ARA Awards Honors

Matt Missling, operator of the year

Several awards were handed out at the recent Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Annual Conference & Expo held in Las Vegas.

After hundreds of nominations and hours of judging time, one individual rose to the top of the ranks and was honored as Operator of the Year. Matt Missling, an applicator who works at Crystal Valley Co-op in Madelia, MN, was all smiles as he accepted his award.

Missling was awarded a plaque and was given the choice of taking home a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle or the cash equivalent of the purchase price. The award, in its second year, is sponsored by AGCO Corp.

Brandt Contributions Feted

Glen Brandt, founder of Brandt Con­solidated Inc. in Springfield, IL, was this year’s recipient of the ARA Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is considered the highest honor given for a career in the agriculture retail industry.

“It is my honor to recognize the great contributions to the industry by Glen Brandt,” said Jack Eberspacher, ARA president and CEO. “Glen started his family business in 1953 and has led it into the 21st century to become a global enterprise, run by his son Rick, whose brands are sold coast-to-coast and on six continents. He has dedicated his life’s work to serving our nation’s growers by pursuing state-of-the-art products, application methods, and technologies. Glen is without a doubt one of the very best, and a leader among leaders.”

Brandt founded Brandt Consolidated Inc. in 1953 to help farmers adopt new, profitable technology for their operations. Brandt Consolidated believes service is the most important role it plays with customers, and its people are the key to outstanding customer service.

The 2007 ARA Retailer of the Year Award was given to Landmark Services Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, managed by Jim Shelton. This award is sponsored by ARA and Monsanto, and is a recognized symbol of quality and prestige — the emblem of the very best in the industry.

“Landmark has a reputation for consistently outperforming its competitors while exceeding customers’ expectations, and viewed as the premier agricultural dealership in the Midwest,” says Bob Willard, ARA board chairman and president of Willard Agri-Service.

Landmark Services Cooperative’s ancestor company, Farmers Union Co-op, opened in 1933 so growers in Dane County could pool their money to get discounted rates on fuel. The company continues to form cooperative relationships today in order to continue to reap the discount benefits that result from buying in bulk quantities to save their customers money. Landmark is a cooperative business dedicated to providing rural and urban customers with the highest quality products and services, and strives to enhance producer profitability, to exceed customer expectations and to keep its cooperative fiscally strong.

Vroom Earns Nomination

CropLife America president and CEO Jay Vroom has been nominated to serve on the new ag advisory committee being formed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee.

“Jay Vroom is eminently qualified to contribute to the function and purpose of this Committee both from the perspective of his leadership of the plant science industry, and also his broader agriculture experience,” says CropLife America Board of Directors Chairman Eric Win­temute. 

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