Ag Industry, Farming, Workers

Nutrien Ag Solutions plans to grow talent

Nutrien Ag Solutions plans to grow Australia’s agricultural industry by attracting, accessing and building the top talents and skills the market has to offer

When you picture the future, what do you see? Flying cars, Jetsons-style school drop-offs – maybe a cross-galaxy trip around the Milky Way?

For the workers at Nutrien Ag Solutions, the future of agriculture is now a feasible goal, ripe with prosperity.

The company’s vision for the ag industry’s future emphasises the importance of being versatile and adaptable when faced with the unexpected, Head of Talent at Nutrien Leasha Lilley says.

“For the last few years, we’ve seen this amazing boom in ag industry,” she says.

“It’s been profitable and erratic, but now that things are starting to stabilise, Nutrien is looking to create a reactive environment where we can quickly resource and upskill our organisation with capable talent for a future full of new improvements – human and technological – that we don’t know about yet.”

With a presence in 700 locations and around 4,000 staff, Nutrien Ag Solutions aims to create an industry widely engaged with as many aspects of the agricultural industry as possible.

The wide variety of job sets with the company range from agronomist livestock agents and branch managers to chemists, data analysts, web developers, communications and marketing specialists as well as supply chain experts.

Wool area manager Frank Roberts and stud stock sheep specialist Brad Wilson

Nutrien Ag Solutions’ parent company, Nutrien, is a worldwide provider of crop nutrients, stock feed, crop protection and services.

The company’s mission is to help farmers across the planet increase food production in a sustainable manner that aligns both farmers around the globe and workers emerging into the industry.

“We’re really focused on building partnerships with universities and schools,” Lilley says. “What that means is we try to build our early careers pipeline through graduate and livestock development programs.

“Annually, we look into the market, and we find emerging students who are interested and passionate about working as a part of our business, and who have the right skills and attitudes to support us and work with us and collaborate with us to help our growers – we’re really proactive in that space.

“We’re establishing nine partnerships nationally with universities, and we’re looking to roll out a scholarship program focused on low socio-economic students that we hopefully will enable and support.

Nutrien services over half a million growers at 1,500 retail stores worldwide, aiming to “feed the future”.

Focussing on innovation, Nutrien believes that growth and development is essential for achieving long-term shared success with customers, investors and other stakeholders.

The team at Nutrien Ag Solutions aims to incorporate and upskill agricultural workers that are prepared to move with the flow of progress and narrow in the next phases of ag development.

“We’re looking to build skills that allow an industry professional to understand the evolution of agriculture and communicate it to a range of people, whether it be stakeholders or IT professionals, and embrace the future that we’ve already entered,” Lilley says.

“We’ve certainly started this journey last year with our skill, capability framework and careers week, but I do think in the next 18 months, we will accelerate our focus on ensuring we’ve got a plan for 2024 around building capability and making sure our people feel comfortable with change, and that they have an appropriate level of skill to adapt.”

Nutrien Ag Solutions’ head of talent Leasha Lilley

Following on the company’s vision of growth, Lilley’s voice lights up when Nutrien’s recently-held careers week is brought to light.

“We’re calling it cultivating careers week,” Lilley says.

“Anyone across the organisation, whether they sit in Dubbo or Fremantle, can book a career conversation with the managing director and a career conversation with the CFO,” she says.

“But it’s not just showcasing executives, what we’re trying to do is create connection.

“We’re trying to make sure people feel inspired and I truly believe in the next 12 months, that we are going to see some really exciting stuff.”

Lilley says the program will help to promote and amplify careers with Nutrien, adding that she hopes the event will attract top talent.

“But we also have a role to play, through engaging and enriching the work environment for our current workforce, because they’re really important to us,” she says.

“We really want them to be engaged and provide the best service and products in the market – so that includes inspiring them and celebrating careers.

“I just think that’s really exciting.”

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