Dan'l Mackey Almy with DMA Solutions Talks Recruitment in the Produce Industry
DALLAS, TX - Since 2004, the Career Pathways programs have served as a bridge to connect talented students with job opportunities in the fresh produce industry. As we head to Orlando for Fresh Summit and its many opportunities for industry members to connect with prospective recruits, we’re revisiting some of the reasons the fresh produce industry is an excellent path to choose for graduating students looking to launch their careers.
I spoke with Dan’l Mackey Almy, CEO of DMA Solutions, longtime mentor of students, recruiter, and passionate advocate for the industry about the rewarding opportunities fresh produce offers to young professionals. Here are ten of her most compelling reasons that students should be interested in a career in fresh:
Your work will serve a purpose.
The very core of this industry is comprised of foods that are grown. Whether your role is in accounting, logistics, production, or marketing, the knowledge that your daily contributions help put fresh fruits and vegetables in the hands of people around the world is incomparable to other “widget-selling” industries. In fresh produce, you can literally look at yourself in the mirror each day knowing that you’ve done or are going to do something good for someone that day.
Opportunities for you abound!
Guts, attitude, effort, and longevity are appreciated and rewarded within our industry. If ever there were an industry that still recognizes these attributes, it is fresh produce. This industry is full of tenured, experienced professionals who are so willing and eager to share their knowledge with the next generation of farmers, marketers, and even sales professionals. Given the large—and ever-growing—number of leadership opportunities this industry offers, your career mobility truly is in your own hands when you choose to work in fresh produce.
The people are special and will support you.
Since my first day in the industry in 1995, I have been uplifted by the intelligence, tenacity, dedication, and genuine passion of the people in this industry. I have made lifelong connections and friendships through this industry that are worth their weight in gold, and I believe many of my colleagues are able to say the same.
We are a resilient industry.
When looking to start a career, students look toward meaning and sustainability. A paycheck is something everyone values, so keeping a job is imperative. During times when our economy is in peril, our industry has demonstrated resilience in astounding ways. While no industry or company is recession-proof, the fresh produce industry is undoubtedly “recession-resilient.” People continue to eat, in good times and in bad, and we are the driving force behind providing nutritious food to our community.
Giving back is a common practice.
If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout my career journey, it is that generosity is ingrained in the DNA of the people in the fresh produce industry. Whether connecting across a local or national level, or banding together to support a worthy cause, giving back is a common practice here. At the end of the day, we all understand that our larger purpose supersedes competition or differences of opinion; we’re all in this together.
Leaders are approachable and willing to help.
Considering fresh produce is a multi-billion dollar industry, you would think the opportunity to have lunch or a cocktail with leading executives would be hard to come by. In fact, it is quite the opposite! From day one in my career, I was given the opportunity to get to know decision-makers at companies from across the industry. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of leaders like Jay Pack, Frieda and Karen Caplan, Cindy Jewell, and so many other caring mentors.
The thrill is real!
Mother Nature can be unpredictable, but in many ways, “she” is one of the most attractive aspects of what we do day-in and day-out. There is a certain excitement about the challenge and element of uncertainty that comes with each new season. Every year, each crop brings its own personality and “bag of tricks” that define us as growers, distributors, and service providers. In addition to this, Mother Nature provides us with these beautiful products that are grown from the earth and provide us with an industry in which we can all prosper. I can’t think of anything more thrilling than that!
Relationships are valued.
Perishability demands trust, and trust is built on relationships. While I have seen a tremendous amount of change and evolution relating to the buyer-seller relationships through the years, the fact is that relationships are still an important and valued part of doing business in fresh produce. I can certainly say that relationships have been an integral part in the shaping and success of DMA Solutions.
The time to talk “fresh” is now!
It is a great time to be working in the fresh produce industry because fresh food is at the forefront of so many discussions facing our nation. Food is not only being elevated on social media channels and websites on a constant basis, but we are also in the middle of a national crisis relating to obesity – in both instances fresh fruits and veggies are the hero. There has never been a more crucial time to join this industry and actively, positively affect our communities’ eating habits through daily efforts to increase access and promotion.
You’ll be proud.
This one is simple. Walk through a field of strawberries or an apple orchard and tell me you do not sense the pride that went into bringing these beautiful products to life. Whether you are a grower, a food safety manager, an accountant, a sales manager, or a marketer in the fresh produce industry, you can feel the dedication and hard work that goes into each and every fruit and vegetable. We grow and provide the healthiest, most beautiful foods in the world to billions of people every day—THAT is something to be proud of and part of when starting a meaningful career.
So whether you are looking for ideas to help recruit new industry talent or you’re a veteran looking for some inspiration to drum up your love of fresh produce again. There is a little something for everyone to love about this list.
Companies in this Story
Center for Growing Talent by PMA
DMA Solutions, Inc. is a specialized marketing agency serving the fresh produce industry driven by a mission to...