Rising Stars

Rising Stars Class of 2015

ARA Rising Stars: Recognize and Develop Emerging Leaders

Rising_Stars_Logo_06-14-19_white_background.pngRecognize, reward and develop your organization's top performers and future leaders by nominating them for the Agricultural Retailers Association Rising Stars Class of 2019. Nominations are open from early July until early September yearly.

Why apply to or nominate someone for the Rising Stars program?
The purpose of the ARA Rising Stars program is to provide a vehicle for member organizations to reward young or emerging leaders in the ag industry by sponsoring their registration to the ARA Conference & Expo. Attending the ARA Conference & Expo provides Rising Stars with an exclusive invite to the Rising Stars Reception as well as the opportunity to learn from a solid lineup of speakers, educational sessions, networking events and a first-class Expo. The program also serves as a way to introduce ag professionals to ARA activities and setting them up for future involvement.

Who are Rising Stars?

Outstanding candidates include ag professionals who consistently perform at a high-level deserving of special recognition and who have not previously attended an ARA event. Past classes of Rising Stars have varied in both age and experience, but show sure signs of emerging as an industry leader.

What do Rising Stars receive?
Discounted registration ($350) to attend the ARA Conference & Expo.
- Invitation to the VIP Reception and the Rising Stars Dinner.
- Recognition in the ARA Conference program.
- Receive a shirt (courtesy of our sponsor), name tag ribbon, and a plaque.

Email andrea@aradc.org with any questions or comments.

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