August 10, 2020

Arndt Reflects on MaxYield’s “Seed-First” Solutions Focus

20151015_maxyield_367 (681x1024)When Larry Arndt started calling on MaxYield more than a decade ago to market his information company AgKnowledge, he could tell that there was something new and exciting happening here.

“It wasn’t the old West Bend Co-op any longer,” said Arndt, who joined the MaxYield team in May 2004. “MaxYield was becoming a solutions company, not just another provider of ‘stuff.’”

Since then, Arndt has played a key role in shaping the future of MaxYield’s seed and agronomy divisions, as well as SciMax Solutions. Now, as he approaches retirement and helps Greg Sweeney transition into the role of seed, agronomy, and SciMax Solutions team leader, Arndt looks back on how far MaxYield and SciMax have come in the past 12 years.

Q: How has MaxYield become a solutions provider during the time you’ve spent with MaxYield?
A: When I joined MaxYield, Joe Anniss, the general manager, could see the value of information management and what it could do for MaxYield clients. After a year of research, we named the MaxYield information company SciMax Solutions and began adding members to the top-notch SciMax team.

Also, in my first year at MaxYield we had the opportunity to work with Gold-Eagle Cooperative to create a very successful enterprise called GE-Max Nutrients LLC. GE-Max has set the standard for using the best agronomic principles to spread organic poultry nutrients on clients’ farms and improve soil fertility.

With SciMax Solutions, GE-Max, and a great agronomy team, MaxYield transitioned into a solutions provider. We’ve also achieved steady growth in our seed business.

Q: What do you appreciate about Greg and the skills he’ll bring to his new role?
A: Greg and I have worked together since I joined MaxYield, and I’m proud to have him as my successor. I value his leadership and great work ethic. Greg is also a talented agronomist who has taught me a lot about the seed business.

I’ve worked in the agronomy business more than 40 years and was trained that the fertilizer sale comes first. Greg taught me that by procuring the seed sale first, we can fully understand clients’ needs for their total crop production program. This “seed first” concept gives MaxYield a competitive advantage.

Q: How will the transition period between your retirement and Greg’s new role benefit clients?
A: The transition may seem long, but Keith Heim and I agreed that if we are going to do this right, it will take quality time. I procure all of the crop nutrients and crop protection products for MaxYield Seed. Our purchase agreements for agronomy inputs normally occur six to eight months before the products are applied to clients’ fields. We also need to keep a variety of products in storage so they’re available when clients need them. Managing this balancing act will be the hardest job to teach, because there are so many variables.

Q: What fun things do you plan to do in your retirement?
A: I’ve been in agriculture my whole life and plan to continue to work part time. My wife and best friend, Mary, and I will spend more time with our son, Ben, and his wife, Sara, and their family, as well as our daughter Sarah and her family.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: All of the MaxYield team members have been great to work with. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful career and am really encouraged by the MaxYield culture we’ve created in the past 12 years.

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