About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Where’s the sales pitch? It’s in the yield, it’s in the field!

By Katie

If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I wanted to be when I grow up, sales probably would have been one of the last things to come to mind. In fact, when I tell people now that I am involved in sales I feel like I need to explain exactly what I do so that they don’t think that I go door to door begging people to buy seed. I sell soybeans, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, winter canola and alfalfa and I love it. I only wish I would have known earlier what exactly it entailed.

Oklahoma Territory Agronomy Advisor and Katie's coworker, Michael Marlow, speaking at a field day in Blackwell, OK to a group of growers about Asgrow varieties in one of her soybean plots.

My job as a sales rep is to prove that our products outperform the competition so that farmers want to work with me and buy the seed and traits that I sell. Beyond that, my goal is not to sell to our customers for one year, but to work with that grower throughout the season to ensure their satisfaction while working on building a relationship that will last years to come. Working in sales for Monsanto is not a one and done commitment, it is a one and we’ve just begun commitment!

In order to sell our Dekalb, Asgrow and Deltapine seeds and traits, I work hard to make sure that our products are well-known in the market place. This year in my territory I worked with farmers and seed retailers to plant over 30 plots in Oklahoma so that we can see how our seeds and traits perform in different environments against our competition. Between planting and harvesting I work with my farmers on issues that could arise such as identifying bug pressure, managing the effects that extreme weather has on the crops along with identifying potential disease and weeds in the fields. We also watch the progress of the field together by walking the rows to see how the seed emerges and note differences in varieties so that we can learn from the experience while also working to have a successful crop.

In the days leading up to harvest we have field days where we invite growers and talk about what we’re seeing in our trials so that they can see our Dekalb, Asgrow and Deltapine products in action. This is an opportunity for both me and the farmer who planted the crop to let others know about what we’ve seen throughout the season. After harvest, we work to pass out the yield results, win or lose, so that farmers can see how the varieties we showed them earlier in the season measure up where it matters: in the grain bin. We put a lot of work into these demonstrations but we learn a lot from them and hopefully our local farmers see that we’re investing in their areas to find the right products for their farms.

Although the word “sales” is in my job description, at the end of the day I feel like I am more of a guide than a sales person. My job is to stay up to date on what will affect the farmer, how different products are performing, and what I can do to help the growers I work with be more successful. My goal is to have farmers that want to do business with me and plant our products. Just like any sales person, I do have a catalog to sell out of and our products have a price, however that price comes along with a promise that we will be there to support the customer throughout the season. I am proud to help farmers every day, and I am proud to say that I am doing that by working for Monsanto in sales.

Katie has worked for Monsanto as a sales rep in Oklahoma since 2007. Her favorite part of the job is building relationships with farmers and retailers in her territory and helping ensure that they have a good experience when using our products. She loves living and working in Oklahoma but is a still a very proud Missouri girl at heart. Katie grew up on a beef farm in Northwest Missouri and then went to the University of Missouri in Columbia and earned a degree in Agricultural Journalism and a minor in Agricultural Economics. When she is not running around the countryside in Oklahoma promoting the benefits of our products, she enjoys spending time with her husband Brian. Katie also loves traveling, working out, cooking and reading.

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