20 July 2022, Ohio: Veteran ag industry leader John Gertz has joined the senior management team at Meristem Crop Performance as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In the new role, Gertz will apply his deep experience in agribusiness, manufacturing and global supply chain operations management to boost Meristem’s efforts to build the most efficient platform for driving farm business success and accelerating innovation.
“We’ve put together a team of passionate and proven agribusiness leaders to build a scalable platform to help our farm business partners deliver improved ROI for the growers they serve,” said Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO today in the announcement. “We are so excited and pleased to have John Gertz as part of the team and apply his unique skills and experiences to continue building our operational processes and infrastructure to assure Meristem customers get high-quality products accurately and on-time. I’ve admired John’s work through the years and have learned firsthand of his knowledge, wisdom and integrity.”
Gertz has a proven track record of product development advancement, business growth and team engagement throughout all levels of the chemical and specialty input industry. He has been working in the industry since 1995, starting in sales and marketing roles with basic discovery, post-patent products and crop nutritionals. He has shown consistent results in growing and scaling businesses and organizations in the industry. John holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in agronomy and crop sciences from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Giovanna have raised two grown children. One is following her father’s example in growing successful sales teams and the other proudly serving as a United States Marine.
In 2007, Gertz transitioned to the distribution side of the industry. Gertz’s breadth of experience gives him a deep understanding of the needs of growers, farm businesses and channel partners. He comes to Meristem from Sipcam Agro USA, where he was the CEO. Before that, he helped lead a $750 million business at SiteOne Landscape Supply, LLC the largest distributor in the specialty turf and ornamental industy.
“We are in the midst of a unique time in crop production when innovation is much needed and can be made available if we make the right moves,” said Gertz. “With Meristem Crop Performance, I look forward to being a part of a solution that will help more farm businesses get what they need to grow during a very difficult time in the supply chain. We will also source more innovative technology to push through the Meristem dealer partner channel.”
Gertz said it’s time to help locally-controlled and independent farm businesses by removing the waste and inefficiency caused by the traditional multi-step distribution model. He will move to Columbus, Ohio, home of Meristem Crop Performance in order to lead Meristem’s growing operational team.
“Innovation follows market access and requires an ‘always on’ willingness to try new technology and new approaches,” added Eviston. “We are quickly expanding our platform through dozens of dealers and partners with exposure on millions of acres and John’s input and skill set will help us go further faster.”