Nation's Largest Ag Career Day Helps Keep Graduates in Iowa

October 11th, 2005

Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture is helping to supply the state’s and nation’s demand for employees and keep graduates in Iowa during its annual Ag Career Day on Oct. 25 at the Memorial Union.

The Ag Career Day is on track to be the largest ever held at Iowa State and will be attended by more businesses and organizations than any other agriculture career fair in the nation. "We take more pride in knowing that it’s the best," said Mike Gaul, director of career placement for the College of Agriculture.

"More than 1,000 students are expected to attend the event that has an opportunity for every major in the College of Agriculture — from traditional production ag to agribusiness, horticulture, food, natural resources, communications and equipment," said Gaul.

More than 140 companies have signed up to attend the event with approximately 75 percent of those offering full or part-time positions in the state of Iowa.

Gaul attributes the increase in business attendance to a revived economy, an increase in qualified graduates and an aging work force.

"Many companies are starting to realize that 30 to 50 percent of their workforce is going to be seeking retirement in the next five years," said Gaul. "Companies are recruiting now in order to build up their reputations with students."

Nationally, the demand for employees is predicted to exceed the supply of graduates in agricultural fields, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service’s Employment Opportunities outlook for 2005-2010. The research projects 52,000 agricultural job openings per year and only 49,300 qualified candidates to fill them each year.

Companies like Steuart and Armstrong Consulting Inc. have been attending the ISU Ag Career Day for more than 20 years. "These students have outstanding work ethic and understand personal responsibilities," said Rich Armstrong, crop consultant. "I know the work will get done and it will get done well." His company is looking for three interns to work in their crop consulting business.

Greg Deim, a 2003 College of Agriculture alumnus, is returning to the Iowa State campus to recruit students for full-time positions in the FieldInSite product development and support team at The Mosaic Co. Mosaic is a combination of two leaders in the fertilizer industry, IMC Global and Cargill Crop Nutrition. "New products, technologies and practices are being implemented now to help eliminate some of the future problems that could arise with a huge population growth," Deim said. "A career in agriculture is one way for graduates to lend a helping hand to the world."

For a complete listing of business that will attend the 2005 Ag Career Day, visit


Mike Gaul, Agriculture Career Services, (515) 294-4725,
Rich Armstrong, Steuart and Armstrong Consulting Inc., (507) 456-1254,
Greg Deim, Mosaic Co., (763) 577-2801,
Alicia Clancy, Agriculture Communications Service, (515) 294-5616,