Skip to Main Content
Apr 02, 2018

Chief Executive Officer Report

By Roger Kienholz - Chief Executive Officer
Changes in Senior Leadership

We’ve had a couple of significant changes on the Senior Leadership Team since the first of the year that I’d like to tell you about.

First of all, Dale Botten, our Vice President of Agronomy, retired from Crystal Valley on February 1, 2018, following a highly successful 42-year career in service to Agriculture. Dale began his tenure with us as Crystal Co-op’s Agronomy Manager on February 1, 1983, and served in that capacity every day for the next 35 years. Prior to his service with Crystal Valley, Dale worked for Midland Cooperatives from 1976 to 1983 and was a 1976 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. degree in Ag Business. Dale will be dearly missed at Crystal Valley, and we all wish him and Linda the very best in retirement.

I am pleased to announce that we have hired Jeff Hendricks as our new VP of Agronomy, starting with Crystal Valley in mid-January. Jeff grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan, and earned his B.S. degree in Crops and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University in East Lansing. He began his agronomy career as a Sales Agronomist with the Caledonia Farmers Elevator in Caledonia, Michigan, and later moved on to become the Agronomy Manager for the Hamilton Farm Bureau cooperative in Hamilton and Wayland, Michigan.

Most recently, Jeff served as the Agronomy Department Manager for the Michigan Business Unit of CHS, Inc. He has also obtained his Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Indiana – Kelly School of Business. Jeff and his wife Misty have twin five-year-old boys and are fully moved into a new home in North Mankato. We’re excited to have Jeff on board with Crystal Valley and look forward to his leadership in the Agronomy Division.

On April 2, Bruce Lauver retired as Crystal Valley’s Vice President of Energy. Although only with us for less than two years, Bruce made several structural and reporting changes within the Energy Division to improve our operational efficiencies and business processes. In retirement, Bruce will be returning to his longtime home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he looks forward to spending much more time with his family and grandchildren. All our best goes out to Bruce as well.

So, with Bruce’s retirement, we’re thick into the process of searching for a new VP of Energy. My estimate is that it will be sometime during or after the spring planting season before we get a new person hired and in place. Meanwhile, our veteran employees will be able to handle all your needs: Nathan Monroe for Refined Fuels and Lubricants related issues; Jim Jung for all things Propane service related; and Chad Larson for any sales related questions pertaining to gas, diesel, propane and lube oils.

I just recently met our new crop of college interns that will be working with us this summer – quite an impressive group of young men and women! You’ll get introduced to them in greater detail in our summer newsletter, but I’m pleased to see such quality individuals pursuing degrees in Agriculture. We’re going to need them in the very near future as our baby boomers continue retiring from the workforce.

Not sure if you all will be planting yet when this newsletter hits your mailbox, but hopefully very soon afterward. 

Have a safe spring planting season!

View News