Dale Bermester with Gateway FS in Red Bud, Illinois has been an FS Certified Crop Specialist (CCS) for nearly a quarter of a century and nothing makes him happier every day than helping farmers be more profitable.
“It’s really an on-going process, especially with your customers that you’ve been doing business with for 25 years,” Dale says. “We’re in tune with a lot of the steps they do in their business. We’re like one of the family.”
Dale was among the first crop of crop specialists back in the late 1980’s when GROWMARK first developed the program. “When I became a salesman back in 1985, the general manager of Gateway, which was Randolph Service Center at the time, said he wanted to be the first company to have all certified crop specialists,” Dale said. “GROWMARK was a step ahead when they came out with the certified crop specialist to make sure that the people who were making recommendations were helping the farmer and not just putting money in their own pockets.”
Becoming a CCS requires testing in a number of different areas and frequent continuing education to keep up with the latest technological and crop protection advancements. “You have to keep that going with continued eds, on-farm discovery and contacts to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” said Dale. “I have to stay focused on what’s ahead.”
Dale says a lot has changed in farming since he first became a CCS, with less farmers and bigger operations, more focus on the environment and the advancement of precision technology. “The technology has really opened our eyes about drainage, backing away from the tree line,” he said. “Once you have a number off the yield monitor, it really gets farmers thinking about what he can do to better manage.”
Listen to my interview with Dale here: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/growmark/gmk-ccs-dale.mp3″ text=”Dale Bermester Interview”]