Ag-Chem Operator Of Year Finalists Chosen

Four custom applicators are vying to win a new Harley Davidson at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) annual convention, where this year’s Ag-Chem Operator of the Year will be announced.

 

Professional applicators provide an important piece of the puzzle in the crop production cycle. Whether spreading fertilizer to replace nutrients or spraying to protect crops from weeds, insects, and fungus, growers rely on applicators to maintain their fields and help make them money from season to season.

Recognizing the importance of honoring the unsung contributors in a successful application business, the Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program 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.

The four finalists for the 2008 Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program have been chosen: Donald Suflow, Cargill Inc., Maynard, MN; Kyle Jones, Heartland Coop, Slater, IA; Randy Archer, Bollmeyer Inc., Hinton, IA; and Michael Grube, Valley Agronomics LLC, Ashton, ID. All will attend the 2008 ARA Conference and Expo on Dec. 2-4 in Austin, TX, where the grand prize winner will drive away on a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Visit Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program to view videos of the four finalists.

Donald Suflow, Cargill Inc.
A 25-year veteran of custom application, Donald Suflow is the go-to guy at Cargill’s Gluek and Maynard, MN, locations. He believes a good custom applicator is one who treats every field as he would his own.

Suflow was nominated by Doug Hanen, production supervisor, and Jeff Morris, FSC Operations Lead at the Maynard and Gluek Cargill locations. Morris says that Suflow’s work ethic, job performance in the field, and the fact that he keeps the environment in mind at all times are qualities that make him a good candidate for Operator of the Year. “Our customers say that Don is the best applicator they’ve had, and they know that the job will be done to their satisfaction every time,” he says.

Kyle Jones, Heartland Coop
Each field is different, and a good custom applicator will know each waterway, terrace, and wet spot in all the fields he applies. Kyle Jones, who has been spraying for Heartland Coop in Slater, IA, for almost 22 years, handles each field as a unique piece of land. “Whether it’s a square 100 acres, or a rough, terraced farm, he makes that field 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. “Kyle 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 should be done,” he adds. “This past year he sprayed 44,000 acres and I didn’t have one customer complaint. To me that epitomizes a quality applicator.”

Randy Archer, Bollmeyer Inc.
His pursuit of perfection, exceptional customer service, and willingness to help are the qualities that put Randy Archer into the elite group of finalists for Ag-Chem Operator of the Year.

Archer began at Bollmeyer Inc., a small business of four employees, in Hinton, IA, 15 years ago. Crystal Jauer, office manager, says, “It’s Randy’s experience and customer service that set us apart from the competition. He’s energetic and people love to be around him.”

Archer sprays 25,000 acres per year of custom application as if each acre were his own. “It’s important to do the job right,” Archer says. “I try not to destroy any more crop than necessary to get the job done.”

Michael Grube, Valley Agronomics LLC
Understanding the individual needs of each producer allows top custom applicators to stand out from the crowd. And, sometimes the best way to get this type of understanding is to walk a mile in their shoes. That’s how Michael Grube, a former farmer and lifelong resident of Ashton, ID, helps the team at Valley Agronomics LLC stay ahead of the competition.

“Michael is more than just an operator. Being a farmer once himself, he is very conscientious of the concerns growers have and does all he can to meet those needs,” says Bryan Miller, who nominated Grube. “He is always accurate and focused on doing a great job for each farmer.”

Grube’s mechanical mind, or farmer mentality as some would say, has been quite useful at Valley Agronomics. When issues arise, Grube can usually fix them himself and keep on moving with the job at hand.

Visit www.agchem.com for more information about the Operator of the Year program and the Ag-Chem line of equipment.

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories
EquipmentMeeting Changing Liquid Storage Needs
October 10, 2014
Tank and containment choices are expanding with shifts in farming practices and the economy. Read More
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Latest News
RR2X soybeans surround untreated check (center)
Industry NewsArysta Hires New Midwest Territory Sales Manager
March 5, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently named Jonathan “Jon” Tone as the Territory Sales Manager in the Midwest sales region. Read More
Fertilizer360 Yield Center: Try These 5 Steps To Fine Tune Nitrog…
March 5, 2015
Yield Center 360 advises that an effective nitrogen management plan needs to focus on how much N a particular field and corn crop needs, as well as how to properly manage N throughout the growing season — with adjustments along the way. Read More
Precision AgFarmobile Coming Online In 2015
March 5, 2015
A new startup is looking to make collecting and selling ag data a more rewarding proposition for growers. Read More
Crop InputsCommodity Classic 2015 Sets Attendance High Mark
March 4, 2015
With nearly 8,000 total attendees, the 2015 Commodity Classic convention and trade show, which took place last week in Phoenix, AZ, shattered previous records for the landmark event, Read More
Young corn plants
FertilizerNew Nitrogen Stabilizer From Simplot Protects Fertilize…
March 4, 2015
By using OmniPierce Technology, Eclipse-N from Simplot Grower Solutions coats and protects more nitrogen, increasing nitrogen efficiency and decreasing loss due to volatilization. Read More
Industry NewsOhio Corn And Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean A…
March 4, 2015
The associations truly appreciate the comprehensive approach and diligent work that the Ohio House of Representatives has dedicated to addressing water quality and House Bill 61. Read More
Mahindra Implement
Industry NewsMahindra USA Aligns With Paladin Attachment For Impleme…
March 4, 2015
Mahindra USA will begin utilizing Paladin Attachments as its implement supplier in April 2015. Read More
Crop InputsValent BioSciences Acquires Mycorrhizal Applications
March 4, 2015
The acquisition adds another strategic platform to VBC’s rapidly expanding global biorational business, providing additional tools for the Biorational Window platform being developed with its parent, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation - Plant Nutrient on the Farm Station
Industry NewsNutrients For Life Foundation Launches New Station Prog…
March 4, 2015
This ready-to-implement station provides an interactive opportunity for farms to showcase crop nutrients’ important role in growing healthy crops. Read More
Adjuvants loading
AdjuvantsAdjuvants Continue Upward Trend
March 4, 2015
A dizzying array of developments in crop protection technologies promise to make specialty adjuvants a crucial piece of the puzzle going forward. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Me…
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
10 Tips for Spring Planter Preparation
Equipment10 Tips For Spring Planter Preparation
March 3, 2015
Kinze Manufacturing offers advice on how to ensure your planter is ready before you hit the field. Read More
Industry NewsOABA 2015 LAUNCH Program Recognizes 20 New Graduates
March 3, 2015
Twenty Ohio agribusiness leaders are being recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH program. Read More
EquipmentNew AGCO Website Helps Customers Shop For Certified Pre…
March 3, 2015
RoGator sprayers are among the wide range of CPO equipment available through AGCO's site. Read More
Enlist spray Demo
HerbicidesGuiding New Herbicide Systems’ Launches
March 3, 2015
Under careful watch, the new 2,4-D- and dicamba-tolerant crops hit more acres this season. Read More
Eric SfiligojCommodity Classic 2015: Playing The Waiting Game
March 2, 2015
There was plenty of future-talk at this year’s event as companies (and growers) are largely in a holding pattern of sorts. Read More
Industry NewsHighway Equipment Appoints New Director Of Business Dev…
March 2, 2015
Cory Venable, who joined Highway Equipment Company (HECO) in 2013 as OEM Account Manager, has been promoted to Director of Business Development. Read More
Prairieland FS employees
Eric SfiligojWorkforce Worries
March 2, 2015
Finding good employees almost always ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 problem for ag retailers in our annual CropLife 100 survey. Read More