515-223-5119 info@ineda.com

In December, the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA) sponsored a Career Exploration Event for high school students interested in learning about job opportunities in the equipment industry. The event drew over 280 students from nine local area high schools who participated in a tour of the Nebraska Ag Expo and a briefing on the various careers that equipment dealers offer.

As part of the tour, students were joined by Nebraska equipment dealer employees who escorted them through the Nebraska Ag Expo with stops at manufacturer booths including John Deere, Case IH, New Holland, and Bobcat. In addition, students met with representatives from two ag tech companies: SWAT MAPS, a company that offers high-definition zone maps of soil potential, and Agri Spray Drones, a full-service drone sales firm that helps producers and landowners utilize unmanned aerial vehicles.

A staff member from Southeast Community College speaks to students about the Diesel-Ag Equipment Service Tech program. Photo by Nick Lucs.

Following the tour, students also attended a 25 minute program moderated by INEDA President and CEO Mark Hennessey, which featured an overview of career opportunities in the equipment industry, information on the INEDA Andrew Goodman Scholarship program, and information about the Southeast Community College Diesel-Ag Equipment Service Tech program. Students also heard about the benefits of a career in the equipment industry from industry professionals Elliot Grosshans and Mitch Merz.

Governor Pete Ricketts spoke at the Nebraska Ag Expo about employment opportunities in Nebraska, specifically in the agriculture industry. “About one-in-four jobs in Nebraska are tied back to agriculture,” Ricketts said. “That creates a lot of opportunities. In fact, the USDA says that every year we create nearly 60,000 jobs opportunities in agriculture, and agriculture related fields and its resources.” Photo by Nick Lucs.

The Career Exploration Event as a whole focused on four entry level career opportunities: service and repair technicians, parts sales and parts inventory management, new and used equipment sales, and administrative and support positions. Students were provided a roadmap on how an entry level position can lead to senior leadership positions within a dealership.

“Students learned about all of the different technical careers available in agriculture and how they can attend college debt free,” said AKRS Equipment HR Manager Diane Waters. “The Career Exploration Event was a great opportunity to show students how agriculture plays a huge part in everyone’s life and how technology is impacting the agriculture world today.”

INEDA is following up with students, teachers, and dealers who participated in the event to determine its value and opportunities for enhancement. INEDA is hosting a similar event at the Iowa Ag Expo on February 1-3, 2022 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA. Please contact Will Rogers at willr@ineda.com or 515-669-1648 if you are interested in participating.

Thank you to the tour guides from the following dealerships for your attendance and support of the event: AKRS Equipment, Bobcat of Omaha, KanEquip, LandMark Implement, Mitchell Equipment, and Platte Valley Equipment.