Hamilton Farm Bureau

This morning I heard an NPR segment on Hamilton Farm Bureau and how they're having trouble finding talent. Maybe you can be the solution to their problem.

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Somehow my Dad and I forgot to get the proper cord to hook up my iPhone to his car speakers. That’s a big mistake when you’re doing two 13 hour drives in less than a week. We really could have used a book on tape considering that NPR is pretty much the only non-music station that comes in reliably in Northern Maine (and the CBC once we get close to the border). I know I’ll catch a lot of flack for this, but I’m not an NPR fan (it bores me to tears, and the CBC is even worse); however, there was a segment this morning that caught my attention. It was on Hamilton Farm Bureau and how they’re having trouble hiring qualified people. Considering that the company is based in Hamilton, MI and has locations across the state of Michigan, you’d think they’d be able to tap into the nearly 20% of state residents who are under or unemployed. Who knew that a cooperative that “sells fertilizer and propane gas, packages and ships eggs, and helps farmers market what they raise” would have so much trouble finding good people?

Cooperate with Hamilton Farm Bureau

I get a lot of complaints from readers who think that I cover too many companies in tech. I realize that a lot of people don’t have the skills for those kinds of jobs, but that’s where the jobs are. I’m waiting for the day that someone e-mails me and asks me about resources for learning the kind of skills that might make them a fit for these kinds of jobs. Hamilton Farm Bureau is facing a similar problem to many tech companies. I guess there just aren’t a lot of people who have strong sales skills and an interest or background in agriculture. If you went to an ag school, you could be a great fit–and if you didn’t, maybe there’s some way you could position yourself to become one.

I must admit that I am a bit frustrated with Hamilton Farm Bureau. Wade Blowers, their COO, was quoted extensively throughout the NPR piece on how the cooperative has had to slow down its growth (they currently have 130 employees and $130 million in revenue) because it can’t find the right people for jobs. He goes on to mention a few ideas for why this might be such a problem (but he never dives into exactly what he is looking for). I have a way better idea than he does. THEY DON’T HAVE JOBS POSTED ON THEIR JOBS PAGE. I’m not joking. They just had a huge PR win for their employment branding efforts, and they are completely unprepared. All they have posted are two delivery positions. I don’t see any postings for sales people who “typically take on a heavy consultative role in the farm.” I don’t see any positions related to agricultural technology. So how you should respond? Do some research. Learn more about Hamilton Farm Bureau and their business. Then track down Wade Blowers and tell him how you can help grow the business. It’s worth a try, right?

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

Did you hear the NPR segment on Hamilton Farm Bureau?

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