Dec 212008
September 9th ,2008 | Issue 66

> About This Issue

> Your ASM Calendar of Upcoming Industry Events

> When Opportunity Comes Knocking

> What Employers are Looking For (and Paying Extra For) in Today’s Market

> Introducing The ASM ‘Video Link of the Month’

About This Issue

Giving people what they want—and need—is one of the many ways to enjoy success in life, and the same principle applies to your career.  Companies want and need certain things from their employees, and they’re willing to pay for those things, regardless of current economic conditions.  In this issue of The Animal Science Monitor, we’re going to tell you what those things are, based upon our many years of experience in the employment industry.  We hope that by providing this information, we’re giving you what you need, and that you’ll continue your loyal readership of our publication.  Cheers!


—Dan and Don

Your ASM Calendar of Upcoming Industry Events

At The Animal Science Monitor, we’re advocates of continuous education and the promotion of industry events such as conferences and conventions.  The training and networking opportunities that exist at these events are extremely valuable and can pay dividends in a number of different ways.

That’s why we run a regular column devoted to upcoming events in the animal science and animal nutrition industries.  And as always, we value your input.  If there’s an industry event that you believe we should promote through our newsletter, please email your information to

The ASM is pleased to highlight these upcoming industry events:


Allen D. Leman Swine Conference
Dates: Saturday, September 20 through Tuesday, September 23
Location: RiverCentre Conference Facility in St. Paul, Minnesota
Description: In 1974, Dr. Leman, along with Dr. Jim Hanson, initiated this conference to present new information and discuss issues important to the swine industry.  What began as a conference for Minnesota practitioners in a small lecture hall on the St. Paul campus has evolved into the multi-session, international meeting it is today.
Registration: The cost of the event varies, depending upon which sessions you’d like to attend.  For more information or to register, click here.

World Dairy Expo
Date: Tuesday, September 30 through Saturday, October 4
Location: Alliant Energy Center of Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin
Description: The World Dairy Expo is the international dairy meeting place, a five-day event showcasing the finest in dairy genetics and the newest technologies available to the dairy industry.  The motto for this year’s Expo is “Building Bridges – Making Connections.”  Attendees will find the most modern dairy equipment and the newest dairy technology and innovations, including animal health supplies; milking systems; feeding products; forage handling and manure equipment; and embryos, semen, and genetics research.
Registration: The daily entrance fee is $7 per person, which includes parking. Season passes are $21 per person.  Passes are purchased at the gate; no pre-registration is necessary.  For more information about the Expo, click here.


(At The Animal Science Monitor, we encourage feedback from our readers regarding topics that we address in our newsletter.  In fact, we sometimes even publish selected articles by ASM readers, when warranted.  This issue, which revolves around the topic of mentoring, is just such a time.  Below is an informative and thought-provoking case study submitted by Linda Coates-Markle, the Bureau of Land Management liaison for the Society for Range Management in Wheat Ridge, Co.  We’d like to thank Linda for sending her article to us, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.)

When Opportunity Comes Knocking
(By Linda Coates-Markle)

Success in professional opportunity is more often about being in the right place at the right time than judicious planning, although having clearly defined career goals often helps put you in the right place at the right time.  In addition, taking advantage of the opportunities presented through professional societies can sometimes make a difference.  For example, let’s examine a case study involving two gentlemen named Gary and Nathan.

Last year, Gary traveled to Reno, Nev., to attend the Agency On-the-Spot Hiring program at the SRM Annual Meeting.  Gary, a Supervisory Rangeland Management Specialist, was a last-minute replacement for the hiring official representing the BLM Rio Puerco Field Office (RPFO) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Admittedly, Gary was apprehensive about the program, concerned that there wouldn’t be adequate time to review applications or even a big enough applicant pool to represent students who might have the right skill mix to work well within a southwestern field office.  But he had been active in SRM for almost 30 years, held a position on the Board, and served as Awards Committee Chairman and North Central Section President.  He believed in the professional opportunities brought about by networking through SRM.

Nathan, meanwhile was six months from finishing his Master’s Degree in Animal and Range Sciences at NMSU.  He was also a SCEP student with NRCS, and although very happy with his current career opportunities, he was interested in exploring the On-the-Spot Hiring program.  For Nathan, it was a gamble; he really didn’t consider that he might actually have a chance at any positions, but he was looking forward to experiencing the process.

As opportunity would have it, Nathan interviewed very well and Gary offered him the Rangeland Management Specialist position for the RPFO.  As a result, Nathan was faced with a difficult on-the-spot decision to make, and he had a hunch that it was going to be a life-changing event.  Nathan received a lot of support and encouragement from several individuals who would ultimately be affected by his decision, and his decision to accept the position offered more than just a new professional career.

The brick wall
Nathan first reported to the RPFO in July of 2007. He found himself in an office with a mix of very experienced people who were all willing to help him adjust to his new agency life.  However, Nathan quickly became overwhelmed, not only with the office workload, but also with the responsibility of making decisions that could impact his earning ability and potentially his quality of life.  As a young recruit and fresh out of college, Nathan began looking for experienced and reasoned guidance with these on-the-job decisions.

Gary, meanwhile, had worked hard and enjoyed over 36 years with the agency, but he was six months from retirement.  He had been working towards getting his real estate license and wanted to stay active in the community.  Of course, everybody in the area already knew Gary from his years of community service, including his work with the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association.  But he was ready to retire, and like many retirees, had several things lined up to do once that retirement began.

Doing the right thing
As it turned out, there were mutual friends between Gary and Nathan’s family, as Nathan’s grandfather had worked for the Farmers Home Administration, a now defunct agency that dealt with farmer/rancher land, operating, and home loans.  So Nathan already had roots in the community.  Information such as this convinced Gary even more that he had made the right hiring decision in Reno.

Gary knew the workload that was facing Nathan, and he knew it would be important to introduce him to the players and the intricate politics in public land management. There was a lot to be done in a short amount of time.  Gary also felt strongly that the BLM had been good to him and that the right thing to do was to help a deserving new employee.  Everyone—including the new employee, the agency, clients, and partners—was deserving of as smooth of a transition as possible.

Gary discovered that Nathan was very proficient in his field and always hard working, attentive, and eager to learn.  Nathan was the type of employee that BLM needed, and Gary knew that he was deserving of a break.  The best break, in Gary’s opinion, was to set Nathan up with an experienced range specialist who would be willing to take the time to show him the ropes. And Gary knew right where to find one!

Coming full circle
As a result, Gary and Nathan have a great professional relationship.  Now that Gary has introduced Nathan to over 100 permittees, shown him the country, and provided opportunities for him to meet and interact with many different rangeland professionals in the community, the two are good friends.  Gary has moved on professionally, but has signed up as an official BLM volunteer.  So things have come full circle, as Gary now works for Nathan!

And the mentoring continues.  The two still get together for a few hours each week, and it might be just a phone call, but the connection is still there and the result has been a win-win situation. Both feel strongly that mentoring is a very satisfying experience.  Gary especially feels that it has been flattering to be allowed to select and train his own replacement.

And as with most great mentoring relationships, there is a personal side.  Gary has been able to help Nathan settle into the Albuquerque community, both professionally and personally.  Nathan has even been coaxed into helping the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association in some of their community efforts from time to time.  That’s not surprising, since Gary is the current president of that group.  According to Gary, it’s all about working with people and building trust.  No doubt there are some valuable out-of-office networking opportunities that present themselves during those community efforts!

And in order to close the circle, Gary was even able to convince Nathan to help him with his part on the 2009 Planning Committee for the upcoming SRM annual meeting in Albuquerque.  So the cycle of professional “give and take” continues.  According to Nathan, it’s through his relationship with SRM that he’s able to maintain his professional development now that he’s finished with his academic studies.  At a young age, he’s already realized the value of professional networking through association membership. And of course, Gary had something to do with that, as well.


What Employers are Looking For (and Paying Extra For) in Today’s Market
(By Dan Simmons and Don Hunter)

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you’re constantly employed by the top companies in your chosen field is to identify the skills, traits, and characteristics for which those companies are looking.

It’s not just enough to identify what they’re looking for, it’s also crucial to determine what they’re willing to pay extra for . . . because the only thing better than working at an industry leader is working at one for more money.  During our recruiting work, we’ve talked with hundreds of hiring managers, human resources managers, and executives, and based upon those conversations, we’ve created two lists.

The first list details what employers are looking for right now, in today’s marketplace.  The second chronicles what they’re really looking for, in other words, what they’re willing to throw more compensation at in the hopes of securing in the form of an employee.  So without further adieu, here are our lists.

Employers are looking for the following:

  • Character and integrity
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Track record of success
  • The understanding that the company needs to make a profit or the organization needs to reach its goals, and that you need to contribute to that in some way
  • A strong work ethic
  • Good written communication skills
  • Well-rounded professionals with inter-personal skills
  • Stability, but not stagnation
  • Education and continuing education
  • Leadership abilities
  • People able to balance life/work
  • Assertiveness — not aggressiveness, but assertiveness

Companies are willing to pay extra for the following:

  • Bi-lingual skills
  • Your willingness to relocate throughout your career rather than if you stay put
  • Overnight travel
  • The ability to translate technical information to applied situations
  • People management skills over “pure genius”

How many of the above criteria do you fit?  Be sure to emphasize these in your resume and during the interview process.  Which ones do you need to focus on for further improvement?  Make a concerted effort to enhance your proficiency in these areas.

The idea, of course, is to make yourself as attractive as possible to a potential employer, preferably one in which you’re very much interested.  Because giving others what they want is one of the best ways to get what you want—and that’s as true in the job market as it is the rest of life.

If you have questions about this topic, or any other regarding your job search, be sure to contact us at or


Introducing The ASM ‘Video Link of the Month’

August is Small Ruminant Month (in other words, Sheep and Goat Month) at The Animal Science Monitor, and once again, we’d like to celebrate with our “Video Link of the Month.”

This month, we have yet another unique video link.  It involves the increasingly popular “fainting goats,” goats that, when startled, will faint in an almost instantaneous fashion.  Sometimes, they’ll roll over on their backs, their feet sticking straight up in the air.

To access a video clip featuring the “fainting goats” phenomenon, which has received over 3.3 million views on YouTube,” click here.

The ASM is currently providing links to humorous (and appropriate) videos regarding any aspect of the animal science industry in select issues of our newsletter . . . and you can help us.

We’d like you to send us your favorite animal science video clips.  Send an email, with your link included, to, and your clip might be featured in a future issue of the newsletter.  If your clip is included, we’ll also publish your name as its contributor.



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