Meet the Ag 1 Source Team
Mike SmithChairman of the Board
Rhonda WernerDirector of People & Culture/Recruiting Partner
Chairman of the Board
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.
Mark joined Ag 1 Source in 2006 and assumed the role of President in 2022. During this time he has partnered with organizations throughout the US and Canada to place everything from salespeople to CEO executive job seekers and has successfully improved hiring practices in companies ranging from small startup operations to Fortune 100 companies. He is currently focused on executive search in the Food, Agronomy, Seed, and Grain sectors of our business.
Prior to joining Ag1Source, Mark was part of the Land O’Lakes and CHS cooperative systems where he held positions in retail agronomy, location management, Agronomy Services, fertilizer marketing, and Cenex Brand refined fuels leadership.
In addition to recruiting and consulting for industry leaders, Mark has been writing Human Resource based articles for CropLife Magazine since 2008 and has assisted several regional and national ag organizations develop programs and resources to improve hiring and employee retention practices for their members.
Scott joined Career 1 Source in 2013 and assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2022. During this time, he has partnered with organizations throughout the US to hire everything from credit analysts to CEOs. He has successfully improved hiring practices in companies ranging from small startup operations to large publicly traded organizations. He is currently leading the Financial Services/Banking and Transportation/Logistics practices of our business.
Prior to joining Career 1 Source, Scott was part of BNSF Railway where he was a Corporate Management Trainee, Terminal Trainmaster, Manager of Customer Integration, and Market Manager. His background also includes working for a community bank in Kansas where he worked his way up into a Market President position.
In addition to Executive Recruiting, Scott is a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer of Career 1 Source and Ag 1 Source where they have helped organizations fill over 2,500 open positions since 2003. Scott’s favorite comment to say about executive recruiting is: “Isn’t it awesome, that every day, we have the opportunity to fundamentally improve one person’s life and one organization, one person at a time!”
Director of People & Culture/Recruiting Partner
Joining Ag 1 Source in 2007 to focus on building out their Southern recruiting business in the Agronomy Sector, Rhonda has seen years of successful placements from grower level sales and agronomists up to CEO searches and everything in between. Over the years, she’s grown a loyal clientele who returns to her time and time again to fill some of their most important roles. Her role now has grown to also include overseeing most of the Eastern US for all things Agronomy related. She also recently has been promoted to Director of People and Culture of our Ag 1 Source and Career 1 Source brands.
Prior to joining Ag 1 Source, Rhonda started her career in the Crop Protection Industry working for Bayer CropScience and it’s legacy companies Aventis and Rhone Poulenc. She worked both in the field and in the corporate office with Bayer. Rhonda also spent 4 years with Waters Agricultural Laboratories successfully growing their business of their Owensboro, Kentucky Lab to be a mainstay of agricultural analytical laboratories in that region.
Rhonda is a graduate of Murray State University where she majored in Agronomy with an Ag Business Minor. She held her Certified Crop Advisor License for years and served on the board of both the AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky and the Kentucky CCA Board, where she served as President to both of those boards. She her family still farm their homeplace in South West Kentucky.
Rebecca ArkfeldSourcing Recruiter
Rich EngelAgronomy and Seed Recruiting
Ryan GaleAgronomy and Seed Recruiting
Ron HaydenAnimal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat Recruiting
Jennifer Mizell CulpepperSourcing Recruiter
Beth RachutResearch Assistant
Cale SmithAgronomy Recruiter
Shannon WorrellAnimal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat 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
With a decade of highly successful Livestock Industry Recruiting career, Ron works with clients throughout Northern half of the US in the animal protein industry platform for Ag 1 Source. Since joining Ag 1 Source in 2012, he has partnered with organizations to fill key sales, marketing, sales/marketing management, operations management, senior level and executive leadership positions. Ron is a Sr. level Partner leader within the company and has been honored with Team Lead of the Year, Outstanding Leadership and Excellence Awards.
Prior to joining Ag 1 Source Ron had an outstanding career within the livestock feed, nutrition and genetics industries. He served as Livestock Tech Sales Specialist, North American New Business Development Manager, National Sales Director and President roles. These experiences lend themselves to deep firsthand knowledge that assist your organization find pinnacle level talent of great value for your open opportunities.
Ron holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee, and BS/MBA from Michigan State. Ron is continuously mentoring and speaking at events on national platforms, college senior careers and extensive volunteer advocate including annual judge for the National FFA Convention, county and state fairs, DeColores & Kairos Prison Ministries, cattle & pork producer associations and more.
Jennifer Mizell Culpepper
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.
Animal Health/Nutrition, Livestock Production & Meat Recruiting
With more than a decade in the Livestock Recruiting industry, Shannon works with clients throughout Southern half of the US in the livestock and protein production industry for Ag 1 Source. Since joining Ag 1 Source in 2011, she has partnered with organizations to fill key sales, marketing, sales/marketing management, operations management, and executive leadership positions.
Prior to joining Ag 1 Source Shannon started her career in the ag finance industry and then spent 15 years in the animal health industry. She has hands on knowledge in which she serves. Shannon is also a 4th generation rancher and knows the true value of hard work and passion.
Shannon holds a Masters Degree from Texas A&M University, She is very active in the American Hereford Association and is President of the National Hereford Women’s organization. Shannon is a mentor and a popular speaker at industry events and agriculture colleges to share experiences of career choices and talent needs.