AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, named Jerry Born of Fairmount as the 13th Annual Operator of the Year.
Born works at Farmers Union Oil of the Southern Valley at Fairmount.
The award recognizes the value of the hard work professional applicators do caring for crops and customers across the country, as well as their involvement in their communities.
“I’m still shocked. When they told me I was a finalist. I thought no way this is real and then to be selected as the winner, I couldn’t believe it,” said Jerry Born. “Being an applicator allows me to be out in the country every day and see different terrain. It’s always something new.”
Born was presented with his new title and grand prize, a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Nov. 28 during the 2018 Agricultural Retailers Association Conference & Expo at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
Professional applicators spend long hours in the field every season, using technologically advanced application machinery to apply fertilizer and crop protection products on millions of farm acres, helping farmers achieve their best possible yield.
“The candidate field this year was exceptional again, and it was both difficult and rewarding to be involved in choosing our final four. After spending time with Jerry, we knew we had a great application professional to carry the title of Operator of the Year,” said David Webster, director of Application Marketing North America, AGCO. “We hope Jerry enjoys his new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and we look forward to working with him in the coming year to share insights and knowledge of an application professional.”
Candidates are nominated by their managers. In Born’s case, it was Brad VanOverbeke, of Farmers Union Oil of the Southern Valley, who wrote an impassioned nomination for his dedicated employee:
“Jerry is looked at as an expert when it comes to equipment, technology, and overall application practices. His phone is ringing constantly from coworkers, other co-ops, and growers in the region asking advice on operation, application, or troubleshooting machines … Jerry also makes sure that everyone operating the machines knows how to operate them safely and is not scared to stop or slow down a job until the situation is safe for himself, coworkers, and our customers.”
The Operator of the Year program is open to all ag retailers and custom applicators in the United States, regardless of the equipment brands used in their application fleets.* A panel of judges from AGCO evaluates nominees based on their performance both in the field and in the community, including criteria such as skill, dedication and customer service, as well as community involvement.