Getting Involved

Mott Agronomy Team

There are two important crops in the Western North Dakota area around the tiny community of Mott — one is wheat and the other is the Ringed Neck Pheasant. Leasing hunting ground is big business in North Dakota and regional Environmental Respect winner Mott Grain & Agronomy assists the hunting industry as well as the agricultural industry through its varied in-field services.

“Let us earn your business” is the company motto and President Todd Kautzman’s creativity goes a long way towards achieving this. Todd hired D.J. Mosbrucker to tender his application rigs with product and water and soon discovered the new employee was spending a lot of time just waiting for the spray rig to empty. Meanwhile, Mike Hertz, the applicator, was staying up late printing application maps for the files and customers.

“Then,” says Kautzman, “I had an idea. We purchased a large semi tractor and trailer to use as a spray tender. We created a mini-computer lab in the cab and now while Mike is spraying D.J. is printing maps of the days works.” The application crew also creates their own lunches with the help the microwave oven installed along side the computer.

Driving To Success

Kautzman began his career as a truck driver and applicator before investing in the elevator in town. A few years later, he sold the grain segment of his business and built a new ag service center just north of Mott. The system he designed for the new business includes fertilizer storage that can be moved as the business grows or needs change. “Time is so critical to our customers that we designed three separate loadout locations to help speed up our operations,” he says. The seed and chemical storage facility is secured, heated, and all under roof for protection during the long winters.

Shortly after completing the main facility, Kautzman did a survey of traffic heading into his competitors to pick up anhydrous ammonia tanks. He discovered that about 80% of the local farmers passed a crossroads just east of town. Kautzman chose that intersection as the location for his new ammonia facility and hired Brian Manolovits to manage it. “Farmers caught on to this very fast,” says Kautzman. “We created a very successful addition to our business.”

Kautzman relies on Derek Mayer, sales manager, to keep the sales and business running smoothly while his uncle Ben Kautzman serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Kautzman’s creative urges didn’t stop with the traveling computer lab. He has developed a series of highway billboards that promote agriculture. These billboards are visible along a nearby interstate. “I received some local financial support for this project,” he says, “and each year we draw names of my customers out of a hat. The winners get their photos displayed on the billboards.” The billboards promote the American farmer with only a small line listing Mott Grain & Agronomy as the presenter.

Mott Grain & Agronomy’s “Tip of the Week” appears in local newspapers. “These little newspaper articles,” says Kautzman, “are designed to inform everyone about what is new or changing in the ag world, as well as review any safety issues we may be having.”

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