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Berry new CHS sales agronomist

Growing economy ... Ryon Berry, sales agronomist, is filling a need for CHS Midwest Cooperatives in Philip that has been created by growing numbers of customers and growing services and sales.

Having started December 27, Ryon Berry is deep into classes, sales and visiting the farms and ranches of Cenex Harvest States Midwest Cooperative customers. Berry is Midwest's new sales agronomist.

"We've gone from spring 1999 working with 20,000 acres to 60,000 plus acres this year," said Jim Kanable, agronomy manager for Midwest. "Our chemical and fertilizer sales now need one person in the office and one in the field. Ryon has more interest and experience on the seed side. We're going to grow seed sales with him here."

That interest and experience began in high school. "I credit it to the Philip High School ag program headed by Doug Hauk," said Berry. "We had green houses, where I got my interest in plant science."

Berry graduated from South Dakota State University, first with a bachelor degree in horticulture production, then later with a bachelor's in agronomy production and a minor in ag business. Between the degrees, he worked for the Hand family ranch near Hayes and as an intern for CHS out of Pierre and in Philip. "The Hands run a very progressive farm. Working with them boosted my interest in increasing grain production in the Haakon County area," said Berry.

"He'll be out in the country 90 percent of his time, essentially at the customer's table or farm gate, talking about the customer's needs," said Kanable. "His first few months will include a lot of paperwork and safety training, part of the corporate world. He's already making a lot of fertilizer contracts."

Berry said, "I like working with Jim, and at Midwest. I like the challenge of farming and the diversity of crops. I grew up here and know everyone is friendly. I enjoy challenging problems and helping producers overcome them."

Berry's responsibility will be helping customers make plans for crops, seed recommendations, soil samples and fertility recommendation, scouting fields for insect and weed and disease problems, and following up to make sure the recommendations and products worked for the customer.