Ag-Chem Names Kyle Jones ‘Operator Of The Year’

Kyle Jones Operator Of The Year

Kyle Jones, a 22-year custom applicator with Heartland Coop in Slater, IA, was named as the 2008 Ag-Chem Operator of the Year during this year’s Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) annual convention in Austin, TX.

Recognizing the importance of honoring the unsung contributors in a successful application business, the Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program (http://operators.agchem.com) was introduced in 2006. This program acknowledges that one of the most difficult things for an ag retail business is finding good operators, and seeks to recognize the top professionals in the field.

“Kyle is simply a great custom applicator,” says Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for the AGCO Application Equipment division. “Everyone has talked about how reliable Kyle is, and how his customers never have to worry about their fields. He works efficiently, and is willing to work the long hours that are required for today’s operators. When soliciting applications for Operator of the Year we’re looking for someone who truly loves their job and takes great pride in doing it exceptionally well – and Kyle certainly fits that mold.”

Jones covers an average of 44,000 acres each year between fertilizing and spraying fields. He started in custom application because he enjoys the work, being in the field, and working with the customers. He prides himself in treating each field as a unique piece of land, knowing each waterway, terrace, and wet spot, and that’s the type of attention to detail that led to his selection. “Whether it’s a square 100 acres, or a rough, terraced farm, he makes them his top priority,” says nominator Brad Essick, location manager at Heartland Coop.

Essick says he nominated Jones for the Operator of the Year because of his reliability. “I’m at work by 6 a.m., and Kyle is already here, waiting for the orders for the day,” he says. “He gets his work done in a timely manner, and when I say timely, I also mean that he gets the field work done efficiently and the way it is supposed to be done. This past year he sprayed 44,000 acres and I didn’t have one customer complaint about the job he did. To me that epitomizes a quality applicator.”

And, Jones is willing to go when called, even on his days off. Essick recalls one particular Saturday afternoon when he received a call from a customer who needed his beans sprayed a second time. Rain was in the forecast for the next week, and Jones was roofing his home that day. “I knew he was doing a big job at home,” Essick says. “I called him anyway. The only thing he said was: ‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes.’ That’s the kind of service he gives all customers at Heartland Coop.”

Jones says that he is a good applicator because he’s a perfectionist and can be a workaholic who isn’t afraid of logging a lot of hours. “To be a good applicator you have to be meticulous in the field. My goal in every field is to use the entire product without running out before the field is completed. That can be a very fine line,” he says.

Along with working at the coop, Jones farms and raises cattle. He’s an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family, including his two sons Curt, 23, and Brent, 21.

The other finalists for the 2008 Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program were: Donald Suflow, Cargill Inc., Maynard, MN.; Randy Archer, Bollmeyer Inc., Hinton, IA; and Michael Grube, Valley Agronomics LLC, Ashton, ID. All attended the 2008 Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Conference and Expo, Dec. 2-4 in Austin.

For additional information about the Operator of the Year program and the Ag-Chem line of application equipment visit www.agchem.com.

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories

A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
SprayersHooded Sprayers Help Minimize Spray Drift
May 15, 2014
Willmar Fabrica­tion's hooded sprayers have the potential to minimize pesticide drift, especially when combined with other drift reduction technologies, such as drift retardant adjuvants or low-drift nozzles. Read More
Nozzles18 Spray Nozzles That Reduce Drift, Optimize Coverage
May 7, 2014
This year’s line-up of tips feature the versatility to handle any spray job. View photos and product descriptions of the latest nozzles on the market in our slideshow. Read More
NozzlesChanging Crop Protection Landscape Demands Drift Advances
May 1, 2014
New weed control systems and growing public pressure mean technologies to minimize drift can’t come fast enough. Read More

Trending Articles

Green Valley Ag facility
Retail FacilitiesGreen Valley Ag Adopts A.J. Sackett’s Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology At New Facility
July 8, 2014
Sackett's Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology is making huge strides around the world. Green Valley Ag adopts the technology at its new facility to support its advancing agronomic needs. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipMonsanto Joins Panel Of Innovators To Advance Research …
July 30, 2014
Monsanto Co. and The Climate Corp., its division, recently joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Checkoff Produces Big ROI
July 30, 2014
Under the soy checkoff program, all U.S. soybean farmers contribute a small percentage of their gross soybean sales for research and marketing projects that maximize their profit potential. Read More
CropLife 100Learfield Sports, CHS Agree To Football-Centric, Colleg…
July 30, 2014
CHS Inc. will embark on a highly integrated collegiate sports sponsorship platform with 24 Division I universities in 19 states designed to reach the farmer-owned cooperative's rural owners and customers. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Forms New Organizational Structure For Its…
July 30, 2014
The new structure will provide more responsive internal support and will allow regional vice presidents and area managers to spend more time with customers, on talent development and on operational excellence across branches. Read More
Palmer pigweed in cotton
HerbicidesNew Training Modules On Herbicide Resistance Now Availa…
July 30, 2014
The Weed Science Society of America has announced the availability of three new education modules on herbicide resistance in weeds. Read More
HerbicidesWillowood To Market Glufosinate
July 28, 2014
Willowood USA recently announced that Federal EPA has approved its technical registration for glufosinate. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer, Weyerhaeuser Enter Technology License A…
July 28, 2014
The agreement brings together agricultural and forestry know-how to sustainably improve crop productivity for corn growers around the world. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Launches Global iPad App
July 28, 2014
The free AGCO Global iPad App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and features the full family of RoGator self-propelled sprayers and TerraGator high-floatation spreaders. Read More
Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environme…
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More