The Toughest Job in Agriculture Right Now

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Do you think your job is tough? Seeding and planting (lingo depending on where you live) season is a real hectic time. You get up early and go home late. The days are long but it is nothing in my mind in comparison to what the human resources department is going through at the Canadian Wheat Board.

Due to a massive change in scope the Canadian Wheat is cutting staff in very substantial ways. In my discussion with Maureen Fitzhenry, Media Relations, the company has cut down to 315 employees from 430 a year ago.

According to a story in the Western Producer, the plan is to cut staff further leaving a more modest staff level of 100.  Being on the human resources team at the Canadian wheat Board has got to be one of the worst jobs right now in Agriculture.   No matter what your opinions are of the CWB, you have to have empathy for the people being let go.

It cannot be very enjoyable for anyone to have to daily go through the routine of, “ummm Harry can you please come into my office, there is something we need to chat about discreetly.”  This cannot be easy for anyone.  It would be difficult to go to work knowing that me doing my HR job would be creating so much heartache for my co-workers.  Hiring is definitely more fun than firing.

To my surprise Maureen Fitzhenry did indicate to me that the current CWB staff is looking toward the future with optimism and the mood is good.  In my my mind this is quite a feat in itself considering the layoffs that have transpired and will continue over the next two years.  CWB human resources is definitely the toughest job in agriculture right now.

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