Hometown: Ogden, IA
Current employment/job title: Farmers Cooperative Company, Bondurant, IA/Field Sales Agronomist
Describe your position with FC Co-op: My job as a field sales agronomist is to provide agronomic advice and products to growers, while continually trying to expand my territory. Other duties of a field sales agronomist include budgeting, sales, and customer service.
What do you like about your job? There are a great deal of things I enjoy about working as a field sales agronomist with FC. Having the opportunity to work directly with customers in an interpersonal setting is definitely my favorite of these things. I’ve never been one to sit behind a desk all day. This position allows me to be out in the countryside and be constantly interacting with people.
There is also a great deal of accountability tied into being a field sales agronomist. This is a positive aspect in my eyes because it gives a person the freedom to work hard and be rewarded for their hard work. The position allows you to be directly responsible for your own success.
How did you choose to work at this job?
After I graduated from Iowa State in 2012, I was hired on at MaxYield Cooperative in northwest Iowa in a sales role. My wife and I made the decision to move back to central Iowa after a few years and I began looking for another job. I knew my passion lied in sales and I had heard that FC was hiring for a new sales position at their Bondurant location. I knew that FC had a very large footprint in the agricultural community in Iowa and that really drew me to the company. After a series of interviews I was presented with a job offer and it has been one of the best decisions of my career to have accepted that job offer.
How did the Ag Business major prepare you for your position?
The Ag Business major prepared me for my position in many ways. The broad variety of classes offered within the ag business major is a prime example of that. I wanted to focus on sales and I was able to take many sales and marketing courses during my time at Iowa State. If a person wanted to focus on the economic, merchandising, etc. sides of agriculture, there was plenty of opportunity to take classes geared towards those career paths as well.
The Ag Business major also offers a great deal of experiences outside of the classroom, as well. There are events such as the ag business golf outing, where students can sign up to golf with representatives from many different companies within the industry. Being able to interact with professionals in a setting outside of the classroom is a huge benefit when it comes to looking for internships and employment after graduation.
What advice would you give to students looking for work in a similar position?
Immerse yourself in your work. Constantly be striving to learn and absorb everything that you can. Having an open mind when you come in to the ag industry is a necessity. There are numerous resources from all areas of the ag industry that are at your disposal.
Just as important as the willingness to learn, is the willingness to break out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try new things, talk to new people, and become passionate about something. There will be great successes as well as great setbacks that are a part of this concept. Being able to use both types of experiences as building blocks for your career will help you get to where you want to be.