The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) honored the service and dedication of the agriculture retailer industry’s best professionals at the 2011 annual conference and expo.

The Lyman/Tremont Group was selected as the 2011 Ag Retailer of the Year. Les Lyman, chairman, The Lyman/Tremont Group, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. The award is sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional magazine and honors a retailer that represents the best in the industry.

The Lyman/Tremont Group is two companies with the same top management team. Entrepreneurial managers are employed for each of the14 separate operations and facilities spread across northern California agricultural regions north, west and south of Sacramento. For the most part, as companies have been acquired into the Lyman/Tremont Group, they have kept their original business name and some degree of independence to serve the wide variety of growers.

ARA Bestows Industry HonorsOther industry awards announced at the conference included the Distinguished Service Award. This year, Doyle Pearl, ARA immediate past chairman, J B Pearl Sales and Service, presented the award to Dan Weber, vice president of agronomy with Ceres Solutions. The ARA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual member of the association who has gone above and beyond the traditional responsibility to support the ag retail industry and the association, making the industry better for all.

Weber is a past ARA chairman and board member. While serving on ARA’s board of directors, Weber was extremely involved in membership activities and personally recruited several companies to join ARA. He also helped ARA initiate the highly successful ARA Management Academy at Purdue University.

Weber’s enthusiasm to help address legislative and regulatory challenges facing agricultural retailers was evident when he testified at multiple congressional committee hearings on behalf of the industry in Washington, according to ARA. Weber and his coworkers at Ceres Solutions have also held educational tours for USDA and EPA officials to help them gain a better understanding of the agricultural retail industry and the latest developments in precision agriculture technology.

ARA Bestows Industry HonorsDoyle Pearl also presented the Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award to Al McQuinn, who is the former board chairman and chief executive officer of Ag-Chem Equipment Company, which was purchased by AGCO in 2001. McQuinn founded Ag-Chem Equipment Company in 1963 and grew the company into a world-class manufacturer and marketer of self-propelled equipment generating more than $300 million in sales with more than 1,700 employees. Ag-Chem’s SOILTEQ division is known as the pioneer in the development of site-specific agronomy technology products and services.

This award is presented annually to an individual whose talents and accomplishments have fundamentally advanced the agricultural retail industry and have been acknowledged by their industry colleagues for accomplishments over the course of their career.