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Ryan Meister Named Director of Technology

Ryan Meister

Ryan Meister

As technology drastically changes the agricultural landscape, Servi-Tech is reinvesting in its commitment to high-tech applications in agriculture.

It is with pleasure that Servi-Tech announces that Ryan Meister will be changing his role within Servi-Tech to Director of Technology Development. In this new role, Meister will be responsible for assisting Servi-Tech’s crop service division in technology training, creating consistent technology services throughout the company, working with our software vendors to increase usefulness, helping grow technology based revenue for crop service, and looking for and creating new technology service offerings.

“Ryan will bring consistency and expertise to this role, designed to enhance the overall level of the adoption of technology within Servi-Tech’s agronomy staff,” said Pete Kruse, Servi-Tech Director of Operations. “We are proud to have Ryan on our staff, and look forward to the changes ahead.”​

Meister has been the eastern Nebraska territory manager for the past two years, and has been with the company for 11 years.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to bring new technology to our customers,” Meister said. “The rate at which new tools are being made available will provide new opportunities in ag, and I hope to utilize these new tools along with our agronomy expertise for the benefit of our customers.”

This move will make room for a new territory manager in eastern Nebraska. Servi-Tech is currently accepting applications to fill this position.

3i Show: Final Day

(Newest posts at the top)

10:46 a.m. The booth across the way from us brought their top seller this morning. Here’s her in action.

7:30 a.m. The trollies are lined up and ready to start moving people from the racetrack over to the expo center! Also, my wife and stepson are awesome. They brought me donuts for my Saturday shift.

6:45 a.m. We’re here for the third and final day of the 3i Show! We hope you’ve enjoyed our live blogging of the event with myself and Monica. Crop Service Director Doug Cossey will be in the booth this afternoon. Here’s a nice sunset to start off your Saturday morning in Dodge City.

TheProfiler now available to the public

Good morning!

Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services, LLC, or STEPS, has been working for the past two years on TheProfiler, a comprehensive soil moisture monitoring system.

Here’s TheProfiler:


 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the press release:

Contact: Jeff Kugler, Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services, LLC CEO

Phone: (402) 362-9278

E-mail: jeffk@servi-techinc.com

TheProfiler now available to the public

Imagine being able to remotely track how much moisture your crops receive and being able to maximize your irrigation dollars.

A new product from Servi-Tech allows producers to do just that.

TheProfiler, a comprehensive soil moisture monitoring system that uses telemetry from AgSense, is available immediately. It can be used throughout the United States

TheProfiler includes three soil moisture sensors that are set up to monitor soil depths of 12, 24, and 36 inches, a telemetry control box with cell modem, solar panel, mounting brackets, and hardware.

TheProfiler was created by Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services, LLC, or STEPS.

Jeff Kugler, STEPS CEO, said TheProfiler was inspired by a few factors. The first, he said, is to do a better job managing irrigation by closely and precisely monitoring soil moisture. Other factors included the increasing cost of irrigation and the decline in the ground water supply.

“Ground water is a limited resource that we need to conserve so that future generations also have this resource,” Kugler said.

It has taken STEPS two years to develop TheProfiler, partnering with Irrometer and AgSense.

TheProfiler works like this:

  • TheProfiler takes a Watermark sensor reading, which monitors soil moisture, every 30 minutes.
  • Once the readings are taken, the data is uploaded to theprofileronline.com
  • The data is viewed in graph form. The user can view the data in a one day up to 30-day time frame, allowing analyzing short and long-term soil moisture trends.

TheProfiler is valued at $1,995.

The price includes all of the equipment, the first year modem subscription, and web access. The solar panel charges the internal battery in the control box, eliminating the need for any additional power source.

There is optional equipment, including a tipping rain bucket and an additional sensor to monitor either 6 inch or 48 inch depth.

TheProfiler is available for the current 2012 growing season. The product can be used throughout the United States. If your area has cell phone coverage, TheProfiler will work.

TheProfiler may be purchased by calling the Servi-Tech office at 800-557-7509 or by contacting Jeff Kugler at 402-362-9278. To learn more about TheProfiler visit theprofileronline.com.

STEPS, LLC was formed in 2009 to pursue technologies that would benefit current and future customers in making their farm operations more profitable.

Servi-Tech was organized in 1975 by three farmer-owned cooperatives to provide technical service for agricultural producers in southwest Kansas. Today, Servi-Tech provides consulting to approximately 2,000 farmers across five states and over 1 million acres.

Servi-Tech Laboratories established its first laboratory in Dodge City in 1977. It has since opened the Hastings, Neb. Laboratory in 1999 and a third laboratory in Amarillo, Texas.  The labs test soil, water, feed, plant tissue, fertilizer, manure, and more.

Prevent ATV Theft

When it comes to keeping the tools that we use safe, Servi-Tech Territory Manager Dave Green has a story to tell and some advice.

An agronomist recently had his personal ATV stolen out of his truck. He said while it unfortunately happens from time to time, there are some ways to deter thieves.

Here are some tips:

  • At night park the truck up against a building or another vehicle to make access to the bed harder.
  • Lock the tailgate so the potential thieves have to pick the ATV up over the tailgate to get it out (most ATVs weigh more than 500 pounds).
  • Chain the ATV to one of the tie downs in the truck.

More from Dave: “We always think it won’t be ours that gets stolen, but I guarantee it will be a bad day if it happens to you. Like most things, if you make it harder for the thieves they may move onto an easier target.”

And speaking of thieves, there’s an interesting story in the Omaha World-Herald today. The story is about a family who installed an alarm system on its center-pivot irrigation systems. When a thief tried to steal copper, the alarm system was triggered, which minimized the loss.

Read the story here.

Tales from Africa

Happy Friday, bloggers!

Servi-Tech Communications recently had a chance to catch up with Ryan Nickerson, who went on a mission trip to the west African country of Senegal.

He has an amazing story that we’d like to share with you.

Servi-Tech Agronomist Travels to Africa

Farmers in the U.S. have many modern conveniences to help make life easier: from the tractors they use to the way they test crop yields.

But what if you were charged with helping farmers who had next to no equipment and only a mule and a plow?

That’s what Servi-Tech agronomist and Doniphan resident Ryan Nickerson experienced in the west African country of Senegal. He visited with farms and producers in Kaolack and several small villages, giving soil fertility advice from Jan. 28 through Feb. 11.

He educated farmers about the role that nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium plays in a plant’s life. He also provided strategies for applying compost to the land.

“My whole philosophy was taking what they do and making it better,” he said.

Ryan Nickerson talks to farmers in the west African country of Senegal. Nickerson traveled on a mission trip to Senegal Jan. 28 through Feb. 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickerson said he decided to take on the challenge and travel to Africa because of Servi-Tech’s purpose; making the planet more productive.

“The trip was my one opportunity to make the world a better place and make the planet more productive,” he said.

Senegal has sandy soil that is low in organic matter. Nickerson said farmers knew that implementing compost creates nutrient rich, organic material, but they didn’t know when, or how, to apply that material to the land.

Servi-Tech’s central Nebraska Territory Manager Rick Runyan said he was happy to hear Nickerson would be traveling abroad to be an agriculture expert.

“This was a chance of a lifetime for Ryan to represent his company and his talents for the betterment of the people of a foreign country,” Runyan said.

Since French is spoken in Senegal, Nickerson used a translator to talk to the farmers.

Runyan said Nickerson brings back an appreciation for technology, communication and infrastructure — things typically taken for granted in the U.S. Farmers in Senegal don’t have tractors, irrigation technology or access to fertilizer or crop genetics like U.S. farmers have.

Senegal farmers use a mule and a plow. Nickerson developed ways the farmers could plant their corn, peanuts and millets crops in rows.

His advice also included different land management strategies. For example, at the end of a growing season Senegal farmers like to burn the fields to get rid of the crop residue.

Burning the fields can be dangerous and can hurt the soil cycle and soil structure.

“I did a lot of educating about what they’re doing and how it’s affecting the soil,” he said.

While in Senegal Nickerson talked to farmers about soil fertility and land management strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nickerson found out about the trip through his former college adviser, Dr. Stephen Mason, professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

This is Nickerson’s first time traveling overseas to share his agriculture expertise, although he has been overseas before. He served in the military in Iraq from April 2003 to May 2004. He also helped build a school in Nicaragua through the military.

“Sometimes we don’t realize what’s going on on the other side of the world,” he said. “As good as we have it, there are millions of people out there that need help. I’m just happy to help a few of them.”

While in Africa Nickerson kept readers updated on his progress by updating a blog at mp2.ag.

Nickerson lives in Doniphan with his wife, Amanda, and children Ethan, 8, and Kayli, 4. He grew up on a small family farm in Cambridge, Neb., that raised cattle and dry land corn.

Nickerson is a senior agronomist with Servi-Tech. He provides agronomic services to farmers in central Nebraska.

Ryan Nickerson poses for a photo with children in a village near Kaolack, Senegal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Servi-Tech was organized in 1975 by three farmer-owned cooperatives to provide technical service for agricultural producers in southwest Kansas. Today, Servi-Tech provides consulting to approximately 2,000 farmers across five states and over 1 million acres.

So, what exactly IS precision agriculture?

This article originally appeared in the January 23, 2012 edition of the High Plains Journal. Find the full article here.

All of us in food production often throw out the term “precision agriculture,” yet I am not sure we know exactly what we speak of. Yes, of course it does include the eye in the sky steering our equipment but it is much bigger and deeper than that. My first trip of 2012 was to a Land O’ Lakes Purina Feed dairy meeting in the Wisconsin Dells, and one presentation hit me like a ton of bricks.

The presenter stated that the time of day you feed your cows could influence milk production by 20 percent. Yes, one particular dairy herd had a reduction in daily milk production by 20 percent on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Why? Simply because the weekend feeder was feeding the cows two hours earlier than the guy who fed during the week. Who would ever guess that a cow could be that regimented that messing with her precision would affect her production so much? Furthermore, who would ever guess that we could identify the problem and pin-point that simple solution? That is just the tip of iceberg when it comes to today’s “precision agriculture.”

Come to think of it, I believe this is a story that we need to share far and wide and use it to “brand” farmers today. It speaks to the overall efficiency that has been achieved in today’s conversion of natural resources into human consumable products.

Take the time to read the full article for some great information.

Understanding SOPA/PIPA

Good morning!

You may notice this morning that some sites are either partially or completely blacked out today (including Google and Wikipedia). This is in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation that are currently working through Congress.

Both pieces of legislation could have far-reaching implications for companies and individuals who use social media to connect with clients, friends, and family.

We feel it’s important that those in agriculture understand what effects the bill could have on worldwide internet usage, the arguments on both sides, and its current status. Concerns are being raised by a number of companies and individuals who feel that the bill is worded so vaguely that the government’s reach could extend beyond the bill’s intents and purposes.

Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia have all come out against the bills, calling them overly broad. Major media companies such as Time Warner (CNN) and News Corp (Fox News) come out in support of the two pieces of legislation, saying they protect the creative works of individuals and companies.

Here are some handy links to help you understand the controversy.

The Breakdownhttp://money.cnn.com/2012/01/17/technology/sopa_explained/index.htm

The News Storyhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16590585

An Opinionhttp://mashable.com/2012/01/17/sopa-dangerous-opinion/

I do encourage you to take the time to read not only these articles, but the bill itself.  You will find vehement support on both sides of the issue (as you would with any controversial piece of legislation).  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll do my best to answer any questions or concerns you may have!  Thank you, as always, for working with Servi-Tech to make the planet more productive. Cheers!