Developing the next generation of ag leaders

Dan Verhasselt is vice president of sales for Ornua Ingredients North America.

By Randy Tenpas
For MAA

To quote Vince Lombardi, “Leaders are made; they are not born.” So it is true when it comes to Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. How ironic that one of the leading industries in Wisconsin is comprised of leaders who excel in both technical and soft skills. In other words, ag professionals are both doers and communicators.

That’s the case with Dan Verhasselt, vice president of sales for Ornua Ingredients North America, a manufacturer of pasteurized process cheese products. He serves on the leadership team at Ornua’s 110,000-square-foot plant in Hilbert, Wis. The plant includes an impressive research and development lab. Verhasselt’s staff of four sales representatives is responsible for serving the industrial food sector with customized cheese technologies and solutions. Some of his customers work at multi-national food companies throughout North America. Continue reading “Developing the next generation of ag leaders”

Tech Tilling: From family farm employee to business owner

By Dale Drees
For MAA

It’s always amazing to see how the world of agriculture opens so many paths to prosperity in related fields. For Ryan Kortz, he took his hands-on experiences growing up on a family dairy farm in Kaukauna, Wis., to making a career out of shaking hands and growing relationships.

In high school, Kortz juggled early morning and evening chores with homework and other activities while discovering a passion for fixing equipment so vital to his family’s livelihood. He was kind of the go-to farmhand when it came to engines and maintenance, thanks to his father’s mentorship. Learning the value of such skills and possessing an affinity for hands-on work, Kortz’ interest in outdoor power grew by the time he finished high school in 2008.

Continue reading “Tech Tilling: From family farm employee to business owner”