Attracting the next generation of feed professionals

Animal Feed for Thought

Jackie Roembke, editor of Feed Strategy magazine, offers her perspective on happenings in the global feed and grain industries.

Attracting the next generation of feed professionals

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US feed industry is competitive, but will it be enough to draw the next generation of high-quality employees?

In the coming years, the animal feed industry will increasingly grapple with new employee recruitment and retention. Perhaps losing out to other “more glamorous” positions or locales, after the baby boomer generation retires, who will fill much-needed positions in the feed mill and in the animal nutrition industry overall?

To attract new blood, universities, associations and potential employers may consider increasing interest in the animal nutrition and feed manufacturing fields by proactively communicating the feed industry’s career growth, earning potential and other positive attributes.

According to a recent feed industry salary survey conducted by agricultural recruitment firm Continental Search, depending on the employee’s education level, tenure and location, 50% of feed mill managers surveyed earn $70,000-$100,000. Based on the species, position and whether they worked for an integrated or commercial company or as an independent consultant, animal health and nutrition professionals also earned salaries ranging from $100,000 to more than $220,000.

Continental Search’s full 2020 Animal Health & Nutrition Tech and Feed Mill Salary survey results: https://bit.ly/3ijhJiY

If money does not motivate the next generation, in the new normal, companies may be able to overcome the downside of location by embracing remote employment (where possible) and expand their recruitment reach.

Hitting on some of the softer feed industry issues, Generation Z candidates may respond to:

As the demand for scientific, technical and manufacturing positions increases with the need for additional efficient, profitable and safe feed production, it will serve the poultry and livestock feed industry to proactively make plans to attract — and retain — new talent.

*AFIA/Decision Innovation Solution’s 2017 Economic Impact of Animal Feed and Pet Food Manufacturing Industry