Ag Career Fair Attracts Hundreds of Companies

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Iowa is one of the biggest agriculture states in the country, so it would make sense that it would have good agriculture career opportunities.

At Iowa State University, the college of Agriculture has a 97 to 98 percent placement rate by six months after graduation. And companies were out in force October 14th on campus at the ag career fair, to recruit new graduates.

Director of Iowa State Agriculture and Life Science Career Office Mike Gaul says, "This is our largest career day ever, we have 269 companies here this year."

And students were lined up out the door, taking advantage of the biggest ag career fair in the country.

ISU Junior Brian Patterson is an Animal Science major, he says he has goals for the career fair.

"I'm here today at the ag career day to find an internship in animal science and meat science. Really the reason everyone's here is when we're done here, we want a job." He says, "There's something here for everyone. I'm interested in meat science. Tyson, Cargill, Johnsonville Sausage. I can go around and find a job in pretty much any area of the meats industry I want."

The meats industry is prepared for students like Patterson. At Cargill's booth, National Sales Lead Kent Krager says they're looking for ag experience, class work, industry experience, and most importantly, "We look for leadership experience, and I think that's probably the most important is how are they getting involved on campus, what type of situations do they put themselves into, to demonstrate leadership skills, critical thinking skills, conflict resolution."

Krager says, "We've been here for a number of years. I'm an old Iowa State graduate as well. We just find that the students are well equipped for the different professions we have at Cargill."

After a day of networking with businesses, students have an opportunity to actually have interviews the day after the fair at the Great Hall. Gaul says it looks to be a big day of interviews.

"Definitely our biggest interview day tomorrow on campus in the great hall. We'll probably host between 700-800 interviews so I think what's cool about it is our students know that when career day gets here, it's open season."

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