Rising Stars

Rising Stars Class of 2015

Recognize and Develop Emerging Leaders

ARA Rising StarsHonor and develop your organization's top performers and future leaders by nominating them for the Agricultural Retailers Association Rising Stars Class of 2017.

The Rising Stars program, sponsored by Yargus Manufacturing, offers member organizations an opportunity to recognize, reward and develop high achievers and emerging leaders within the agricultural retail field. The purpose of the program is to provide a vehicle for member organizations to introduce a young or emerging leader to the Agricultural Retailers Association, it's activities and programs including the ARA Conference and Expo.

Outstanding candidates include individuals who have not previously attended an ARA event and perform at a high-level deserving of special recognition.

The conference provides participants an opportunity to engage with ARA's through a solid lineup of keynote speakers, educational sessions, exclusive networking events and a first-class trade show. Future leaders gain a better understanding of regulatory forces and legislative pressures shaping how ARA acts regarding key issues facing ag retailers.

Nominate a Candidate for Rising Stars

Nominate candidates by completing a four-question online application by September 15, 2017.

  • The nominating organization and the Rising Star candidate will be notified by September 22 regarding their acceptance into the program.
  • You may nominate more than one individual from the same company.
  • Nominees must be employed by an ARA member company in good standing.

Please note: Nominating company is responsible for conference registration, hotel, and transportation costs. 

Exclusive Conference Events

  • Once accepted, members of the Rising Stars Class of 2017 are invited to a special reception on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 28, and recognition dinner Tuesday night. They will be joined by ARA staff and board members.
  • Rising Stars will be recognized in the ARA conference program, receive a Rising Star shirt, badge ribbon and plaque.
Please contact David McKnight, Director of Member Services, for additional information.

Rising Stars Class of 2016

  • Brody Benton, DuPont Crop Protection
  • Nate Bowman, Central Valley Ag
  • Sharon Cunningham, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.
  • Derek Ellis, Crop Production Services
  • Matthew Entwistle, Carolina Eastern-Vail
  • Charlie Hamilton., Harvey Lyman Company (The Lyman Group, Inc)
  • Ben Hunt, Simplot Grower Solutions
  • Cody Johnson, Wilbur-Ellis Agriculture
  • Lance Koester, Wilbur-Ellis
  • Tyler Mason, MFA Incorporated
  • Nic McCarthy, Central Valley Ag
  • Marie Ocafrain, Crop Production Services, Inc.
  • Brian Ostrom, Simplot Grower Solutions
  • Andy Platte, Wilbur-Ellis
  • Terry Probst, The Equity
  • Kelsey Riccio, Crop Production Services
  • Westin Rink, Premier Ag
  • Curtis Searle, Simplot Grower Solutions
  • Andrea Tarble, Yargus Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Heidi Vasseur, Crop Production Services

Rising Stars Class of 2015

  • Joe Bridges, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Ryan Brooks, MFA Inc.
  • Wes Carmony, Yargus Manufacturing
  • Tom Curtiss, International Raw Materials Ltd.
  • Mike Griffel, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Josh Hilbrands, South Dakota Wheat Growers
  • Kelly Kliner, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Nathan Locken, South Dakota Wheat Growers
  • John McCool, DuPont Crop Protection
  • Ashlee Rankin, Precision Laboratories, LLC
  • Seth Shaw, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Kathy Westcott, Crop Production Services, Inc.

Rising Stars Class of 2014

  • Bryan Bayer, Barnards Soil Service LLC
  • Chris Beasley, Yargus Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Kevin Daniel, MFA, Inc.
  • Chris Gallo, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Kyle C. Johnson, International Raw Materials Ltd.
  • Djamel Khali, South Dakota Wheat Growers
  • Scott Morehead, Agrian Inc.
  • Rodney Steel, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Brandon Vining, J.R. Simplot Company
  • Jason Willard, J.R. Simplot Company

Rising Stars Class of 2013

  • Steve Fairchild, editor, Today’s Farmer
  • Brock Frasch, seed division manager, Ceres Solutions
  • Dave Hammond, manger of IT and company-wide technology, AgVentures, LLC
  • Justin Hitchmough, electrical and information systems, Yargus Manufacturing Inc.
  • Patrick Hoehn, crop advisor, Simplot Grower Solutions
  • Clint Matthews, seed coordinator, South Dakota Wheat Growers
  • Ryan Van Eps, crop advisor, Simplot Grower Solutions
  • Gene Vernon, area manager, Simplot Grower Solutions