Tim Hammerich on Careers in AgTech

Tim Hammerich is the Founder of AgGrad and the host of the Future of Agriculture podcast. Tim grew up on a hobby farm in Northern California selling pigs, goats and ducks. After 8 years working in a feed and grain business, Tim saw an underserved market for helping young people get jobs in ag and agtech. He founded AgGrad to fill the gap.  

AgGrad began as a ‘traditional’ recruiting company where Tim would do the legwork of recruiting talent for agribusiness. It’s since become about helping employees find their place in modern agriculture through a wealth of content for job seekers and employees. 

In this episode, Tim shares his insights on what agtech companies are looking for, tips for getting and staying hired, and ideas for how all ag companies, including farms, can hire ‘right’ from the start.

What are agtech companies looking for? 

Most agtech companies are struggling with customer adoption. Tim’s clients often have a great product, but they’re struggling to get it into the hands of customers. This means that agtech companies are looking for talent that can help with marketing and sales. 

More specifically, agtech companies are looking for employees with a mix of empathy and drive. Empathy, because they need to understand what producers are going through. Drive, because they need to want to see the product be adopted and help the producer succeed. They also must be open to new ideas and able to take complex ideas and make them simple. 

“Agtech requires you to be teachers and consultants rather than traditional marketing or sales roles, you’re really in partnership with the people you sell to”

Culture and Content are Kings

In today’s world, the closest you can come to the proverbial silver bullet that will score you a dream job is content. Employers want to see that you have an ability to think outside the box, not just what your college degree is.   

With the tools available today, it’s easier than ever to create engaging content that helps you build a brand and share your unique perspectives. Whether it’s a funny Tweet or an insightful LinkedIn post, it’s an opportunity to build a new connection.

This same tip applies to companies as well, who can use the power of social media to share their culture with future employees. Gone are the days where a job is one dimensional with a sole focus on salary. Employees, especially young people, want to work for a company that stands for something greater than themselves. 

The biggest mistake that companies in agriculture make, according to Tim, is being too transactional in the hiring process. Like the rest of agriculture, it’s about relationships. Come in with a genuine exchange of value, not just an ask or offer. 

Watch out for the D word

Another pitfall that Tim has seen agtech companies fall into is using the D word: disruption. This can be off putting to future customers as well as employees. While the intention may be around innovation, employees might think, “do I really want to be a part of a business that disrupts?” or “I’m not sure that agriculture needs ‘disrupting’.” 

Listen to the full episode for more tips from Tim on getting a job and finding talent, as well as some of what the future holds for Ag Grad. 

For more from Tim, check out:

Key takeaways