What led you to get your bachelor’s in agronomy and master’s in soil fertility?
I have been involved with agriculture my whole life but didn’t chose that as my initial career path. In my first year of college, I was pursuing a degree in civil engineering. After a semester of soil science class, I became fascinated with all of the science related to soil and crops and reflected on all of my experiences on our own farm. It just felt natural and right to be discussing and learning about agronomy. An opportunity to work for ag extension and soil fertility research department made me realize that I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in soil science and become an educator within the industry. My graduate program allowed for more advanced training and research experiences in the fields of crop science, soil chemistry, soil and water conservation, and nutrient cycling in the environment.
When I reflect back on my college experiences and my goals of contributing to agriculture and crop nutrition, my role at Mosaic is the ideal fit.
What is your role in working with customers?
My primary role is to provide agronomic technical support and performance product support to our sales team and customers. My job is to help them find the right Mosaic product, or combination of products, that help them achieve their yield and economical goals. My previous role as Sr. Agronomist for Western North America involved traveling to retail customer locations in Western North America to conduct performance product training to increase sales and product stewardship.
I thoroughly enjoy customer interaction, learning, and education. I am constantly learning from our retailer customers and their growers. I hope that I can offer them some additional insight to make their farms more productive! My goal is to provide some formal training in soil chemistry, crop physiology and nutrient uptake, combine it with some of my own farming experiences, and foster a discussion that makes people realize the power of our performance products. Over time, these discussions that provide both learning and training opportunities to me have helped me to grow in my role and become more knowledgeable in various crops and crop nutrition.
What is your favorite thing about your work?
My role allows me to work cross-functionally with many departments within Mosaic and I really enjoy that aspect. But I find customer interaction and support the most enjoyable. I like working with customers to explore different ways that Mosaic performance products can fit into their local cropping system and empowering them to think about how they can be a better agronomist – a better resource for the grower that they work with and enable that grower to have more yield – year in and year out. But also, how do they do that in an environmentally friendly manner so that there's not any leaching of nutrients or runoff into a waterway.
Have you seen any interesting changes in the industry over these last few years?
There has be a healthy shift to focus on the 4R’s and Nutrient Stewardship – Right source, Right rate, the Right time, and the Right place – are the four different R’s that we talk about during our trainings. Long-standing customers of our performance product portfolio are looking at different times of application and different placement methods that best utilize the nutrient offerings. There's a lot of new, innovative approaches that retailers and growers are taking to make sure those nutrients stay on the field and get taken up by the crop and aren’t lost in other areas. We are very proud that MicroEssentials® has recently received an Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer (EEF) designation as defined by the Association of American Plant Food Controls Officials. This was a long awaited and much deserved designation for this product.
How does the work you do contribute to the global food supply chain?
I am very passionate about our mission statement. I eat, sleep and breathe it - we help the world grow the food it needs.
We need to keep advancing crop nutrition forward, and it's an absolute requirement to keep humankind moving forward. Traveling have allowed me to witness soils that are highly weathered or have been mined of much-needed crop nutrients. We don’t often see this in North America, but witnessing crops and humans starved of nutrition in other geographies builds a passion and energy that can’t be replicated!
The use of our existing products along with the development of new products for advanced crop nutrition is so critical, regardless of the ebbs and flows that we see with supply and demand. Mosaic has a responsibility as a leader in crop nutrition to strive toward our mission every day so that we can provide global solutions to growers around the world.
Curt has worked at Mosaic since 2012. His primary role is to provide technical support to retail customers on crop nutrition and Mosaic performance products. He works closely with sales, marketing and the new product development team on product growth and new product launches. Curt earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and master’s in soil fertility.