100 Years and Growing: 100 Years and Innovating | 100 Years and Giving | 100 Years and Evolving

July Submissions

For Wilbur-Ellis, where do you see the greatest opportunity for growth in the coming years and why?

Gerardo Quintero, United States (Nutrition)

I think Wilbur-Ellis has an excellent opportunity to grow in the feed retail store market as a specialized supplier for livestock and pet animals. In US, there is a strong trend to live away from the cities and owning backyard animals such as layers and others. Farm supply stores such as Tractor Supply (1800+ stores ) have grown 35% in sales vs. last year, and the backyard feed line is fueling that growth as well. Our opportunity is to enter into that market, becoming a supplier and selling our feed line in our WE ag stores as well. We need to invest in feed mills capacity, branding, marketing and sales, and trade marketing capabilities. Besides, acquiring some regional brands and mills. This market is worth more than $5,0 Bill in sales, and WE is not actively playing yet. I also think Wilbur-Ellis has an excellent opportunity to grow in the forage export business. The hay export business is worth more than $1,5 Bill in sales. Currently, WE Nutrition plays in that market and having additional production capacity and acquiring other companies that have synergies with us, then we can gain from $25 to 50 Mill additional annual sales by 2025.

Joshua Grime, United States (Agribusiness)

I think the greatest opportunity is getting caught up with the rest of the world in technology of how we do business. With the all the new programs and systems being introduced within the company I think we are well on our way in closing that gap.

Cheah Ching Yee, Malaysia (Connell)

In coming years, the opportunity for growth will be Pharmaceutical, Food & Nutrition sector. These 2 sectors still have large consumer market segment to penetrate and is essential to people daily life and health to sustain. To be continuously competent and regain more market share to become superb market leader, we need to focus on research, marketing activities create more product with competitive pricing that focuses on extra benefits, extra services, good workmanship, great product quality needed by both our customer and consumer.

Patrick Troy

Patrick Troy, United States (Agribusiness)

A great opportunity for Wilbur-Ellis growth in the coming years is in Activating the Biology of the Soil. As some states are ascribing scores to soil health, we need tools to measure and stimulate soil microorganisms. From cover crops to fertilizers, diverse amendments have a know effect on short-term nutrient availbility. When crops do not have sufficient 'food', they show us in many ways like leaf yellowing, disease expansion, and insect attack. Finding short and long-term feeding options to stimulate the nitrification or availability of applied amendments will be a gret boon to closing this hunger gap.

Ashley Langen

Ashley Langen, United States (Agribusiness)

Growing up on a farm in south-central Illinois, I feel Wilbur-Ellis has an opportunity to grow into the I-states! The level of service WE is committed to is unmatched and is much needed in this area. I see the struggles farmers around here face and feel that Wilbur-Ellis retail would be welcomed with open arms

Ajith Nair

Ajith Nair, India (Connell)

For future growth we need to look beyond the emerging technologies on our traditional markets we serve. We should start building our presence in areas serving Natural/Alternative Energy sources which are not based on fossil fuels where there would be manifold increase in usage due to increased awareness of population & regulations from Governments. Usage of Batteries & such power sources would go up as IC engines & coal based power may go down they get charged from natural energy. Our presence in chemistries involved in these battery & energy storage technologies could get rich dividends. Another area would be electronics hardware as the digital adoption increases. Materials contributing to the manufacture of Digital Products whether casing or hardware related would see good growth. We should look towards harnessing our Portfolio related to additives used in these products or their Base Material manufacture. Water Treatment is a crowded segment but would still grow as the impetus on recycling increases. Entering this space with new cutting edge technology would bring volumes in future. Acquisitions would be key to keeping growth & shouldn't be restricted only to Distribution houses but also include small to mid-sized quality manufacturers in niche segments of our interest which will provide us with an undisturbed supply source & price competitiveness.

Vikas Shrivastav, India (Connell)

We are seeing growth opportunities in the below segments: - Biodegradable packaging solutions - Recyclable packaging solutions - Heat(IR)reflective coating solution for Homes and Water tanks. - Economical and affordable solutions for Solar panel. Renewable energy market is growing fast. - Dairy products

Venkatesh Murthy, India (Connell)

Connell has a strong, robust technical and Marketing team. It has a wide scope in coatings as coatings is technically driven market. Connell, the name itself, is good enough in the market to be recognised by the customers as “holding the hands of customers, lifting them to the new technical heights and maintaining the same”.  Connell doesn't let down any customer and sees its success in customer delight and happiness.

John Franson, United States (Agribusiness)

Nutrition and Biological products are gaining steam. Looking for better products with enhance performance.

Walter Esser, United States (Agribusiness)

I see our biggest opportunity for growth with our existing customer base. This growth will come from strengthening those existing relationships as part of the customer centricity efforts underway by providing customized offerings and the digital customer portal.

Dave Parsonson, United States (Agribusiness)

I think that Wilbur's Agribusiness division needs to double-down on our lead as providers of outstanding service. What we need to recognize however is that with each generational shift, what constitutes 'outstanding service' may change. Does Amazon provide outstanding service? I could envisage a traditional brick and mortar high-service store owner saying 'no' but it would miss the point that for many shoppers, convenience, ease of transaction and quick delivery have become the service that they value and seek. We need to make sure that we are evolving with our growers and are in-tune with what service means to them. In my humble opinion, we need to become the physical and digital hub for growers; to provide a service is key to their success that we become a standard part of their daily activity. I see this being achieved through generation, analysis and provision of usable data together with world-class transnational convenience. Imagine a scenario where as part of the 'Wilbur Farm', our growers have sensors, mapping and other data that are combined, analyzed and presented in an online hub that was the basis for daily interactions between Wilbur-Ellis and our growers. Sometimes those interactions would be just the grower logging on to check field temperatures / moisture etc. and other times it would be a conversation with the PCA / salesperson about the needs of the field based on the data. The PCA would then digitally prescribe the agreed upon inputs which would appear for approval on the grower's hub. A simple click of approval would trigger the transaction with real time order tracking etc. At the end of the season, the grower has everything they need for accurate and efficient reporting and can also easily look back on years of comparable data with their PCA so they can better plan for following seasons. I think this type of activity will become essential if Ag retailers are to maintain relevance in a world where chemical manufacturers are stepping closer and closer to the farm gate.

Becky Worley

Becky Worley, United States (Nachurs Alpine Solutions)

I see the greatest opportunity for growth within 2 segments of our business unit actually. By combining our companies together, we have increased our knowledge base dramatically which in turn can lead to new and innovative industrial chemical products on the NASi side. On the Ag side, we have the best potassium product out there and have proprietary rights through a patent. As growers continue to try to produce more with less acreage and less nutrients in the soil, this technology becomes even more critical toward future success.

Shawn West, United States (Nachurs Alpine Solutions)

I think the biggest growth would be within our own community. With us living in a farming community we don't sell a lot of our fertilizers to local farmers. A lot of people, including farmers, don't even know what we make here.

Tabitha Prestler, United States (Corporate)

I think our greatest opportunity continues to lie with employees. We need to continue to listen to them, provide them growth opportunities and allow them to bring ideas to customers. Focusing on employees is a key as our employees are our greatest strength. If we don't provide support, encouragement and opportunities we will not be able to grow. This doesn't just mean financial, its recognition, its inclusion, its diversity, it's listening to them and responding.

Jeanne Forbis

Jeanne Forbis, United States (Corporate)

I believe Wilbur-Ellis’ greatest opportunity for growth will be driven by long-standing relationships with customers and the use of technology and innovation to help customers be more productive in their businesses. As the industries we serve become more complex, customers will be looking for innovative solutions and ways to use technology to be successful. And the work we’re doing with Cavallo Ventures and other parts of our business to provide those solutions sets the company apart. But ultimately, relationships make a big difference. Customers want to work with people they trust … that have integrity, and have their best interests at heart. Wilbur-Ellis has been successful for 100 years because we’ve proven we’re that kind of company.

Edward Musselman, United States

I believe that the greatest growth will come through using genetics and plant breeding to improve a crops ability to use water more efficiently, as water may become more scarce.

Kim Blake

Kim Blake, United States (Nutrition)

I believe there are huge opportunities for Aquaculture. As wild fish populations are being decimated by over-fishing it provides a great responsible food source. Growing up on the Pacific coast availability of a great variety of fresh fish has never crossed my mind. Traveling to relatives in land locked states made me more aware of the limitations they experience. With Fish Farms expanding it opens up a much bigger opportunity to provide a more reliable supply and the opportunity to bring different varieties of fresh fish to their local communities. Responsible transportation is also an issue. As fish farms pop up around the US it means fresh fish will have less of a distance to travel to the end user. While Aquaculture is my number one. You should check out this idea for an animal food source. Cockroach Farms Turn Food Trash Into Treasure. Hmmmmm! https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/cockroach-farms-turn-food-trash-into-treasure.htm

Adrielle Yeow

Adrielle Yeow, Malaysia (Connell)

The greatest opportunity for growth in Wilbur-Ellis will be Agribusiness and Feed industry as the world population continues to increase and natural sources becoming scarce. Basically without clean, nutritious food for humans and animals, it will be a bleak future even with all the digital technology and entertainment. Please grow your business to Africa and Asia where the population is high so that we can benefit from the technology that Agribusiness and Feed Industry can offer. If food for human and feed for farmed animals can be available at affordable cost, there shouldn't be people especially children without nutritious food and clean water.

Mike Mcdonald, United States

To recruit, educate and support a new generation of producers who focus on systems and principles of agricultural productivity while protecting natural resources for the future growth of our nation and the overall world.

Carrie Williams, United States (Corporate)

I view diversity and inclusion as one of the greatest opportunities for growth in the coming years. As we become more diverse and inclusive, we grow our ability to leverage Wilbur-Ellis’ full potential. Diversity and inclusion help to engage and motivate our workforce. These are key drivers of innovation and business success, and they enable Wilbur-Ellis to attract the best talent.

Alan Flansburgh, United States

Keeping prices lower than the competitors and giving great service.

Jason Woulfin, United States

WE has some of the best people to work with in the industry. Many of the people I have encountered clearly enjoy their jobs and look forward to working on new challenges and opportunities. This to me is the strongest aspect of WE. Any improvement in WE needs to consider the impact on the employees as this is a big part of what makes WE unique. Keeping this core value strong as new opportunities and challenges present themselves will be key to keeping WE strong and ready for the future. WE has always moved carefully through things and this has paid off. It is important to be able to seize opportunities when they arise but remain true to how you got to 100 years and it will present WE with countless more opportunities

Kaylee Norris, United States (Nutrition)

I think the biggest growth opportunity for Wilbur Ellis comes in the field of sustainability. I know Nutrition is doing this by researching and investing in alternative protein sources for animal nutrition. I hear of and see more people buying local to reduce carbon footprint and supporting companies that have sustainable manufacturing practices. I think being aware of new food trends and even packing material and constantly pushing for better practices that reduce waste will be the only way to support a continually growing population.

Aj Connolly, United States

Replacing roundup with something natural is critical given the California, Monsanto lawsuits.

Amber Harrison, United States (Agribusiness)

Our greatest growth opportunity in the coming year is the undertreated acre. We have a great opportunity to work with farmers who already do business with us in one category i.e. Herbicides, or Insecticides to help them complete their acre plans by adding value through pair ups of adjuvants or nutritionals. Using the trust already built with the farmer to value added sell products to complete the maximize ROI conversation will help Wilbur-Ellis and the farmer meet their goals.

Fiona Kristo, United States

Make sure your business processes are ethical and that employees are paid fair wages. Take steps to reduce environmental impact.

Kathryn Nix

Kathryn Nix, United States (Agribusiness)

I believe that sustainably and environmentally friendly practices are going to be more important than ever to focus on in order to promote growth within the company. Reducing food waste for our customers, using less inputs to produce more, creating healthier foods in more of our markets. I think getting our foot in the door with vertical farming and indoor and hydroponic farming will create a new market for us. Trying to support this new type of farming will allow us into "concrete farming" which in our changing climate is something that we will be relying on more and more in the future. There are so many environmentally friendly outcomes of this type of farming and if we can supply these growers with different nutrients/technology we could help create a more food secure world.

Brett Dunn, United States (Agribusiness)

For Wilbur-Ellis’s greatest growth opportunities it needs to be a combination of multiple things such as new product development, innovative technology, acquisitions, strategic partnerships/collaboration, etc… However, in my opinion there are two things that really jump out that will drive successful growth and the two go together hand-in-hand. Employee Development and promotion of the Customer Centricity driven culture. Employee Development – Our Company’s biggest asset are our employees, so our biggest opportunity should be employee development. Customer Centric culture – Having our core culture be deeply listening to our customer’s needs and following a completely Customer Centric business strategy will be key to our growth. If our customers know and trust that we are striving and providing the maximum return on their investment and are completely focused on adding value to them, then clearly the growth from that will come. Employee Development with a Customer Centric culture can drive the most growth for Wilbur-Ellis Company in the future. Stimulate the feeling from the momentum and let success drive success

Fion Yu, China (Connell)

Our high quality people and positive company culture with IDEAS core values are always the greatest opportunity as well as the most stable foundation for company growth any time and anywhere.

Nicholas Trejo, United States (Nutrition)

Wilbur-Ellis employees have always been the common denominator of any WECO business that has experienced growth. No matter where the growth comes from, we must credit our employees for stimulating any financial, personal, or operational efficiencies that help a business be successful. Doing what's right, being honest, and having integrity will continue to drive growth within all divisions of Wilbur-Ellis.

Glen Umbaugh, United States

Address the limitations to creating the shortest food supply chain possible.

Tony Farrell, United States

I believe the greatest opportunity is to support you and diverse farmers and educate all on how we raise a sustainable food supply.

Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day, United States (Nutrition)

I think our biggest opportunity for growth in the coming years is in the aquaculture field as well as the pet Industry.

Daniel Vradenburg, United States

Helping growers nurture their most important asset, soil, the final biological frontier and fragile skin protecting this planet. Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd President said "a nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself".

Poornima Parameswaran, United States

The greatest opportunity that I see for Wilbur-Ellis is in embracing a data- and science-driven decision making framework out in the field. This includes investing in, and commercializing technologies that allow for broad adoption of data and science for enabling sales and advice at the farmgate. It is also a particularly opportune time for Wilbur-Ellis to be a driver of change in the industry by shining a light on data & science below-ground as well as above-ground. Soil is the last biological frontier that remains untapped in agriculture, and soil is the #1 asset for a farmer. When the entire industry is still thinking about how to interpret soil, Wilbur-Ellis has a real opportunity to be a first mover in delivering data & science enabled solutions for soil management to their customers at the farmgate.

John Moore

John Moore, United States

Continue to hire quality rep's who will put in a long shadow day and hang onto the handle of a sweep net.

Moriah LaChapell, United States (Agribusiness)

Increasing offerings and knowledge of Biologicals, biological control agents & biostimulants.

Gina Colfer

Gina Colfer, United States (Agribusiness)

I believe the biggest opportunity in the coming years for our company is in the sector of Soil Health and farming with the Whole Systems Approach in mind. We must, as a company, be aware of preserving the topsoil of our farmlands by making it more fertile and profitable for our grower by offering inputs that build soil fertility by increasing organic matter content and biodiversity within the farm. There are many ways to achieve these goals and with us being an input company, we have those tools to offer our growers.

Brent Radford, United States (Agribusiness)

The biggest opportunities in the future will be seed, genetics, fertility, bio-stimulants, pesticides. With the growth of the population of the world and reduced farming land. Maximization of available land and being able to grow a crop in diverse locations will be key.

Robert Dedrick, United States

Chicken farming is a very essential business and is growing rapidly.

Jaime Marr, Canada

The production of hemp products.

Helen Leung, United States (Corporate)

In this pandemic environment, I see employees working from home having the greatest potential for growth. While this may not always be revenue generating across all departments who work at home, equipping employees with workable home set ups, learning through LMS, or learning job enhancement skills through avenues can maximize how employees can perform their jobs better and with greater efficiency. Some employees may feel asking for certain work space set ups, or signing up for courses to enhance their jobs may be viewed as an added expense or monetary burden to the company. This is where leadership and management can set the guidelines to be made known. I've heard employees working from home using their dining room chair as their office chair, which in time may cause pain, joint or muscular dysfunction. This in turn reduces productivity. This is why I believe employees working from home can become a potential for growth to the company by keeping them physically and mentally healthy.

Michael Damann, United States (Agribusiness)

After giving this question some thought, I think in Agribusiness/Nutrition/and Nachurs our biggest growth area will continue to be in the soil biologicals and amino acid technology. We need to be at the forefront of this space to continue being a leader. I really think that our development and distribution of Humic substances will continue to prove value of these value added nutrients as we develop and open up more markets across the US and eventually the globe. If there is an opportunity to acquire a business that is basic in manufacturing humic's from the mine to manufacturing the granular and powder technology we need to invest in this space and then take to not only the US but to the world. As farmland increases in less and less desirable ground around urbanized areas, the value of these humic's and amino acids will continue to increase throughout the world, not only in agriculture, but aquaculture as well. I truly believe these two divisions working together, with the same technology can and will benefit both markets. Nachurs also falls into this space having their footprint in the foliar nutrition technology space. More so on the agricultural side, operational efficiencies will have to continue to get better. As I operate outside of our retail footprint, I strongly believe we need to leverage our strengths and size in opening up distribution agreements with manufacturers to support more independent ag-retailers as well as accelerate our delivery and distribution to support this business creating more alliances outside of our retail footprint. If we can possibly adopt a Home Depot or Walmart model where any retail branch can have the ability to ship direct to customer without sending to distribution hub first, then out to customer. I think this added step costs a lot of money as well as delays the timeliness of materials being delivered to ag-retailers. We need to leverage our size on making sure we always have best freight rates and shipping rates. Going along this line of thinking, I believe Wilbur-Ellis has the opportunity in the Ag retail space to "clean-up" some of the brokerage market and remove millions of dollars out of this marketplace as we go forward. We need to hold major manufactures accountable as well as strengthen our partnerships to commit to cleaning this business up and work at squeezing this brokerage business out of the market. I enjoy seeing and hearing of investments from Cavallo Ventures. I think this space will be exciting to stay in for the future and gives our company an opportunity for both agronomists and support staff to be involved in the latest technological platforms in the market. I am sure they are not all home-runs, but having an open mind and understanding the wants and needs of customers will be critical going forward with these exciting opportunities. And last but not least we need to be more political. We need to express the value of the Asian marketplace and how important that it is to Connell brothers as well as Wilbur-Ellis customers who export crops. I think we need to create a successful message with other companies highlighting the success of American owned companies operating in this geography of the globe. I am not very versed in how technology infringements happen within China, but I am hoping major companies come together in creating a message to share with both sides of the aisle on how important it will be for the future of agriculture and Wilbur-Ellis to have a great business relationship with the worlds largest population.

Annette Puvaloski, United States (Agribusiness)

Wilbur-Ellis has many opportunities for growth in the future. Agriculture is rapidly changing as our customers needs are changing as well. An e-commerce platform of ordering will be required as well as the possibility of a Wilbur-Ellis iPhone app to request products for delivery. Convenience for our customers will be required.

Glen Umbaugh, United States

Focus should be on the transition from the traditional 2 crop rotation focused on feed grains to inclusion of extensive food (vegetable) production.

Katherine Gildea, United States (Corporate)

I'd like to see an emphasis on drones and robotics to help farming. There are some great initiatives in the US and UK using robotics instead of pesticides.

Holly Hambruch, United States (Agribusiness)

I feel the biggest growth opportunity is in becoming more available online, in the world of Amazon customers can sit on their couch and order what they need and expect it timely. We need to catch up with that.

Nicholas Trumble, United States (Agribusiness)

Continue to find innovative ways to meet the demands of our customers in a fast changing industry. Wilbur-Ellis culture has been a determination to exceed customer expectations.

Jeff Hershberger, United States (Agribusiness)

I see the greatest opportunity for growth in Wilbur-Ellis to come from the confluence of technology and people. The rapid development of technology over the past 100 years has often not considered the impact to people, being more focused on the convenience of the technology. People are a core resource considered by Wilbur-Ellis. Paring this consideration with emerging convenient technologies develops a rich partnership of people and technology. This holistic confluence is good for our customers, our people, and the company.

Dennis Devitt, United States (Agribusiness)

With the consolidation in Agricultural Operations and in the CP manufacturer side of the business, WECo is positioned well to stay in the business of crop advising, CP, and fertilizer sales. We are finding here in the PNW that the Key Account Manager (KAM) approach to these large corporate farms is beginning to gain traction with are vertically integrated growers. They are seeing the value of having conversations at the boardroom level all the way down to field level. The message they are getting from Wilbur-Ellis at all levels of their operation is consistent. This brings a sense of relief and trust in these large operations. The better we get at understanding these operations with a KAM leading all WECo folks working on that account, that consistent messages shows us to be the professional operators we are wanting to be. This earns us the title of trust advisor. I see large companies needing more and more support around horticultural, viticultural, and agronomic support in making fertility and CP decisions. With the amount of regulation being put on food producers. They will need trusted advisors to partner with to keep them up to date on BMP's in all crops.

Kurnia Santosa, Indonesia (Connell)

The biggest opportunity for Wilbur-Ellis in the coming years is in the field of health and hygiene in the human environment, in addition to developing products or innovating / developing products and applications with well-tested support and proving that products and applications are beneficial and have a good impact on human life and the environment. This may be done starting from food products, beverages, household appliances and even packaging products or coating products that are very related to human life. After what is happening now, the world and industry will definitely change, I am sure Wilbur-Ellis with its ability and capacity can compensate for this change and can even become a more solid and stronger organization / company in the future.

Scott Womack

Scott Womack, United States

In the coming years I see great growth for the company in the precision agriculture sector of the business. As the company heads in to the next 100 years I foresee great growth and opportunity in being knowledgeable and forward thinking in precision agriculture. Being able to provide the experience and expertise required to implement technology in agriculture with our customers in mind is not something to take lightly. With this I think we can point the company in to a future that needs high tech equipment to feed an ever expanding population with our customers at heart.

Michael Thompson, United States

To encourage good stewardship of our land and improve our agricultural soils with diverse cover crops. To integrate no till, rotatinal grazing, and farming as much as possible and to have timely nutrient management of fertilizer and chemicals to keep them out of our streams, rivers, and lakes.

Nurudin Budiman, Indonesia (Connell)

Wilbur-Ellis needs to expand the business to Asia-Pacific where the Ag business is bigger than US using Connell platform.

Steve Wilson, New Zealand (Connell)

I believe our opportunities for growth requires a holistic approach: The key word is “Safety”. 1. Safety in our Health: Socially the world is looking for safety and transparency, particularly in the food chain. Blockchain will have a significant part to play in this area for companies including us. Protection in our environment, we have a part to play in providing protection to the surfaces we touch. I believe we can prevent the spread of microbes and viruses in our environment including Covid-19, and antibiotic resistant MRSA (Superbug) by partnering with our customers to provide coatings, that will have a kill rate of 99.99% of these new viruses and microbes before they can enter the human body. This is particularly important for our hospitals. We are in the early stages of development. 2. Safety at Work: through out history the mundane jobs have tended to be conducted by those who have little choice, often migrant workers as most locals are not interested even if the pay is reasonable. At this point many local companies come under pressure from imports, where the labour cost can be significantly lower. An opportunity for Wilbur-Ellis exists in the robotics platform arena to replace these backbreaking jobs, and save the local industry. For example Asparagus growers in California are in decline. The jobs are going anyway, we can save the growers and a number of jobs in California with a mutual partnership to save the business with robotic technology. The prototype technology platform is available, to be adapted to a number of agricultural applications. 3. Safety in our Environment: Waste: there is a need to address the growing waste issue, and the solution is not to export the problem to other countries. Sure in certain cases the main culprit packaging can be modified to be more environmentally friendly technology, but as can be seen during COVID-19 the safety of the packaging became paramount with a return to more hygienic plastic. I believe the answer lies in the utilization of the packaging into a second life. We do this many times where we take waste streams/byproducts and give them a “new Life” into another industry. e.g. our own example of brewers mash to animal feed. The companies that provide a second life to waste packaging will attract customers, and give them and their customers a truly green story to market to the consumer. May even become stronger than the drive to organics? The technology is available today to tackle one of the greatest waste issues facing us: co-mingled thermoplastic waste! In summary: Safety Health Food Work Environment - There are many areas we can grow into, in the end it comes down to what is important to the end consumer of the future.

Meghan Keogh

Meghan Keogh, United States (Agribusiness)

Expanding the Pro Markets from the west to the mid and eastern regions could see optimal growth. People are always looking for ways to green up and clean up from fertilizer to weed control; keeping forests strong and healthy; supporting the greenhouse markets to keep homes looking homey and gardens flourishing; etc.

Rachel Turner, United States (Agribusiness)

I see our greatest opportunity for growth in the service department. The services we can provide to our customers and the quality of those services. Expanding on the growth of the AgVerdict / JDE integration to work flawlessly and the ability of the customer to order through the AgVerdict system. Also providing a better scouting report that is readily available for those growers who would be interested in having that as an option.

John Heier, United States (Agribusiness)

The greatest opportunity for growth in the coming years in my opinion are as follows: 1. Employees that connect with customers, local community and are good role models for next generation. 2. PCAs that are provided and develop entrepreneurial skills that allow for flexibility to maneuver in a complex and ever changing environment. 3. An operations team that provides outstanding service and is connected with PCAs and farm personnel and growers operations. 4. To have and maintain outstanding safety and regulatory compliance policies. 5. A very flexible finance credit department. 6. IDEA'S, keep " idea initiation" alive and growing.

Levi Gilder, United States

I see the greatest opportunity for growth in the coming years within agriculture, as the need for food production will be great with population growth continuing to trend upward and fewer family owned farms producing agricultural food products.

Daniel Black, United States

Understanding what part our products play as society's definition of sustainability continues to evolve, and how food production can be done in a way that reduces GHG emissions and other environmental impacts.

Christian Kuhl

Christian Kuhl, Vietnam (Connell)

This is a great time for us to rethink and reinvent ourselves, and create a strong foundation for our next century. I think the core of growth comes from people and organizational development. The future could bring more fluid and transient structures where people and competences are brought together and then dissolved as needed. All this with a strong and anchored sense of constantly belonging and staying in "the family". For Connell I see the largest opportunities within life science, geographical expansion as well as M&A and remember; never become trapped in the circle of "no progress" - see image.

Blake Weatherald

Blake Weatherald, Canada (Nachurs Alpine Solutions)

I see the greatest opportunities for growth in the Ag sector being improvements in the overall customer experience. Striving to be the leader in this area I feel is important and will lead to overall growth. Doing things that competitors are not willing to do and creating raving and loyal customers that don't buy based on price, but instead buy based on the experience they have had dealing with Wilbur-Ellis or a division of Wilbur-Ellis.

Jonathon Pokomaki

Jonathon Pokomaki, New Zealand (Nutrition)

In the coming years I see our Nutrition division as having the greatest opportunity growth within the Wilbur-Ellis Company. I am from New Zealand and have only just joined the Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition Team out here in Bluff, Southland. As a Plant Supervisor and being reasonably new to the industry I see great potential within our division and look forward to putting some ideas into action, and I love that the Wilbur-Ellis brand is something to be proud of and the amazing work we do globally.

David Lunte, United States (Nutrition)

As resources become more scarce, It seems that the opportunities within the commodities group would be ever increasing. The ability to supply and deliver quality, healthy food and feed ingredients in the future seems vital. I work for Nutrition / Aquaculture / Buhl, ID. As with any food or feed production the quality of our ingredients is paramount to producing quality Aqua-feed products.

Brandon Gallo, United States (Corporate)

I see an opportunity for growth in the Marijuana industry. It is a fast growing industry that would really increase revenue for Wilbur-Ellis.

Mark Davitt, United States

Please support and promote high speed internet. Farmers, Ag business, rural communities, and families need the connectivity and speed for new and growing business, education and entertainment. Also - Please support growth of all crops that can be made into alcohol and oil. Crops including corn and beans, but also beyond all the way to algae. There are so many opportunities - value added opportunities abound with the research and implementation when made into fuel, consumable, and especially medical use.

Agapito "Speedy" Gonzalez, United States (Agribusiness)

As we move into a new generation of farming, I believe Wilbur-Ellis is poised to welcome this generation with the first online purchasing experience. An interactive store front that lets customers place orders online and view inventory of their local branch, or place an order for that branch to bring in a specific product they are looking for. With the current COVID pandemic sweeping the nation, there is little doubt that the social landscape will change once we begin to reopen society. A new generation of farmers will see the social distancing measures as common place when it comes to daily communications. With that reality facing us, Wilbur-Ellis would be ready for this new farmer with our remote store front, a sales force that is ready to help them in recommendation writing, and an operations team that is ready to usher in the next 100 years of Wilbur-Ellis.

Tyler Arkesteyn, United States (Agribusiness)

I feel our greatest opportunity for growth is going to be in logistics & warehousing. We have finally recognized that Wilbur-Ellis is a logistics company and have put people in such roles. While we are still in the infancy stage, we have already made large improvements in our compliance through the use of Comply, routing efficiency through Nextraq and our overall knowledge of DOT Rules & Regs by adding several new DOT folks. I am excited for what the next couple years will bring!

Jay Solum, United States

Fertilizer and chem if you are willing to run on tight margins and minimal brick and mortar. Stay out of the seed.

Peter White, United States

I think there is lots of potential for growth by expanding to new types of organic farming since there is increased demand for this from consumers

Gavin Giere

Gavin Giere, United States (Agribusiness)

In my opinion, I see our greatest opportunity for growth in the coming years is by becoming an industry leader in environmental compliance. Here's why... As the world continues to face calamities from several fronts (some immediately felt; while others take years or more), environmental stewardship is and will continue to become more important. This importance will not only be for business purposes; i.e., vendors, customers, suppliers; but also, for sustainability of resources for our most precious resources; i.e., family, animals, and life. Although a substantial up-front cost, the benefits and long-term advantages well outweigh the effort necessary to become the industry we already are in so many fronts.


As part of our 100th anniversary celebration, we launched the Giving Program to help people in need worldwide. In total, the Giving Program raised $52,000 USD for the Red Cross, building on the company’s $100,000 donation in 2020.

Giving Program Recap