Three Traits to Look for in Prospective Employees in the Agriculture Industry

Because it takes a certain type of employee to work in agriculture, you should be looking for specific traits when hiring. These traits include strength, technical skills, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

Look for these three characteristics when hiring agricultural employees.

1. Strength

Most agricultural workers spend the majority of their time engaged in physically demanding tasks. Examples include the following:

  • Lifting bales of hay or other heavy loads
  • Harvesting and inspecting crops by hand
  • Maintaining ditches, pipes, or pumps to irrigate soil
  • Operating and maintaining farm machinery and tools
  • Spraying fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides to control insects, fungi, and weeds
  • Using wheelbarrows or tractors to move shrubs, plants, or trees
  • Feeding livestock
  • Cleaning and disinfecting livestock pens, cages, yards, and hutches
  • Examining animals for signs of illness or injury
  • Administering vaccines to protect animals from disease
  • Branding, tagging, or tattooing livestock to show ownership and grade
  • Herding livestock to pastures for grazing or to scales, trucks, or enclosures

2. Technical Skills

The ability to work with farm machinery, equipment, and animals is required. Examples include the following:

  • Use tractors, fertilizer spreaders, balers, combines, threshers, and trucks to plow and sow seeds and maintain and harvest crops
  • Operate conveyor belts, loading machines, separators, cleaners, and dryers
  • Select and breed animals to produce offspring with specific traits and characteristics
  • Grow and harvest grains, fruits, vegetables, or nuts
  • Plant, seed, prune, irrigate, and harvest crops
  • Pack and load crops for shipment
  • Repair fences and farm equipment
  • Prepare land or greenhouse beds for growing trees, plants, flowers, or sod
  • Plant, water, prune, weed, and spray plants
  • Cut, roll, and stack sod

3. Good Agricultural Practices Certification

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is a set of standards for the safe and sustainable production of crops and livestock. The standards help maximize yields, optimize business operations, and minimize production costs and environmental impact.

Following the four pillars of GAP helps farmers provide high-quality, affordable goods and keep up with competitive export markets. These pillars include the following:

  • Economic Viability refers to the profit earned from the management of productive land.
  • Environmental Stability involves sustaining and enhancing the natural resource base.
  • Social Acceptability means meeting the cultural and social demands of society.
  • Food Safety and Quality refers to economically and efficiently producing enough safe, nutritious food.

Want Help Hiring Agricultural Employees?

Partner with the Morris Bixby Group for help hiring agricultural employees. Reach out today.


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