AGCO Corporation names Tony Kornder with Genesis Growing Solutions in Le Sueur, Minn., the 11th annual Operator of the Year. Widely respected for his efficiency and ability to train new applicators, Kornder was selected following interviews with four finalists for the honor. He was recognized during the 2016 Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
With 19 years of application experience, Kornder applies on about 35,000 acres each year. Genesis Growing Solutions credits Kornder’s knowledge and work ethic with improving client retention and gaining new customers. He always keeps equipment ready to go and continuously looks to gain efficiency in road time, routing or loading.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Kornder says. “This is a very demanding job and puts almost as much stress on the operator as the operator’s family. When I’m in the seat, there’s an empty spot at the dinner table, in the sports bleachers and in the church pew until the job is done.”
Ag retailers across the country nominated more than 40 applicators for the 11th annual Operator of the Year program. A panel of judges at AGCO then evaluated submissions based on skills, dedication, customer service and community involvement. Kornder received a new Harley-Davidson® motorcycle as part of the award. All nominees were presented with a certificate of recognition for their hard work and dedication in the industry.
“All 11 of the AGCO Operator of the Year winners are outstanding leaders in the industry,” states Mark Mohr, tactical marketing manager at AGCO Corporation. “Since starting this program, the industry has experienced leaps forward in both crop input application technology and the products being applied. Each year, our winner demonstrates the ability to learn, understand and apply new knowledge for their growers’ benefit. In Tony’s nomination, we saw how much his customers appreciated his hard work — both for their operations and in their community.”
Kornder is a member of his company’s safety committee and recently led a training session for all custom applicators. As a fifth-generation family farmer, Kornder personally understands the challenges his customers face. He is president of the Scott County (Minn.) Farm Bureau and has testified at the state capitol on agricultural issues.
The Operator of the Year program was designed to recognize custom applicators in North America who spend hundreds of hours in the field every year using technologically advanced application machinery, like a RoGator® or TerraGator®, to apply fertilizer and crop protection products on millions of crop acres.