packed full of education and fun. Jessica Wilson of Walmart spoke about the employee value proposition from a case study approach.  She shared what employees look for in an employer, how to incorporate these ideas and include them in the company’s branding strategy.  Judith Tavano of the University of Arkansas followed with a presentation about the expected retirement wave and how to address generational differences.  
Collegiate representatives and industry professionals took part in a panel discussion focused on campus connections.  The two parties shared thoughts on how both sides can more effectively work together to increase interaction with students on campus.  Practical as well as unique ideas were offered.

On Wednesday afternoon, participants could select from three concurrent session options. Selections included sessions on developing career ready students, international recruitment and employee training programs, and effective training programs. These smaller sessions allowed participants to pick a topic that was most relevant to their position and organization to discuss in more depth.
Ten successful years of the Roundtable were celebrated with a networking dinner at Crystal Bridges Art Museum that evening.  Participants viewed fantastic art showcased at the museum and enjoyed a gourmet meal in a beautiful glass surrounded ballroom!   Partnership clients, affiliated organization attendees, past Roundtable hosts, and loyal participants were recognized in a special ten year anniversary celebration.

The final morning started with Colonel (R) Jill Chambers of This Able Vet, LLC and Michael Peterson.  Their presentation focused on the many possibilities the agriculture industry offers returning veterans and some of the helpful tools the military is providing to returning veterans to help them more easily transition back into the workplace.  The session ended with an impromptu concert from country star, Michael Peterson!

The conference wrapped up with another set of concurrent sessions.   Guests chose from a beg, borrow and share session for university/college professionals, sourcing 101, or nurturing a cultural revolution in the workforce.

Several other networking and educational opportunities were provided throughout the conference such as the Welcome Reception, Tyson Foods tours, Table Topics breakfast and Work Group Discussions Breakfast.

We’d like to thank our presenters, sponsors and host for helping to make the conference possible. Thank you to our host – Tyson Foods, and our sponsors – ADM, CGB Enterprises, Inc., CHS, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, Oklahoma State University, Syngenta, University of Arkansas and Wilbur-Ellis.

To view media coverage of the event visit ZimmCast and for photos visit the Roundtable Flickr photostream.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2013 Ag HR Roundtable – August 6-8, 2013 in Johnston, Iowa on the DuPont Pioneer campus. To be included on the mailing list