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Your farm’s biggest challenge: Competing for talent

Getty/iStockphoto  Talent acquisition. Magnifying glass and wooden figures as symbol an employee.
Here are steps you can take to attract top talent to your farm.

Agricultural employers across the United States report that competition for talent is fierce. When asked to rank their top HR challenges, “competing for talent” took the top spot. ‘Competition for talent’ was noted as the top reason employers plan to do more student and new graduate recruitment in 2022. asked employers how they would compete against other employers in recruitment. A “positive work culture” and “safe & healthy work environment” were their top methods to compete for talent. COVID emphasized the need for safe, healthy work environments, while company culture is also of strong importance to employers and candidates alike.

Employers taking part in the HR Review said their top method to maintain or improve company culture was making sure employees had the right opportunities to use their own skills and abilities.  

Beyond competition, “recruiting difficulties” was the second most frequently listed challenge for agriculture employers. The low number of applicants was the biggest reason noted for recruiting difficulties (68%) followed by applicants’ lack of required skills (46%) and applicants’ lacking required experience (35%). Employers reported the most difficult levels to recruit for were hourly/non-exempt roles.

Top ten most concerning human resource matters

The great resignation

Employee retention was also high on employers’ lists of HR concerns. This should come as no surprise after all we’ve heard in the news about the current situation coined “The Great Resignation.” Agriculture is taking note; 60% of employers said their company will focus on employee retention practices in 2022. 

The Agribusiness HR Review provides a range of human resource practices relevant to participating agribusinesses over the last 12 months. The annual Agribusiness HR Review survey, conducted by, highlights various strategies used in both large and small ag businesses, across a variety of agricultural sectors, to win talent. Download a free copy of the full 2021-2022 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review report.

Steps to compete against other employers

For more insight, check out the employer resource library at or email

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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