Agriculture News

July 13, 2016

New Purdue program to focus on talent management

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business is starting a new professional development program to help food and agribusiness leaders better manage talent within their organizations.

Managing Talent to Win will be Oct. 18-20 in West Lafayette. It will be led by Purdue faculty experts Allan Gray, center director and professor of agricultural economics, and Michael Gunderson, center associate director and associate professor of agricultural economics, alongside Karen Grabow, organizational psychologist and principal of Grabow Consulting. They will base the program on Purdue's six-part talent management model: strategy and talent requirements, talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development, engagement, and retention and succession planning.

Covered topics include aligning talent with the organization's strategic capabilities, situational leadership, performance management and execution, managing critical conversations and best practices for developing talent. It is designed so that participants will leave with tools they can immediately use in their workplaces.

The program was created to help food and agribusiness organizations thrive amid a rapidly changing talent acquisition, management, retention and succession climate, Gunderson said.

"One of the worst mistakes an organization can make is to forego investing in the development of the people who work there," he said. "But that doesn't mean that managing talent isn't hard. There is no single approach that works for everyone.

"To add to the complexity, we're also in the midst of a fast-paced, ever-changing business climate. We have to focus on recruiting the right people to move our firms forward, but we also have to make sure we help them succeed and grow once we hire them."

The program targets middle- and upper-level managers new to their roles or looking for frameworks and tools to enhance their people management skills. Participants can attend on their own, but they are encouraged to register with a colleague or two to help them more effectively institute new managerial practices when they return to their offices.

Registration is $2,445 per person through Aug. 15. After that, the rate increases to $2,595 per person. CEU and CCA credits are available. Learn more and register at

Writer: Jennifer Stewart-Burton, 765-496-6032,

Sources: Michael Gunderson, 765-496-2010,

Betty Jones-Bliss, associate director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business, 217-549-2883,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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