Making a difference

AgriStaff USA meets a need for the agriculture industry

Posted on Jan 30, 2019 :: Small Business Spotlight
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Agriculture, manufacturing and food processing are not only big industrial sectors in Wisconsin — they are also top employers. Finding and onboarding those employees, however, can present a challenge.

That’s where AgriStaff USA in Kiel comes in.

“We like to describe ourselves as an outsourced human resources department for the agricultural sector, as well as for manufacturers, food processors and more,” says Frankie Rodriguez, who co-founded the business with his wife, Becky.

The couple met while working on a horse farm in Ohio, before moving back to Becky’s native Wisconsin to start the business.

“I knew from growing up here that dairy is a huge industry, and a lot of dairy farms utilized a Hispanic workforce,” Becky Rodriguez says. “Frankie is bilingual in English and Spanish, and we thought that might be a natural fit and help us fulfill a need.”

They turned out to be correct. AgriStaff launched in 2014 and has been growing ever since.

The company continues to make a name for itself, including landing on the list of 24 finalists for the 2018 Marketplace Governors Awards and winning the Rising Star Award from Progress Lakeshore in Manitowoc County.

AgriStaff began by offering staffing and recruiting services and has since expanded to provide employee training, human resource management and translation and relocation services.

The company’s relocation efforts are something the couple is especially proud of. They visit cities with high unemployment and a high cost of living and educate people about opportunities available in communities and companies that need talent.

“When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, we went and brought back 20 to 25 individuals who relocated within the community,” Frankie Rodriguez says. “It’s very gratifying.”