Certified AgriEdge Partners Go Above and Beyond

When it comes to AgriEdge customers, Midstate Agronomy leaves no farmer behind.

Although they might not be comfortable with the term “fan club,” Chad Malone and Garrett Osvog of Midstate Agronomy do have a loyal following. As trusted retailers in De Smet, South Dakota, they support their customers’ use of the Syngenta AgriEdge® whole-farm management program at a level that many would describe as the height of customer service.

AgriEdge is a suite of tools and technology that helps growers save time and money while helping drive better yields and increasing profit potential. Malone, manager at Midstate, is a crusader for the importance of growers knowing their numbers.

“Farming is a business, and you have to treat it like a business,” he says. “That’s what we’re helping growers do with AgriEdge — turn it more into a business, not just, ‘I farm; I work hard; and at the end, I hope I make some money.’”

Tailor-Made Technology

Powered by the proprietary software Land.db®, AgriEdge captures what is and isn’t working on a grower’s farm. Midstate was one of the first retailers to offer AgriEdge and truly believes in its value. The experts there go to great lengths to make sure their customers are not only using it, but are also keeping up with their data entry, regardless of their technological skill level.

Malone says they typically have three types of users: those who are tech-savvy and do all the work themselves, those who are comfortable with technology but occasionally need help, and those who see the value but don’t have the time or computer skills to run the program themselves. Midstate doesn’t want the third type to fall through the cracks.

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Farming is a business, and you have to treat it like a business. That’s what we’re helping growers do with AgriEdge — turn it more into a business, not just, ‘I farm; I work hard; and at the end, I hope I make some money.’

Chad Malone Manager at Midstate Agronomy, De Smet, South Dakota

“My counterpart, Garrett Osvog, will go out to farms, sit at the kitchen table with growers and assist them with data entry, and then out come the PDFs and the reports,” Malone says. “We don’t have to do that for everybody, but for the handful that we do, it’s worth their weight in gold.”

Chad Borchard, Syngenta AgriEdge specialist for South Dakota, partners with Midstate on a local level to support its AgriEdge success, providing whatever information the company or its customers need. He is a hands-on facilitator at the Syngenta customer workshops, which are held three times a year.

“The workshops help the growers evolve in their understanding of the software and products and how these things might best serve their farms,” Borchard says. “It’s an opportunity for them to learn and work together, and the workshops have gone really well.”

Business and Pleasure

The workshops offer education and farmer-to-farmer conversations, says Chad Hoyer, who farms in Arlington, South Dakota.

“I learn more every year,” he says. “It’s also nice to get together with some local guys. We do quite a bit of data entry, but we’re also able to talk about how the weather may impact our crops or how things are going with the markets.”

In 2020, the pandemic reduced the number of workshops but didn’t derail them. Midstate is a Certified AgriEdge Partner (CAP), having invested people and resources in becoming experts in the program. So, while Borchard wasn’t traveling as much as usual, Midstate team members could carry on — masked up and 6 feet apart.

“They’re as well-versed in these tools as I am and can speak to the agronomics behind Syngenta products as well as anybody,” Borchard says. “CAPs are the ones who really multiply the power of the program, and my role is to support them in that.”

Midstate is so determined to make sure their customers get all the benefits of AgriEdge that, in conjunction with Borchard and Syngenta, the company has started a laptop program for growers who don’t have one.

“I don’t want a guy saying he’d really like to sign up, but his computer’s 12 years old, so he doesn’t have the means to do it,” Malone says. “So we’ve set aside a budget every year that may go toward buying laptops. That way, if we have a new customer come on and they need a computer, we may be able to help them get a laptop.”

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Garrett Osvog (left) and Chad Malone (right) of Midstate Agronomy in De Smet, South Dakota, work closely with Syngenta AgriEdge Specialist Chad Borchard (center) to help their customers make the right agronomic decisions.
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Midstate Agronomy provides agricultural chemicals, seeds, fertilizer and service to growers in central South Dakota.
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Osvog uses AgriEdge whole-farm management software to help determine the right mix of crop inputs for his customers. Seed selection is one of the most important variables in that mix.
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Malone uses the AgriEdge software on his mobile phone while participating in a Zoom call with Borchard.
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Borchard (right) maintains a close, but socially distanced, professional partnership with Osvog (left) and others at Midstate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Successful Relationships

Midstate is built on relationships, Malone says. He and his colleagues strive to help customers succeed as farmers and to make AgriEdge program members feel appreciated.

“Every year, we give our AgriEdge customers a Midstate hoodie with ‘Syngenta’ on the sleeve,” Malone says. “It makes them feel a little special and part of something exceptional.”