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Finding your stream: Agribusiness and Sales in the Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist program

The Agribusiness and Sales stream of the Automation & Digital Agriculture Specialist Program focuses on the business and management aspects of the agricultural industry. Professionals in this stream learn how to navigate the intersection of agriculture and business operations.

Listening to industry

Palette Skills was on to something when it launched the first offering of its highly successful Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist program back in 2022. We recognized early on there was a need to build talent and potential in Canada’s agtech sector. And because of our industry-led approach to designing upskilling programs, our program team was able to quickly build an offering designed to meet the needs of employers in digital and precision agriculture.

Ednali Zehavi manages the program, and brings a laser-like focus to what she does. She sat down to talk to us about the beginnings of the Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist program.

“The program,” explains Zehavi, “was created because we knew there were gaps in the industry when it comes to the need for people who understand this technology, and who understand the needs of agriculture and agrifood business. Employers came to us about two years ago and they told us that they were trying to hire people with these kinds of technological skills, but there were problems with retention, and overall they were finding that training was taking too long.” 

The result is a highly successful rapid upskilling opportunity that consists of 130 hours of training and is designed to get participants to the forefront of automation and digitization technologies in agricultural production and processing.

Future opportunities

So where is the need for agtech talent coming from, and where do you fit in? Big disruption is coming to the Canadian farm landscape, and in many cases, it’s already here. In addition to a burgeoning ecosystem of growers and consumers interested in sustainable and locally-sourced produce, there is evidence the agricultural investment scene is shifting gears, seeking opportunities for innovation and technology like never before. More and more, agricultural food production in this country is pivoting to tech, which means there’s never been a better opportunity to get involved. 

Which stream is right for you?

Very quickly, the program design team at Palette Skills understood the need to create three streams in the Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist program that met the needs of industry. These streams are Agribusiness and Sales; Industrial, Technical, and Professional; and finally the Data Analyst and Programmer stream.

Let’s get to know the first stream. Because before you tell yourself you don’t have the complicated tech know-how for a career in agricultural and precision technology, remember that in addition to the need for technologists, soil scientists, and experts in precision robotics, the Canadian agtech scene needs people who understand business, and who are comfortable with technology. 

The Agribusiness and Sales Stream 

In our conversation, Ednali Zehavi emphasized the industry demand for professional business management talent in the agtech sector, and told us about what she is seeing on the ground. 

“There’s a real need for business management skills in agribusiness. So there is a need for people who can make business investment decisions in the right way, for example. More and more, industry needs people who can manage the integration of all the different areas in agriculture and technology. These are the emerging needs that are keeping employers awake at night, and that’s what we’re responding to in our program.”

That’s why the Agribusiness and Sales stream focuses on the business and management aspects of the agricultural industry. Participants drill down on the intersection of agriculture and business operations. They learn about the unique challenges and opportunities in the agricultural sector, and identify strategies for optimizing productivity and profitability. Agriculture

Key skills for agribusiness professionals include things like strategic planning, financial and risk management, supply chain management, knowledge about marketing strategies and campaigns, as well as branding. Participants should also be familiar with business development and sales concepts, and with customer relationship management. Then there are the critical soft skills participants can expect to develop, including communication and negotiation, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking. 

Roles in agribusiness and sales

So what are some of the roles you can expect to be filling after completing the Agribusiness and Sales stream? Job roles in this specialization could include working as an agricultural consultant, managing a farm or other agricultural production facility, providing critical marketing advice for producers, identifying trends and opportunities as an agricultural economist or as an agricultural finance analyst, working in the field of logistics and supply chain management, or embarking on a career as a agricultural sales representative. Don’t forget that agribusiness needs skilled HR professionals, entrepreneurs, data analysts, and so much more!

Demand for local, sustainable agriculture and food

More and more, Canadian consumers are conscious of the origin and quality of their food. This shift has created a robust demand for local and sustainable agricultural products. Entrepreneurs in agribusiness need great talent to help capitalize on this trend by establishing businesses that emphasize environmentally friendly and community-centric practices. The opportunities are endless, and growing. 

 

Innovation and technology integration

Right now, Canadian farmers need help leveraging technology to enhance productivity and efficiency. The integration of precision agriculture, data analytics, and automation presents significant opportunities for those with a tech-savvy mindset. Startups focusing on agtech solutions, such as smart farming equipment and precision farming software will need skilled salespeople who can deliver solutions for Canadian producers.  

Go Global

Canada’s reputation for producing high-quality agricultural products opens doors to international markets. Exporting Canadian agricultural goods, from grains to processed foods, provides opportunities for sales professionals to tap into global markets. Understanding international trade regulations and building strong relationships with overseas buyers are crucial aspects of succeeding in this facet of the agribusiness sector.

Farm-to-table

From Vancouver to Fredericton, the farm-to-table movement has gained significant traction in Canada, with consumers increasingly seeking direct connections with local producers. Participants in the Agribusiness and Sales stream can explore opportunities to establish farmers’ markets, bring marketing know-how to community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, or help agribusiness ventures that connect producers directly with restaurants and retailers.

Learn more about Agribusiness and Sales

Want to know more about the Automation and Digital Agriculture Specialist program from Palette Skills? Are you passionate about building a great career in Canada’s new agricultural revolution? We want to hear from you! Find out more about the program by downloading the course guide, and learn how to connect with great new opportunities in agtech here.







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Eligibility for SalesCamp

To be admitted and accepted into the program, you must be:
  • Be actively searching for work and ready to take on employment opportunities tech sales.
  • Be able to legally work in Canada. 
  • Not be a full-time student.
  • Be a highly motivated individual actively seeking out new opportunities.
  • Have least 3 years of formal work experience in Canada or abroad.
  • Have an English language rating of CLB Level 8, or IELTS of 6.5 overall.
  • Be available for Zoom sessions, many of which will be full-time.
  • Be able and committed to attending networking day events as part of regular programming.
  • Be comfortable using technology and learning online.
  • Live or intend to live in the province where the program is being offered.
  • Have a reliable internet connection, device, and a quiet environment for virtual learning.
  • Be committed and able to join the Canadian workforce full-time immediately following the program.
You may not be eligible if:
  • You do not pass our application and/or interview skills assessment. 
  • You are not actively searching or able to start a job in business-to-business tech sales.
  • You are not able to legally work in Canada.
  • You do not reside in the province where the program is operating.
  • You are going to school full-time.
  • You do not have three years of work experience outside of your studies.
  • You are interested in taking SalesCamp solely for learning purposes, but are building your own business and not intending to work in the field.

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