Having Trouble Hiring New Talent? Get Creative.

Organizations often use LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Facebook, recruiters, and other platforms to source new talent. These methods serve a purpose, but none of these options offer prospective employees a chance to see, learn, and experience your business or culture. 

Eighty-one percent of organizations with 10 or more employees surveyed in the 2022 State of Agriculture Report identified the talent shortage as the greatest negative impact on their business. Not only are you competing against other firms for new business, but you are also directly competing for workers.  

Regardless of your business type, industry, or specialty, one way to differentiate your talent pipeline is to engage with the next generation of talent: high school and college students and graduates.  

The GreenSeam Talent Development, Retention, and Attraction Committee, which includes business and education leaders from across the region, have been hard at work to connect high schools, colleges, and universities to industry and employers looking for talent. Nick Schiltz, committee member and Agricultural Instructor and Program Coordinator at Riverland Community College suggests, “The goal of any business is to promote their company and job positions in front of students. If it is in-person or through any virtual program, the goal is to get in front of students and share what they do.” 

Businesses may get in front of students in a variety of ways. This may include company tours, job shadowing, mentorship, speaking to classes, student organizations, and more. Once you get your ‘foot in the door’ you can then share more about your opportunities available. This can be part-time and time-flexible jobs, internships, or careers upon graduation.  

One of the goals of the GreenSeam Talent Committee is to help connect employers to talent related resources, networks, and events by developing a calendar of events. These can include career expo/fair opportunities in our region. There may be volunteer opportunities for ag related events; and education/industry partnership opportunities. 

 

Recruiting strategies can be tailored to target non-traditional ag students. Ag-related career pathway resources can be made available to parents. Encourage the expansion of local educational institution learning facilities and local program offerings. Businesses could have access to survey data related to internships. 

The calendar of events is a new addition and resource to educational and business leaders. Ashley Leivermann, Chair of the GreenSeam Talent Committee and Chief Human Resources Officer at Crystal Valley Cooperative states, “There is an abundance of opportunities for companies to get involved and when time, money, and resources are limited, convenience is key for me. I love being able to see what is going on in the surrounding areas and ways I can get in front of potential candidates not only to fill crucial roles at Crystal Valley, but to promote agriculture for all of us.”  

Nick Schiltz agrees, “the calendar allows Minnesota agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) programs to know what events, conferences, opportunities, and even what companies have available for prospective students and future employees.”  

Engaging the next generation of workers at the high school and collegiate level takes time, energy, and patience. Working with students should be considered a supplemental approach to your recruiting strategy with short-term and long-term goals and objectives. Short-term, students may be looking for an immediate job opportunity while the long-term approach includes skill development, industry education, and future job opportunities.  

Check out the GreenSeam Talent Calendar at greenseam.org/talentevents/ to learn more about engagement opportunities across the region. Michalia Cyphers supports these initiatives and may be contacted for opportunities, questions, and more at mcyphers@greenseam.org 

Crystal Valley partners with Land O’ Lakes, Inc., and Midco on broadband connectivity project benefiting Madelia, MN, and surrounding area 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: 

Midco
Paige Pearson Meyer 
605-275-6300 
paige.pearson@midco.com 

Land O’Lakes, Inc. Abby Duininck
651-368-5600 
arime@landolakes.com 

Crystal Valley 
Mandy Hunecke 
507-726-6455 
mandy.hunecke@crystalvalley.coop 

 

Crystal Valley partners with Land O’ Lakes, Inc., and Midco on broadband connectivity project benefiting Madelia, MN, and surrounding area 

The effort will boost broadband internet speeds at the co-op and extend broadband connectivity to 1,500 residents in the Madelia area. 

Mankato, MN October 13, 2022 – Crystal Valley announced a collaboration with Land O’Lakes, Inc., and internet service provider Midco to expand broadband internet access to Madelia, MN residents, and the surrounding community. Midco has installed high-speed broadband technology on one tower in the Madelia area at Crystal Valley’s Madelia location, improving access to broadband connectivity. 

This effort to improve internet connectivity has the potential to directly benefit approximately 1,500 residents in rural areas who are currently unable to access adequate broadband service in their homes. Crystal Valley provides the space Midco needs to place its equipment. 

Not only is broadband increasingly critical to daily life, but it also enables precision agriculture, increasing yields, improving productivity, and boosting profits. Yet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 14 million Americans do not have access to broadband, including nearly a quarter of Americans living in rural areas. Additionally, 60 percent of farmers say they lack the connectivity needed to run their business. This effort by Crystal Valley, Midco, and Land O’Lakes aims to address these gaps. 

This project is part of ongoing efforts by Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Midco to address the rural broadband gap across the United States. Crystal Valley is part of the Land O’Lakes member network. Through its American Connection Project, Land O’Lakes and its cooperative network are helping bridge the digital divide with awareness and advocacy. 

“The opportunity to be at the forefront of a project like this has been great. In partnering with Midco and Land O’Lakes, the entire Madelia area, over 1,500 residents, will now have access to high-speed broadband,” says Jon Langland, Crystal Valley Chief Information Technology Officer. “The benefits to having the ability to access high-speed broadband will help the community in many ways, including helping our customers take advantage of our digital offerings with reliable internet service.” 

“We’re so excited to be partnering with these organizations to bring real solutions for the lack of broadband access in this community,” said Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer at Land O’Lakes. “As a farmer-owned co-op with deep roots across rural America, Land O’Lakes will continue to raise awareness and devise more ways to increase access to digital connectivity for all Americans.” 

“Midco’s partnership with Land O’Lakes and Crystal Valley is a real win-win, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it. We were able to utilize their site as a wireless hub, enabling high-speed Internet to hundreds of square miles of rural Minnesota,” said Chief Technology Innovation Officer Jon Pederson. “It’s this kind of visionary collaboration that will close the digital divide and bring great connectivity to farms, ranches, and small towns that otherwise have few options.” 

 

# # # 

About Crystal Valley Crystal Valley is a leading farm supply, and grain marketing cooperative focused on serving the needs of crop farmers and livestock producers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Crystal Valley currently employs 260 full-time employees, across 16 locations, with top-quality products and services in our core businesses of Agronomy, Energy, Feed, and Grain. 

About Midco 

Midco provides a superior network and an exceptional customer experience while being a force for good in the communities it serves. Midco is the leading provider of reliable, high-speed internet via fiber and fixed wireless technology. By 2025, Midco will deploy 10G, the next great leap for broadband – while expanding its fiber network to rural areas. The company also delivers TV services including Midco Sports (a regional sports network), phone, data center and advertising services, plus wholesale networking solutions. 

Midco fiber serves 480,000 homes and businesses in 400 communities in Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Visit Midco.com to learn more about Midco and how the company has been giving back to communities since 1931. 

About Land O’Lakes, Inc. 

Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2020 annual sales of $16 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 232 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 100 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands and businesses in agriculture and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra, LLC. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn. 

Christensen Farms’ Donates 200lbs of Pork to South Central MN Food Recovery

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Courtney Malone

Office: 507-385-6657

Mobile: 612-718-5068

cmalone@greatermankato.com

 

MEDIA INVITATION

Christensen Farms’ Donates 200lbs of Pork to South Central MN Food Recovery

 

MANKATO, MN (August 8, 2022) – GreenSeam’s annual Celebration of Ag took place, Thursday, July 21, 2022, at the ISG Field in Mankato. In addition to the program, baseball game, booths, and networking, there was a new activity that sparked the interest of that evenings’ guests. Christensen Farms brought two 35 pound nursery pigs to the game and for every pig or agricultural question that their staff received, Christensen Farms would donate a pound of pork to South Central MN Food Recovery.

 

“Protein is more difficult to come by and is highly coveted by our food recovery initiative. The pork will be utilized to create ready-made-meals to be distributed to food-insecure individuals and families throughout the greater Mankato area.” – Sheri Sander-Silva with SCMNFR

 

We would like to invite you to Wooden Spoon Monday, August 15th at 4:30pm, where 200 pounds of ground pork will be delivered to South Central MN Food Recovery. The ground pork will be turned into ready-meals, and with the help of partners it will be distributed to people who are low-income and/or Black, Indigenous, or people of color. 

 

“At Christensen Farms, we are proud to serve the noble purpose of providing safe, nutritious pork to families across the country,” said Amber Portner, Christensen Farms Communications Manager. “For many families in the Midwest and throughout the country, putting food on the table can be a daily challenge, and providing a key source of protein is not just a daily luxury, it is essential.”

 

Sam Ziegler, Director of GreenSeam states “Every year the Celebration of Ag gets bigger and there are new ways that businesses within the GreenSeam region can create engaging ways to step up and lead by example. This opportunity with Christensen Farms and South Central MN Food Recovery is the first of hopefully many opportunities that GreenSeam will be able to assist in.”

***

 

About GreenSeam:

GreenSeam is not only a region that spans across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, but also a nonprofit organization dedicated to strategically building and connecting the region’s extensive agricultural business assets to the world by enhancing collaboration and investment with public and private sector partners. We are committed to the long-term prosperity of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa by strengthening collaborations and partnerships, growing businesses and their workforces, as well as communities they call home. GreenSeam is a business unit of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

 

About Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc.

Christensen Farms is one of the largest, family-owned pork producers in the United States, marketing approximately 3 million hogs per year. Headquartered in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, the company operates throughout the Midwest with facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota. Christensen Farms owns three feed mills, manages 143,000 sows on 44 farms, and oversees more than 350 nurseries and grow finish sites. The company employs nearly 1,000 people and maintains 1,500 contract partnerships.

The company is vertically integrated with a strong presence across the pork value chain – from farm to fork. Christensen Farms is the largest shareholder of Triumph Foods LLC, a producer-owned primary pork processing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri. In turn, Triumph Foods own 50 percent of Daily’s Premium Meats, a specialty pork processor of bacon and other premium pork products. Triumph Foods also holds a 50 percent partnership in Seaboard Triumph Foods, LLC of Sioux City, Iowa, a primary pork processing plant.

 

About South Central MN Food Recovery

South Central MN Food Recovery (SCMNFR) was developed in 2019 and is designed to provide nutritious meals to families in need by using high quality food that would otherwise be going to the landfill. SCMNFR accepts large quantities of fresh produce and meats, makes into ready-meals, and works with partners to distribute to people who are low-income and/or Black, Indigenous, or people of color.  

SCMNFR is an organization working to reduce food insecurity and food waste in the community.  Wooden Spoon is a commercial restaurant, caterer and bakery committed to partnering with local organizations to help increase food security. There is a need for low cost or no cost, nutritious, ready-to-eat meals for people in South Central Minnesota and food is being turned away from retailers and not being consumed.  To address these challenges, SCMNFR and Wooden Spoon collaborate in utilizing recovered food as available to prepare meals that are distributed to community members in need through local organizations. Meals are provided free of cost. 

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