AGCO Corporation announced that three finalists have been chosen for the 14th annual Operator of the Year Award, which recognizes the best professional applicators from across the country.
“They have a tough job and immense responsibility in proper placement and careful stewardship of products to help producers optimize crop production,” says David Webster, director of Application Marketing North America, AGCO. “In the last few years the industry and professional applicators have seen huge advancements in crop input application technology as well as the products being applied. It’s evident from the nominations that applicators have embraced these changes and are doing a great job using new equipment and technologies as well as new crop protection products.”
Eighty nominations were submitted by ag retailers across the country. Each submission was evaluated based on these criteria:
- Service, quality and consistency over time in application
- Organizational and customer impact — teamwork, mentoring, training, and leadership
- Service to the local community.
Three finalists were chosen by a panel of judges at AGCO.
2019 Applicator of the Year Finalists
Mike Anderson, Simplot Grower Solutions, Caldwell, Idaho — For 42 years, Mike Anderson has been the epitome of precision. He applies on 30,000 acres, and not once in all those years has he been liable for a claim of poor fertilizer application or damages. His record speaks for itself, and customers are willing to wait to have Anderson manage their applications.
“Customers ask for Mike by name and are so committed to having him specifically do their work that they will wait however long it takes for him to get to there,” says Andy Serpa of Simplot Grower Solutions. “Customers have told me they do not want anyone else on their farms because Mike does a consistently great job every time.”
Not only is Anderson a meticulous applicator, he has mentored and trained many new applicators on how to operate rigs. Anderson also designed and maintains a website where applicators can share knowledge and experience.
Anderson is active in his church, is president of the local youth baseball league, is a member of the Idaho Sporting Clay team, and enjoys riding motorcycles.
Mose Middleton, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Rochester, Indiana — Mose Middleton is known as a perfectionist, and for 28 years, his customers have benefited. He applies to 33,000 acres per year and goes above and beyond, making sure customers get the best application.
“We have people call and request Mose,” states Curt Klein of Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We have gained new business based on his reputation as an applicator. He is a positive leader and has trained several of our beginning applicators.”
A sports enthusiast, Middleton has coached many local school and Little League teams. He also helps the State Hospital, playing sports with the patients. His willingness to volunteer and his passion for life has made Middleton well-known in the community.
Chad Rogers, Coggins Farm Supply, Lake Park, Georgia — Chad Rogers makes sure his customers are happy. Rogers has been an applicator for 11 years and currently applies to 52,000 acres per year. His willingness to put the farmers’ needs first keeps Rogers in high demand. Rogers is routinely requested by customers and they are willing to wait for him.
“Chad is our lead operator and the one we depend on to help train the new operators,” says Gerald Coggins, Coggins Farm Supply. “He takes time to answer their questions and to show them the locations of fields that he has memorized. He also assists in keeping the machines in top-notch shape.”
When not in the field, Rogers spends time on his small cattle farm and with his children. He volunteers with the local 4-H and FFA, helping children with their animal projects and working with them at shows.
Finalists to be Honored at Annual Meeting
These professional operators will be AGCO’s guests at the 2019 Agricultural Retailers Association Conference & Expo, Dec. 3 through Dec. 5, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the 14th Annual Operator of the Year winner will be announced and presented with the grand prize of a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.