Finding the next generation of precision farming specialist is a challenge that more than 85% of dealers reported being a priority to grow their precision business in the Precision Farming Dealer 2016 Benchmark Study.

But first, dealers must identify the traits they’re looking for in potential candidates for these fast-paced, rapidly evolving positions. They then face the challenge of recruiting and retaining specialists.

The dearth of talented tech-savvy employees is often a topic of conversation with dealers, and they are being tested to find employees with diverse, yet developed skillsets.

At the 2016 Precision Farming Dealer Summit, Ohio State University associate ag professor John Fulton said the most successful dealerships today are finding a mix of experience and ambition in their new precision hires.

“I think what you’re really looking for is kind of a new breed of student. A student that has potentially some business background, they might be doing sales, they might be technology sales to trying to sell services of some sort. So having a business background and how that may look, how they can engage potential clients, current clients, is something that you want. But in a lot of cases you're going to have to have a little bit agronomy background. So as that technology engages crops, soil, or whatever, at least have a little bit of lingo and understanding to talk to technology from an agronomy or fertility planning perspective.”


Fulton added that precision internships are mutually beneficial partnerships that dealerships can develop with universities, as a way to test and train prospective hires.