5 Questions with Dave Treinen: AgVenture Leadership

Dave Treinen is AgVenture’s General Manager, with 24 years of experience dedicated to the seed industry. His leadership skills provide AgVenture with planning, development, establishment and deployment of effective strategies and objectives. We caught up with Dave to discuss the AgVenture model and how it serves farmers at every level.

AgVenture has a unique model in that Regional Seed Companies (RSCs) select and sell seed specific to their region. How does this model serve growers?
RSCs are able to locally choose products, which allows them to understand the local needs of growers in their areas and select products that fit those needs. Once the right seed is selected, RSCs and AgVenture Yield Specialists (AYS) are able to work one-on-one with farmers to maximize their yields and productivity. So at the Regional Seed Company level, the way product decisions get made helps facilitate their ability to really hone in on the needs of growers in a local geography and place products and help them farm to the maximum potential.

How does this model contribute to grower success? 
When we go through our production planning, a lot of RSC owners are very passionate about the products they select. They sometimes are the only company who requests a product, but they’re able to get those products for their region. In a similar system at a larger company, they wouldn’t have the ability to do that.

When they’re making those decisions locally, the RSC owners have the opportunity to choose genetics and traits that work locally, and they take that message to growers. That resonates very well because farmers know that our Regional Seed Companies and AYSs are looking out for their needs and want to help them maximize productivity and bushels.

Along with that, I would say from a success side that there’s a lot of feedback on the positivity of our seed quality. Our focus on seed quality at AgVenture Inc., helps foundationally build our Maximum Profit System through Net Effective Plant Stands and field evaluations, and that starts with quality seed in the bag.

You mentioned the Maximum Profit System. How does this strategy play into the AgVenture model and help farmers grow a superior crop?
The Maximum Profit System means something different for every region. It means something different for every AYS and certainly every grower, because goals and objectives are different. But at the core, we want to help growers increase yields and APH and really push the envelope. We help them do that with Net Effective Plant Stand counts and in-season management with fungicide applications; we focus on seed quality and getting a consistent stand of plants; and we want to see those turn to full-producing ears. While the MPS system is very personal, it’s about wanting to push for productivity and push the status quo.

What are you doing at the corporate level to help ensure superior products and superior service?
One thing is that we facilitate training from several angles. We do agronomy training that helps support the basic crop and in-season management portion of our MPS strategy. And we facilitate training on the sales side to help our AYSs do their jobs effectively.

We also do national branding, so we’re out telling a story and providing our people with tools and messaging to help growers understand the value of the relationship with AgVenture.

We also maintain a broad choice of products and technologies — whether it be corn, soybeans, seed treatments, or traits and genetics. Our goal is to have a wide toolbox so our RSCs can choose products that fit into the MPS system and work in their areas. It really starts with seed quality, so we spend a lot of time working with producers and suppliers to get the highest quality seed possible for the execution of MPS in the field.

In your opinion, what are the most important reasons why the AgVenture model works?
Aside from our focus on great seed quality, we believe that local decisions are better decisions, so we trust our RSCs to make the best decisions for their regions. And the right execution of our MPS strategy is not just talk. We have proof that our concepts and our systems work. We’ve also got a lot of creative thinkers and there’s a lot of collaboration across geographies and across companies. There’s a lot of idea-sharing that makes our network stronger, we learn from each other and challenge each other to push the status quo.