Dec 212008
September 30th ,2008 | Issue 67

> About This Issue

> ASM Special Announcements

> A New Look for the Continental Search Web Site

> The Benefits of a Mentoring Workplace

> How a Mentoring Relationship Can Help You

> Coming Up in the Next Issue

About This Issue

In our last issue, we had a guest writer, Linda Coates-Markle, and she contributed an excellent case study about the importance of mentoring (“When Opportunity Comes Knocking”).  We were inspired by her submission, and as a result, we’re devoting the bulk of this issue of The Animal Science Monitor to the benefits associated with creating a mentoring workplace and forming mentoring relationships.  We hope that you enjoy this issue of The ASM, and if you have any stories involving the benefits of mentoring, please send them to us at


—Dan and Don

ASM Special Announcements

The Animal Science Monitor is pleased to introduce its “Special Announcements” section.  If you have an announcement that you believe would be suitable for publication in The ASM, you can email it, along with your name, to  Please keep in mind that all announcements are subject to review prior to publication.  We’d like to extend our thanks to ASM friend Jeff Bewley for sending the announcement below to us.

KYDAIRYNOTES is an electronic distribution list for dairy producers and industry professionals interested in receiving timely information from the University of Kentucky Dairy Extension Team.  KYDAIRYNOTES will keep you informed without clogging your mailbox.

The list is for distribution only.  Traffic will average two or fewer messages per month.  To see an example of a recent issue of KY Dairy Notes, click here.

Anyone interested in being added to the distribution list can sign up by clicking here.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Jeffrey Bewley, Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Kentucky, via email at

A New Look for the Continental Search Web Site

Dan Simmons of Continental Search & Outplacement, Inc., one of the creators of The Animal Science Monitor, is pleased to announce a new look for his company’s website.  He would like to welcome ASM readers to visit the site, which is located at

The site has been updated to further reflect Dan’s commitment to the animal science industry and the companies and employees that work within that industry.  That commitment is summed up by Continental Search’s mission statement, which is below:

“Continental Search is a customer-focused recruiting firm specializing in animal agriculture.  At Continental Search, we combine the art of matchmaking and the science of recruiting to bring talented individuals to great companies.”

If you’re a job seeker . . .

The Continental Search website is a comprehensive resource for job seekers in today’s market.  A sampling of those resources include the following:

  • There’s a “Career Tips” section, where you can find articles covering a wide range of important career-related issues.
  • Visit the Job Center, where you can browse through job listings related to animal agriculture and meat sciences, set up hot job alerts to notify you when a job is posted in your area of interest, and even post your resume.
  • Access the Relocation Center, which provides information for individuals planning to move for their job.

If you’re a hiring manager . . .

Continental Search focuses on customized search services for companies in the animal science industry, with an emphasis on individualized attention throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process.  Visit the site to take advantage of the following resources:

  • In the “Recruiting Tips” section, you can access information regarding recruiting, interviewing, retaining, recognizing, and rewarding members of your team.
  • For more in-depth information, be sure to sign up for Simmons Says, Dan’s monthly email newsletter especially for hiring managers.  Simmons Says contains timely, cutting-edge industry articles and advice about recruiting and retaining the best team possible.

If Dan can help you . . .

Regardless of whether you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager, if you believe Dan can help you, contact him today.  You can access the “About Us” section of the Continental Search website, where you can send a message or ask a question, or you can email Dan at

We hope you enjoy the site, as well as this issue of The Animal Science Monitor!


The Benefits of a Mentoring Workplace
(By Dan Simmons)

We’ve written articles in the past regarding the topic of mentoring in The Animal Science Monitor.  In fact, you can access one of them, “Creating and Cultivating a Mentoring Culture,” by clicking here.  In that article, I outlined the different types of mentoring programs, what to expect from each, and how to implement them.

In this article, I’d like to examine mentoring in a slightly different light, specifically the benefits associated with creating and cultivating a mentoring atmosphere within your company.  The article I mentioned above dealt more with the nuts and bolts of the process.  Now I’d like to examine the “big picture,” so to speak, including the long-term implications for companies who promote mentoring within their ranks.

Two birds with one stone
Retention and succession planning are two hot topics in organizations today.  Companies are focusing on how to keep their top performers and how to fill future leadership positions as the company grows or as Baby Boomers retire.  A mentoring environment addresses both of these issues.


Mentoring is an “intangible retention” tool, as opposed to “tangible retention” tools, which includes thing such as compensation and benefits.  Employees respond to intangible retention efforts just as much as tangible ones, and they often respond more, depending upon the individual needs of the employee.

When employees are part of a mentoring relationship within the company or they’re aware that a mentoring program exists, it instills in them a greater sense of belonging and personal growth.  Imagine for a moment how great an average organization could become if each person in it had a personal development advisor who understood their role and the company culture.  Mentoring is an excellent way to help ensure that employees are actively “engaged,” both those being mentored and those doing the mentoring.  Keep in mind that engaged employees are more productive than those who are not and more likely to stay with their current company.

Succession Planning

With members of the Baby Boomer generation just starting to retire, companies are increasingly facing the dilemma of having to replace their near-retirement workforce.  This dilemma provides an excellent opportunity to utilize a mentoring program for the purpose of transferring knowledge from near-retirement workers to those employees most likely to carry out their duties once they’ve left the workforce.

Conducting a self-audit
The first step toward maximizing the effectiveness of a mentoring workplace is to conduct a self-audit of your company culture.  Do you have a mentoring program in place, whether it’s formal or informal?  Are mentoring relationships encouraged within the company or your department?  If you feel as though you’re deficient in some area, create a plan for remedying the situation.

The benefits associated with creating a mentoring workplace are numerous, and they all point in one direction—more productivity and profit, both in the short term and in the long run.

Refer back to Creating and Cultivating a Mentoring Culture for more specific information regarding the creation of an effective mentoring program.  Or if you’d like, you can contact me at to discuss how you can get started.)


How a Mentoring Relationship Can Help You
(By Don Hunter)

Like Dan Simmons, I’ve already addressed the issue of mentoring in The ASM.  You can access that article, “Finding a Mentor Who’s Right for You,” by clicking here.  In that article, I stressed the need for not finding just any mentor, but one that’s a good fit for you on a number of different levels.  However, in this article, I’d like to address the ways in which a mentoring relationship can help to enhance your career.

One of the best aspects of mentoring is that it doesn’t matter what stage of your career you’re currently in—mentoring can still benefit you.  In addition, the benefits associated with mentoring can positively impact both your professional and personal life.  For the purposes of this article, we’ll be examining the benefits for each person involved in the relationship: the person being mentored, as well as the person doing the mentoring.  You might think that mentoring is a one-way street, with the one receiving the mentoring the primary beneficiary, but that’s far from the truth.

If you’re being mentored . . .

First of all, realize that people of any age can be mentored.  Also, the person being mentored does not necessarily have to be younger than the person doing the mentoring.  Remember, we’re talking about a transfer of knowledge.  Taken within that context, age is not necessarily a consideration.  With that in mind, below is a list of some of the benefits.

  1. Broadening your base of knowledge—This, of course, if the primary reason for the mentoring relationship in the first place.  Part of this benefit is discovering resources you never knew existed, including techniques and strategies for greater achievement.
  2. Drawing upon the experience of others—People learn best by making mistakes, plain and simple.  A mentor can relate how the mistakes they made taught them valuable lessons, and they might have stories about other people’s mistakes, as well.
  1. Receiving emotional support—If you’ve found a mentor who’s right for you, then that mentor is probably an encouraging individual likely to provide support if you’re going through a difficult stretch.
  1. Improving confidence and self-esteem—Even those people who believe they don’t need help in this area will notice how a mentoring relationship can help them to approach situations with more confidence.

If you’re the one doing the mentoring . . .

A person in this position could be in any number of situations.  Perhaps they’re just about to retire, and they’re in the process of grooming their replacement.  Maybe they’re a younger employee, but somebody who has risen quickly through the ranks to a prominent position.  Whatever the circumstances, the person who’s acting as the mentor can derive a number of benefits from such a relationship, as outlined below.

  1. Learning something new—The transfer of knowledge is almost never completely one-sided.  The chances are excellent that the mentor will invariably learn something they did not know from the “mentee,” even if that’s just a fresh perspective or a new way of looking at something.
  2. Cementing your sense of accomplishment—Serving as a mentor for another person is a great way to review personal milestones and achievements.  A mentoring relationship offers the opportunity for meaningful reflection.
  1. Deriving satisfaction from helping another person—Many people find that they enjoy helping others.  They often view mentoring as a chance to “give back” to both the company and their co-workers.
  1. Building a new relationship—How many of us can say that we don’t need more friends, that we have enough already?  Relationships improve the quality of our lives, and that certainly applies to mentoring relationships, as well.  Many people stay friends long after the mentoring period is over.

As you can see, there’s almost no downside to engaging in a mentoring relationship (once again, that applies only if you’ve found a person you work well with and who meets the correct criteria; remember to review Finding a Mentor Who’s Right for You.)  In fact, anybody who’s looking for ways in which to increase their value as an employee, position themselves for greater career growth, or simply expand their horizons both personally and professionally should consider engaging in a mentoring relationship.

If you have any questions about this topic, please send me an email at  And if you’re currently engaged in a job search or are interested in advancing the scope of your career, be sure to send me your resume.  I’d be happy to discuss your career goals and ambitions, including ways in which I can help you to achieve them.  Any exchange of information, including resumes, will be kept in total confidence and handled in a discreet fashion.


Coming Up in the Next Issue . . .

Beef . . . it’s what’s for dinner.  (Who can forget that commercial?)  Beef also plays a big role in next month’s issue of The Animal Science Monitor.  That’s because October is Beef Month in The ASM.  In addition to a beef-related “ASM Video Link of the Month” and calendar events, we plan to provide other goodies, as well.  Our goal, of course, is to publish a very “meaty” issue.

The next issue of The ASM is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, October 13.



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