AGCO’s 2013 Operator of the Year Award finalists named
Honored for excelling at a job that demands long hours and deep commitment, four finalists have been named in the AGCO Application Equipment 2013 Operator of the Year program. Now in its eighth year, this program recognizes North America’s top professional applicators for their overall skill and dedication to their profession, as well as their contributions to their retail organizations and service to their local communities.
The four finalists were selected by an AGCO panel of judges and will attend the 2013 Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Conference & Expo Dec. 3-5 in Miami, Fla. There, the 2013 Operator of the Year winner will be announced and presented with a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. All nominees for Operator of the Year will receive a certificate of recognition.
“The Operator of the Year program is designed to recognize the vital contributions made by these dedicated professionals, on and off the field,” said Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for AGCO Application Equipment. “They not only spend long hours in the field every season, but they also are highly skilled at using the latest advances in precision application technology to help farmers maximize their crop yield.”
This year’s finalists, nominated by their managers, are:
Ben Hayes, Crop Production Services, Lanark, Ill. – Besides being regarded as an exceptional operator, Hayes also is in charge of daily operations, provides employee training and serves as safety coordinator at his location. “There are certain customers who buy inputs solely on the fact that they know Ben will be doing the custom application on their farms, which says a lot for him as an operator,” said Jon Meade, facility manager of Crop Production Services.
“It was pretty exciting and really leaves me speechless,” said Hayes, who has served the past five years with Crop Production Services, applying 30,000 acres per year. “It definitely means a lot, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be a finalist.”
Tony Randolph, Southern States Cooperative, Inc., Farmville, N.C. – Relationship-building and attention to even the smallest of details are attributes that set Randolph apart as he applies 25,000 acres each growing season. “Tony is wholly committed to his career,” said Terry McMahon, manager of corporate communications for Southern States Cooperative, based in Richmond, Va. “He takes the time to talk to each of his customers, finds out where the challenges are in each field and makes the extra effort to identify and take care of any trouble spots that may be in the field.”
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