After a few years of vacancy, the Agronomist position with Southwest Grain in New England has been filled, by two people.
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
After a few years of vacancy, the Agronomist position with Southwest Grain in New England has been filled, by two people. According to Agronomy.org, “agronomists are plant and soil scientists who develop innovative farm practices and technologies that not only boost crop yields but also control pests and weeds and protect the environment.” Taking on the position are two people that have ties to the surrounding area.
James Duletski is a Belfied native who grew up on a farm that was roughly 2500 acres between pasture and farmland.
Duletski attended North Dakota State University, initially majoring in Accounting. After some time in that program, Duletski felt it would better suit him to focus on an ag-related profession. He finished his education at NDSU, earning a degree in Ag Economics.
During his eductation, Duletski interned with Southwest Grain twice, and after working in Bismarck for about eight months, returned to New England to take on this full time role.
Also joining Southwest Grain as an Agronomist is Brooke Kuntz. Kuntz grew up on a farm north of South Heart where she did some farming and ranching.
At a career crossroad, Kuntz was led to the agronomy industry by her father. After doing some research on the profession and industry, she enrolled at Bismarck State College. Kuntz earned a degree in Ag Industry and Technology.
Kuntz also interned with Southwest Grain and really enjoyed her experience.
“I liked it so much that I came back,” Kuntz said.
Both said they were led to the industry from their past experiences growing up on a farm. Coming from being raised on the farm, they have knowledge of the industry, and coupled with their education they feel they’re poised for success.
They also feel they have a great opportunity with the work they can do in New England.
“There’s a huge opportunity for us in this area,” Duletski said. “My whole intent was to come back. I knew this position was open, so when I came back, I told them ‘I know there’s opportunity here in New England.’”
With the Agronomy division being vacant for a few years, the fresh eyes and minds of Duletksi and Kuntz hope to breathe new life on something that has fallen short in the past couple farming seasons. Kuntz looks at it as an opportunity to expand the business as well.
During the farming season, Duletski and Kuntz will put on a lot of miles on the road.
“Not exactly long miles,” Duletski said. “Not going back to Fargo and back everyday, just country miles.”
“Once the busy season comes, we put on a lot of miles going out scouting, talking to farmers” Kuntz said.
As the busy season dwindles, their schedules slow, but their work doesn’t.
They’ll spend the winter months gathering knowledge.
“Anything we can get our hands on to increase the knowledge of farming,” Kuntz said. “And how to help farmers.”
Both Kuntz and Duletski attend trade shows, farm shows and other continuing education events to boost their own expertise, so they can in turn communicate the things they’ve learned to the farmers.
They also spend the slow season getting prepared for the next spring and summer. Right now, according to Duletski, they can already pre-purchase seed and chemicals in preparation.
Duletski and Kuntz are excited to help Southwest Grain anyway they can, and assist the farmers to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
“Here to serve,” Duletski said.