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 AGI Yargus, 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.

Rising Stars Class of 2017

Class of 2018

Andrew Baertlein, J.R. Simplot Company
Angela  Blanks, Agrian
Ben Carlisle, GreenPoint Ag
Martin  Clevenger, J.R. Simplot Company
Michael Cowan, J.R. Simplot Company
Sarah Daily, FMC Corporation
Brandi   Fink, River Valley Cooperative
Nathan Foster, Wilbur-Ellis
David Gleason, J.R. Simplot Company
Ryan Harbison, Tri-County Chemical
Lucas Irwin, Carolina Eastern Vail
Jake Juarez, Farmobile
Andrew Kappes, Agtegra Cooperative
Kendra Keitzer, River Valley Cooperative
Paul Keppy, International Raw Materials LTD
Anthony Lorentz, J.R. Simplot Company
Marissa Mann, Compass Minerals - Plant Nutrition
Brent Neys, Agtegra Cooperative
Colby Olmstead, MFA Incorporated
Luke Schnitker, Premier Companies
Nick Schroth, Wilbur-Ellis
Lisa Stiles, FMC Corporation
Jackson Tisher, Agtegra Cooperative
Bill Truesdell, J.R. Simplot Company
Katherine Vail, Carolina Eastern Vail

Class of 2017

Charles Armstrong, Agri-AFC, LLC
Holden Asmus, Asmus Farm Supply
Robert Avalos, Crop Production Services 
Todd Christianson, Simplot Grower Solutions
Ross Currence, S.D. Wheat Growers
Eric Dabney, MFA Inc
Paul Dawson, Agri-AFC, LLC
Lee Dickerson, Agri-AFC, LLC
Rob Dowdy, Agri-AFC, LLC
Gary Esselink, Raven Industries
Julia Fletcher, Crop Production Services
Ryan Hahn, Eldon C. Stutsman Inc.
John Hoyle, Wilbur-Ellis
Heath Hughes, Agri-AFC, LLC
Josh Hunter, FCI
Shannon Jones, Simplot Grower Solutions
Jennifer Kilber, S.D. Wheat Growers
Zach Limbaugh, Agri-AFC, LLC
Kevin Marshall, Simplot Grower Solutions
Katie McWhirter, Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc.
Samantha Murray, CDMS, Inc.
Becca Nichols, Simplot Grower Solutions
Joel Nieuwbeerta, Marcus Construction
Kevin Partlow, CRF Tech
Nathaniel Quinn, DowDuPont
Becky Randall, Simplot Grower Solutions
Kathryn Ruddy, FMC
Sally Sanders, Crop Production Services
Eric Sievers, International Raw Materials
Trae Stewart, Agri-AFC, LLC
Cash Veo, Wilbur Ellis

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

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.

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

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