AGCO announces four finalists for Operator of the Year
click image to zoomPaul "Rocky" Lang Paul “Rocky” Lang, CHS, Inc., Royal City, Wash.—This 10-year application veteran was nominated by Ted Freeman, CHS branch manager, who said Lang has a “preferred applicator” status with customers. “He continuously stays at the top of his game and has that special quality to connect with his customers.”
Lang said he also was honored to even be nominated. “I don’t do this job to win awards,” he said. “It’s my way of helping to feed the world and the next best thing to actually being a farmer. I’m very proud and want to represent all the other applicators.”
click image to zoomPaul Folden Paul Folden, Garrison Farmers Union Elevator, Garrison, N.D.—Folden, with 27 years of application experience, sprayed and spread approximately 100,000 acres in the last year. “He goes above and beyond to make sure customers get the value they pay for,” said Chris Gratton, Garrison Farmers Union Elevator general manager, who submitted Folden’s nomination.
“I was surprised and don’t know if it has sunk in yet,” Folden admitted. “Just the recognition that your employer feels you’re worthy means a lot to me.”
Besides demonstrating their commitment in the field, all four finalists have an impressive record of community service. Petersen helps youth with livestock at his county fair and regularly participates in local blood drives. Slabaugh has been head deacon of his church for nearly 10 years, served as a Sunday school teacher and also visits nursing home patients to help lift their spirits. Around his busy application schedule, Lang freely gives his time to the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and to his church. Folden was a county deputy sheriff for nearly 20 years and served on the local volunteer fire department. He also is a co-founder of the North Dakota Junior Governor’s Cup fishing derby, which benefits the local community.
Now in its seventh year, Operator of the Year is open to U.S. and Canadian custom applicators who are nominated by their agricultural retailers. A panel of judges evaluates each nominee on commitment to the profession, performance in the field and community involvement. All nominees will receive a certificate from AGCO recognizing their nomination for this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.applylikeapro.com.