GROWMARK recognizes 2019 award winners

GROWMARK recognizes 2019 award winners

GROWMARK recognized several award winners at its 2019 Annual Meeting and Agribusiness Symposium in Chicago.

CHICAGO, Ill. Friday, August 23, 2019 ​ – GROWMARK recognized several award winners at its 2019 Annual Meeting and Agribusiness Symposium in Chicago.

Friend of GROWMARK award

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation was recognized with a Friend of GROWMARK award in celebration of its upcoming 100th anniversary and impact on agriculture.

In 1920, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation was officially organized and became the 32nd state to join the American Farm Bureau Federation with 537 members. By the first Annual Meeting in 1921, Wisconsin Farm Bureau membership had grown to 2,000 members in 15 counties. It now serves almost 50,000 members across the state.

“Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation has been a pioneer in agriculture and a terrific advocate for its thousands of members,” said GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck. “As agriculture evolves with quickly-changing technology and needs, the strong relationship with Wisconsin Farm Bureau will no doubt help both of our organizations serve our members with expertise and efficiency.”

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4R Advocate Award

The Endure 4R Advocate program recognizes GROWMARK System crop specialists who engage growers in sustainable best management farming practices. These practices include implementing nitrogen management as a System, conducting MiField applied research on farms, promoting the use of nitrogen stabilizers, and more.

This year, GROWMARK recognizes Alex Michinski with the Endure 4R Advocate award. Michinski was nominated by AGRIS Co-operative as an individual who works diligently with his growers to improve water quality, manage nutrients sustainably, and engage in soil conservation practices. These initiatives are paramount to all of us throughout the GROWMARK System.

“The crop specialists who serve throughout the GROWMARK System literally help farmers grow by building great relationships, providing resources, taking advantage of an optimized supply chain, and winning with innovation,” said Mark Orr, vice-president of agronomy. “They are dedicated to improving farmer profitability the right way - in a sustainable fashion that protects our environment.”

Management Excellence Award

This year GROWMARK introduced a new award to recognize the top financially performing members and retail divisions over a five-year-period. The Management Excellence Award is a combined measure of operating expense efficiency and System support. Christian County Farmers Supply Company, based out of Taylorville, Illinois, took home the first place award for outstanding management. Christian County Farmers Supply Company is led by President Rob Woods and General Manager Mark Bauman.

The other four Management Excellence Award winners include.

  • 2nd Place – Gateway FS  
    • President Dennis Neuhaus  
    • General Manager Carl Tebbe  
  • 3rd Place – Lucknow District Co-operative
    • President David Gibson
    • General Manager Allan Scott
  • 4th Place – Piatt County Service Company
    • President Bill Olson
    • General Manager Kory Kraus
  • 5th Place – New Century FS
    • President Kevin Herink
    • General Manager Jake Jacobs

“The management teams of our member cooperatives use sound business practices to maintain strength and vitality in the marketplace, said Mike Turner, vice-president of Midwest Operations. “This ability to operate efficiently is critical to the success of any organization.”

Performance Improvement Award

GROWMARK is proud to also announce the top five FS Supply member cooperatives achieving the highest rate of improvement in return on invested capital over the past five years. AGRIS Co-operative of Ontario, a 100 percent farmer-owned grain marketing and farm-input supply company that serves more than 1,000 farmer owners, took first place. AGRIS is led by President John Nooyen and General Manager Jim Campbell.

The other four Performance Improvement Award winners include.

  • 2nd Place – North Wellington Co-op  
    • President Jon Eckhardt  
    • General Manager Kelly Boyle  
  • 3rd Place – TriCounty FS  
    • President Joe Fessler  
    • General Manager Dave Lewis  
  • 4th Place – Lucknow District Co-operative
    • President David Gibson
    • General Manager Allan Scott
  • 5th Place – Heritage FS  
    • President Gary Boehrnsen  
    • General Manager Mark Weilbacher  

In the face of an ever-changing environment, our members and their talented employees continually nurture and grow ideas to help their farmer-owners and other customers,” said Brent Ericson, senior vice-president of member business.

Energy Market Development awards

​GROWMARK recognized three FS companies for excellent in sales of Deiselex Gold, FS lubricants and FS propane. The award is handed out to the company with the largest percentage volume increase over the previous year. The award is measured from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.

The winners are:

Star Energy FS (Dieselex Gold)

Christian County Farmers Supply Company (FS Lubricants)

Three Rivers FS (FS Propane)

About GROWMARK, Inc.

About GROWMARK, Inc:

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by member cooperatives. More information is available at

1701 Towanda Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61701