What does it take to work for Peterson Farms Seed? A passion for farming is right up there. And, with our mission to help farmers grow a better crop, so is agronomic education.
But, above all, we look for people who love helping others and will go the extra mile to make certain our customers succeed.
Carl Peterson is proud to say, “I have lived in the same house my entire life and I’ve never had a job.” Which means, Carl grew up and still lives on the home place his grandfather purchased in 1918. And that, as an entrepreneur and small business owner, he has never had to go through an employment interview. Carl thrives on identifying and solving problems. His professional credentials include a BS in Ag Production from Iowa State; MS in Ag Econ from Purdue; MBA from Indiana University; and is CCA accredited. Carl reads voraciously and most weekends he can be found playing piano and singing on his church worship team. And as a master of trivia, he always seems to have a quirky come-back.
Julie Peterson’s responsibilities center on marketing and human resource management. But she is truly the glue that holds Peterson Farms Seed together as she is charged with “catching the things that can fall through the cracks” as a company grows. A proud native of Iowa, she feels blessed to be part of the vibrant North Dakota ag industry. As a staunch believer in the power of volunteerism, she actively participates in both youth development and ag advocacy projects.
Mike Larson is devoted to doing his small part in feeding the world, with help from “great growers, awesome dealers and the best sales team.” He’s a seed sales manager and CCA by day. He’s a ballroom dancer and gardener by night. He’s served on the North Dakota Corn Growers Board, the North Dakota Ag Association and the Big Iron Committee. What is there that Mike can’t do? We have yet to find anything.
As the agronomy manager, Adam Spelhaug works diligently to determine the best genetics for our region, bringing growers what they need in their fields. Adam has been making his mark on Peterson Farms Seed since 2005. When he’s not discovering genetic breakthroughs, Adam can be found spending time with his family, golfing or bowhunting. He’s a North Dakota State University alumnus, and he’s proud of it. Don’t take any UND green into his office.
If you say “jump”, Nolan Berg won’t just ask “how high”… he’ll show you. Nolan pole vaulted for NDSU’s track team (his personal best is 16’ 2”), and his drive and determination carry over into his ever-evolving position as Precision Systems Agronomist. With a master’s degree in Plant Sciences and tenure as track team captain, Nolan is a great fit to lead our precision ag activities, work with zone creation and UAV imagery, and assist with the seed increase program for new genetics. In his downtime, Nolan enjoys hunting, mountain biking, running, and photography.
Ben Longlet, an Arthur, ND native, graduated from Lake Region college in 2017 with a Precision Agriculture degree before beginning his career in precision ag and technology. After he interned with us for the summers of 2016 and 2017, Ben continued his precision ag specialty by being trained in the set-up, support, and ins-and-outs of Climate FieldView. We are excited to have him on our team, again, and believe he is a great asset to farmers in our region!
From the BS in Tropical Plants and Soil Science degree (that he earned from the University of Hawaii) to managing the northwest South Dakota territory for Peterson Farms Seed, Nick Castro has covered a lot of ground in his successful agricultural career path. With an impressive list of experiences with Syngenta Seeds and CHS Northern Plains Co-op, Nick was hooked on corn from the very start and has found a passion for helping growers improve their ROI on the farm. From beach bum to Aberdeen resident, Nick spends his free time camping, fishing, and enjoying being outside with his wife and two children.
After being surrounded by agriculture while growing up in Nebraska and spending over 3 years working in the ag chemical industry, Luke Gronewoller decided he wanted to be a part of feeding the world – which is lucky for us, as that led him to Peterson Farms Seed! A lifelong Cubs fan, Luke graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a degree in Industrial Distribution before he moved to Sioux Falls, where he currently resides. When he’s not making sure his customers are getting exactly what they’re looking for, you can find Luke playing softball, golfing, chasing his two Weimaraners around the yard, and spending time with his wife and their twins.
As an experienced retail agronomist, with the last eight years spent as a sales agronomist, Craig LaVoi brings his passion for finding sound agronomic solutions to southwest Minnesota. From a young age, Craig learned the value of a hard day’s work on his family’s dairy farm. He applies that work ethic to everything he does, from working to stay ahead of the ever-evolving problems the ag industry is faced with, to earning his CCA designation. When he’s not thinking about agriculture, Craig spends his time with his wife and son, fishing, and hunting. Don’t forget to ask him about his annual sturgeon fishing trip on the Rainy River!
Rob Wentz is passionate about selling and developing new markets. After 15 years in pharmaceutical and medical device sales, he needed a change of atmosphere. We are glad he chose ag. But Rob is no stranger to agriculture – he comes from a long line of farmers and even worked with our own Rocky Schumacher at AGSCO. When Rob is not helping dealers build and serve a loyal base of growers, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and putzing around in his shop.
Mike Sorby claims he has ‘farming in his blood’. Having grown up on a farm south of Fargo, agriculture has always been his life. He completed his degree in agribusiness, and then followed it up with a career working directly with farmers, first with ag chemicals and now with seed. Mike says the best part of his job is “helping growers find the best hybrid suited to their particular fields.” Mike’s hobbies include “working, golf and the lake,” in that order! And by the way, he answers to the name “Big Sexy.”
Starting at a young age and through her experience working with Butler Machinery Company, Danni Sanders has always surrounded herself with agriculture and the farming community. Danni’s competitive spirit brought her success during her NDSU basketball career and also as an account manager covering east central ND and west central MN. When she and her husband (a former NDSU football player) aren’t chasing their three kids around, Danni enjoys spending time with her family and friends, golfing, playing basketball and volleyball, and answering the inevitable question “How tall ARE you?!”
Some of you may recognize Kayla Voeller from her three years spent as a grower service rep with Peterson Farms Seed. Anyone who has met Kayla learns quickly how welcoming, passionate, and friendly she is to everyone she comes across. She knows that although it won’t be easy to replace Rocky Schumacher, she is up for the challenge and is ready to head north with her ‘get it done attitude’ to work closely with our awesome dealers. When Kayla is not working with dealers, you will find her with her husband and daughter headed to the lake, helping at the farm, or teaching group fitness classes.
Jeff Olson has a wealth of ag experience to share with farmers in central North Dakota. He has lived in Jamestown for most of his adult life and knows that farming area extensively, as he has spent his entire career focused there. Jeff’s ag credentials include a BS degree from NDSU in Ag Economics as well as his CCA accreditation. A native of Maddock, Jeff loves motorcycle riding as well as hunting and camping. You can frequently see Jeff “clowning around” as a Shrine clown, raising funds for their children’s hospitals.
An agronomy problem-solver extraordinaire and CCA, Rich Larson spends his days as a sales agronomist in southeastern North Dakota. He is a North Dakota State University alumnus and has over 30 years of experience in the seed industry. Rich is committed to providing answers to dealers and growers. So much so, he might even look at a field planted to a competitor’s seed to give a grower answers. During his downtime, Rich can be found cheering on his Bison, relaxing at the lake house, or spending time with family and friends.
Michael Shutt has a lifelong love for agriculture–he spent his childhood riding in a tractor, planting potatoes with his dad, growing a two-acre garden with his grandfather, and picking weeds in that garden every day. Armed with a Crop and Weed Science degree from NDSU, he also has experience in crop advising, agronomy, and ag retail. This experience, along with his enthusiasm for working with customers, makes Michael a great agronomic resource for growers in the central Cass County. In his free time, Michael loves waking up at 4 a.m. to go waterfowl hunting.
With a deep-rooted passion for agriculture, Kaelin Kyllo strives to help growers in the Hunter area reach their goals. He does this by placing the right hybrids and varieties on the right soil types, a knack he’s developed from his CCA experiences. When he isn’t busy caring for growers, Kaelin is out on the golf course, the baseball field or the seat of a snowmobile.
As the youngest of five, James learned the importance of hard work (and being part of a team) from the start! His ag background started early, with him driving tractor at twelve-years-old on his family’s small grain and cattle farm near Belfield, ND. From there, James ventured to NDSU to earn his Ag Econ degree before starting his career in Sales Agronomy. When he’s not helping Hunter-area growers find the best seed for their fields, James can be found outside hunting pheasants with his dog, playing softball, golfing, or spending time with his wife and daughter.
Ben Askegaard has a passion for providing Kindred area growers the hybrids and varieties they need. He’s good at it too; thanks to his experience as a CCA and his crop and weed science degree from North Dakota State University. In the corn field and on the softball field, Ben is a competitor. During the summer, he is a pitcher for a fastpitch softball team in the Fargo-Moorhead area. And when he’s not playing softball, Ben is on the lake.
Kyle Kremer thrives on helping growers find a higher output solution for their farms. His competitive nature, combined with his business management and crop and weed science degrees, is essential to his role as a sales agronomist. When he’s not helping growers succeed, Kyle is hunting, fishing, and trapping throughout the Midwest and western U.S.
Kristi Schultz’s farm responsibilities range from field operations (she claims the title of “best rock roller” in her family!) to working cattle – and that’s in addition to her role at Peterson Farms Seed. As our customer service lead, Kristi keeps us focused on exceptional service to farmers. We appreciate her positive attitude and savvy organizational skills. When she’s not at the office or helping on the farm, Kristi spends her time volunteering, “building diving” (collecting antiques), and trying to complete her Pinterest projects.
With over 15 years of customer service experience under her belt, being a Peterson Farms Seed Grower Service Rep is right up Kelli Bowen’s alley. From growing up on a livestock farm in Barnes County, to being a participant in the NDSU Rural Leadership program, Kelli has surrounded herself with agriculture her whole life. When she’s not advocating for ag by taking care of our growers and their needs, Kelli enjoys photography, riding her Harley Davidson, karaoke, and blogging. She lives in rural Wheatland with her husband and two girls.