Photo: Grower Council Annual Meeting in Amelia Island
As Simplot Grower Solutions continues to grow as a dynamic agribusiness leader throughout the US and Canada, it is important for the business to remain farmer-focused. The SGS Grower Council first launched in the spring of 2021 and was motivated by an unwavering commitment to farmer success over the long run.
Today the Council is comprised of 25 growers — all loyal Simplot customers — across 12 regions in the US and Western Canada. Members of the SGS Grower Council attend an Annual Meeting every year to share crucial insights on the challenges facing growers everywhere, like managing difficult economic conditions and uncertainty, charting a path forward as fluctuations in weather and climate continue to cause instability for farmers, and the need for innovative tools to optimize efficiency.
“I was able to take back a lot of what I learned at that meeting to my own farm and that helped me make money down the road,” said Chad Sheffield who has served on the Grower Council since 2021.
Sheffield is a 5th generation farmer in Rowland, Oklahoma, and the Annual Meeting provides farmers like him an opportunity to learn from growers all over the country. The Council has expanded their farming network and created an outlet for growers to share their input and recommendations on existing products.
Meeting Growers Where They Are
Beyond the Annual Meeting, the SGS Customer Experience Team dedicates time every year to meeting individually with members of the Grower Council. These one- to two-day visits include time to meet with the member’s family, eat a meal together, walk the land, sometimes ride in their cotton picker or tractor, and most importantly, listen. The team has visited farmers from every corner of the country.
“The SGS Grower Council has proven to be a crucial asset for SGS, significantly shaping our decision-making process,” said Jamie Scanlon, Head of Customer Experience for SGS. “The invaluable insights gleaned from our farmers have been instrumental in steering our company towards a more grower-centric approach, enhancing the overall customer experience.”
Despite size or farm location differences, growers have shared similar observations and concerns with our customer experience team. First and foremost, farmers view their relationship with their crop advisors as fundamental to their operations.
Photo: Annie Dee, Dee River Farms
A Relationship Built on Trust
A cornerstone for SGS customers is the trusted relationship between the grower and their Simplot Crop Advisor. Mitchell Stacy, working from our Weber Falls, Oklahoma SGS store, has been supporting Simplot customers as a Crop Advisor for 17 years.
“My job is so much more than just delivering feed and chemical fertilizer. I need to have knowledge in all aspects of farming and ranching,” he said. “The growers I support grow wheat, cotton, corn, grass hay, soybean, native grasses — and I provide services to them all.”
A trusted Crop Advisor can save valuable time for farmers by making recommendations that can help them optimize their resources and profits. “I don’t have time to cross check every product that goes into my farm. Trusting my Crop Advisor‘s recommendations is a must in my world,” said Chad Sheffield.
Simplot Grower Solutions has seen extraordinary growth in its 90-year history, from its first retail farm service location in Caldwell, Idaho, to its expanding footprint of more than 250 stores. SGS supports in total 38,000 growers across 32 states and Canada. Collectively they grow more than 90 crops in a combined effort to feeding our world. SGS has become the 3rd largest retailer in the US, and while many things have changed over the years, staying farmer-focused remains central for our SGS teams. Mitchell Stacey added, “Simplot truly invests in both the Crop Advisor and the Grower, and that to me, is the definition of a family.”
Photo: Mitchell Stacy & Chad Sheffield