Meet the Ag 1 Source Team
President and CEO
Mike is the President and CEO of Ag 1 Source and Career 1 Source and has been involved in the recruitment industry since 1998. He co-founded Ag 1 Source in 2002 and has developed and led teams in several successful business territories in the agronomy recruiting segment. In 2008, he co- founded Career 1 Source following the same integrity-based model. In addition to recruiting, Mike conducts talent acquisition, training and development, and managing the companies’ ongoing personnel and business interests.
Mike’s career in sales began at the retail level with Collingwood Grain in southwest Kansas. A promotion to management virtually coincided with Collingwood Grain’s purchase into the ADM Grain Company. This led to experience leading and managing teams, expanding sales, hiring new employees, and ultimately delivering top profitability among his peers. Mike moved into the recruiting industry in 1998 where he has developed extensive working relationships with numerous candidates and companies nationwide.
Mike knows that credibility and integrity are not built overnight. It comes from years of delivering results that yield repeat customers. This is what Ag 1 Source and Career 1 Source are all about.
Vice President, Agronomy
Mark joined Ag 1 Source in 2006. Since that time, he has been responsible for leading the agronomy, seed, crop production, and grain activities in the upper Midwest. He became a partner in the firm in 2007 and has continued to be a leader in the industry while working with job seekers and organizations throughout Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Canada. Mark has partnered with employers and candidates to place salespeople to CEOs, in companies ranging from small agronomy operations to Fortune 100 companies.
With more than 15 years of sales and management experience in retail agronomy, along with sales, sales management, and product management in wholesale crop inputs and manufacturing, Mark attributes much of his success to having done and managed many of the roles he recruits for. Hiring managers can be confident that Mark understands the skill sets they need. And he truly understands the goals of candidates since he’s been in those roles and understands the advancement they are seeking.
Mark has been recognized for his high level of integrity, reliability, and trustworthiness. His method of working with companies and job seekers involves open and honest conversation with full disclosure of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This has led to a following of satisfied clients who only saw candidates that would be a good fit and candidates who only pursued career opportunities that matched their personal goals and needs.
Rich EngelAgronomy and Seed Recruiting
Ryan GaleAgronomy and Seed Recruiting
Ron HaydenAnimal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat Recruiting
Kevin O'ConnorAgronomy and Seed/Training Manager
Troy SchumacherAgronomy and Seed Recruiting
Doug TrumbleGrain and Finance Recruiting
Rhonda WernerAgronomy, Seed & Produce Recruiting
Agronomy and Seed Recruiting
Richard Engel joined the Agronomy Team of Ag1Source in 2020 continuing his 30 plus years of service to the agricultural industry. He previously served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. He previously held the dual positions of Director of Relations and Director of Student Services and Outreach for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California Davis.
Previously, Richard was an agricultural instructor at Woodland High School and Project Coordinator for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Mr. Engel obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree and Teaching Credential from UC Davis, both in Agricultural Education. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Education from California State University, Sacramento.
Rich is a graduate of Class XXVIII of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an Eagle Scout, the recipient of the Young Alumnus of the Year in the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and in 2006 received the Grand Presidents Award from Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He has a life-long affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America and is a past member of the California State Fair and Exposition Board of Directors. He currently resides in Woodland, California.
Agronomy and Seed Recruiting
Ryan’s concentration is working with agriculture marketing and trading companies, manufacturing companies, independent retail and cooperatives, wholesalers, and production farm operations. His territory includes Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Western Missouri.
Ryan has a strong grasp of the ag industry because he has worked in the industry for 15 years and is still involved in production agriculture. After graduating from Kansas State University, he worked for Collingwood Grain /ADM and then relocated to Central Kansas where he worked for both an independent retailer and a cooperative in seed, chemical and fertilizer sales. Because his roots run deep in agriculture, he has a comprehensive understanding of his clients’ needs and the candidates that fit the positions.
Because Ryan believes that being honest with clients and candidates sets Ag 1 Source apart from other recruiting firms, he strives to make a cultural match for both the client and the candidate, not just to make a placement.
Animal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat Recruiting
Ron has more than 25 years of livestock industry experience in a variety of disciplines. While completing his master’s degree in animal science at the University of Tennessee, he served as the livestock judging team coach, and he continues to have that same passion for the industry. After graduate school, Ron served as a Michigan State University ag agent with the Extension system, and quickly advanced into a nine-county district livestock specialist, where he was awarded state and national recognition for innovative program offerings.
Upon entering the commercial ag sector, Ron first accepted a position as a three-state swine feeds consultant for the Farmland Feeds group, with primary responsibility for building a new territory, providing swine sales and tech service support for eastern Corn Belt cooperative feed dealers. After the Farmland/Land-o-Lakes/Purina feeds mergers, Ron entered into a new role with McNess Feeds in Freeport, Ill., as a swine tech and new business development manager for the Feeds Division. Prior to joining the team at Ag 1 Source in 2012, Ron was an east Region sales and new business development manager for FAST Genetics USA.
Ron and his wife, Elayne, have two sons and reside on a small farm in southwest Michigan raising corn, hay and club calves. The family continues its passion for the livestock industry, showing cattle, lambs, and hogs at county, state and national levels. All are very active as 4-H and FFA leaders and participants, high school athletic boosters, active church members and volunteers for many local school, church, and community events.
Agronomy and Seed/Training Manager
Kevin is bringing his lifelong passion for agriculture plus his successful track record in sales, sales management, recruiting, and training development to the Training and Development Manager role in Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source. Kevin grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Illinois. His strong interests in business lead him to his Ag Economics degree at the University of Illinois and later to his MBA at Illinois State University.
He began his career as a District Sales Manager for Golden Harvest Seeds and opened a new sales district in western Illinois and northeast Missouri where his consistent top sales performance lead to his selection as the General Sales Manager of the Sommer Bros Golden Harvest Seed Company after just five years. In his 13 years as General Sales Manager, sales nearly tripled for the company. When Syngenta purchased the Golden Harvest brand and companies in 2004, Kevin was selected as the East Division Sales Head for the Golden Harvest brand and was responsible for the east half of the US for Golden Harvest.
In 2007, Kevin had the opportunity to build the Sales Trainee program and develop an industry leading training program at AgReliant Genetics. His Sales Trainee program that he built from scratch supplied over half the sales personnel for the seed brands of AgReliant for the past 12 years. Kevin developed close relationships at colleges throughout the corn belt and beyond to locate top college talent to sell them on the career and development they could experience. Kevin took pride in developing the Seed Academy training program that prepared new college grads and experienced industry professionals for success in the seed industry while he constantly looked for new methods to build competence and confidence. Watching many of those former Sales Trainees earn advancement in to management roles confirmed that finding the right talent and providing the right ongoing training is the formula for success for any company.
One of Kevin’s key goals in the Training and Development Manager role is to help the entire team at Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source through a “best in class” training program that addresses the customized needs of each person to lead to greater efficiency and job satisfaction. Greater efficiency will lead to the improved work/life balance from achieving goals in a timely manner while leaving quality time for family and other activities.
Beth Rachut joined Ag 1 Source in 2019 and has been working with other professionals in the Agronomy and Seed field for the Upper Midwest. She is focused on making placements within Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Prior to graduating from Iowa State University, Beth grew up on a family farm in Guthrie Center. Beth started her career at USDA-NRCS in conservation, previously worked as a Nutrient Management Specialist in a small family-owned business and has continued to farm with her husband for the past 14 years, including the specialty crops, sweet corn, potatoes and onions.
She attributes her success in the agronomy field to being directly involved in everyday row crop farming and her motivation to continuously learn about changes within the industry, making her relatable to experienced job talent within agronomy.
Beth prides herself on being open, honest and inquisitive which allows her to thrive as a recruiter. She strives to make matches that are seamless and flawless for both the client and the candidate.
Beth and her husband reside in rural North Central Iowa where they get to live the dream as parents, farmers and business professionals while being actively involved in their ag community.
Agronomy and Seed Recruiting
Troy is a 1997 graduate of South Dakota State University with an agronomy degree. He is a native of southwest Minnesota and is involved in the family farm on which he was raised. Following college, he spent several years as a sales rep with Dow AgroSciences, and also sold seed as a pro rep for Pioneer Hi-Bred.
Troy’s strong agronomy and seed industry experience parallels many of the very same types of positions that he works to fill in his native region. These roles include territory sales, agronomist, and retail management and sales opportunities. He is keenly aware that different skill sets are needed to succeed in each of these various positions. Troy believes in a mission of providing true value to clients by finding candidates that exceed their expectations.
Troy and his wife Angie currently reside in the Twin Cities west metro area of Minnesota where they are raising four children who are involved in various sports and activities. A favorite family activity is trips to the family farm where the kids get to drive tractors, ride horses, and, most importantly, learn the values and heritage their mom and dad were taught growing up.
Grain and Finance Recruiting
Doug is a recruiting specialist in the grain, accounting, and biofuels market. He has been with Ag 1 Source since its founding in 2002, and he continues to build his reputation for finding key talent in many very rural locations.
Doug recruits for a wide range of positions including grain merchandisers and commodity originators, general managers, and operations managers as well as leaders in division management through the Vice President and Chief Executive Officer level. Doug also actively recruits in the biofuels segment, as that market is very closely related to the grain industry. Typical positions include ethanol plant managers and commodity risk managers. Doug has also placed a number of candidates in key accounting positions such as CFO, controller and staff accountant.
Doug’s 30+ years of agriculture business experience includes local cooperative management, grain company management, agronomy company management and ag lending. Doug has depth of knowledge and experience working in many of the major positions for which he recruits; he was hired for most of the very same positions at some point in his career.
Agronomy, Seed & Produce Recruiting
In 2007, Rhonda joined Ag 1 Source to focus in the South and Eastern U.S., becoming a partner in the firm in 2009. Rhonda recruits for the agronomy and seed Industry, which is also where her career in the industry began. Rhonda has many successful years of experience working in sales, management and agronomy roles in the industry she now serves. She began her career with Rhone-Poulenc where she successfully completed their sales rep training program and worked as a Territory Sales Representative in South East Alabama. She was promoted back to the home office after the Bayer Crop Science merger where she worked with distribution clients in the MidAtlantic and MidWest. She then moved back to Kentucky where she became the General Manager/Salesman/Agronomist for Waters Agriculture Laboratories. Waters is an independent Plant and Soil Analysis Laboratory located in Owensboro, KY.
Working with Rhonda gives both the client and candidate a unique experience. They quickly come to find an open and honest conversation regarding expectations, strengths, weaknesses and total disclosure.
With clients, Rhonda not only provides well-qualified candidates, but she also takes a consultant approach to her recruiting. Rhonda gets to know her clients, their culture, what has worked for them in the past, and what key traits they need in candidates. This enables Rhonda to submit only the best-matched candidates for specific roles.
Candidates can be assured that Rhonda has worked in many of the roles she is recruiting for, so she understands the business and the companies in the industry. She quickly becomes a trusted advisor, helping candidates build their career paths and futures.
Animal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat Recruiting
Shannon is a fourth-generation rancher with 15 years as a sales professional in the livestock industry, who specializes in recruiting for the livestock industry in the southern states.
Shannon’s family ranch, Grote Angus Ranch, founded in 1888, has received the State of Texas Century Award, as well as the Historic Herd Award from the American Angus Association. Shannon and her husband, James, also operate Worrell Enterprises, a seed stock Hereford ranch. They are extremely active in the national cattle shows and do custom embryo and cattle breeding. Shannon’s vast network allows her to work closely with some of the leading companies and individuals in the industry. She utilizes these avenues to access top talent for clients.
Shannon’s successful career in the animal health industry contributes to her understanding of the culture of large pharma, distribution and retail, and livestock production. Her experience covering the U.S. and Mexico as a national accounts manager for Destron Fearing, and as a territory manager covering Texas and New Mexico for Merial, give her key insights into the industry she now serves as recruiting consultant. Shannon’s particular familiarity allows her to feel and understand the intangible qualities that make a great placement. A previous position as a loan officer in the Farm Credit system gives her the added dimension of financial knowledge and understanding that allow her to partner with her clients to develop business models and long-range planning, including strategic placement of the right candidates.
The values of high integrity and honesty originally attracted Shannon as a client for Ag 1 Source, which ultimately led to her position as a recruiting consultant.