25 August 2023, Ohio: Experienced crop production specialist Vince Wertman has joined Meristem Crop Performance® Group, LLC, one of the fastest-growing crop input suppliers in America. Wertman, with deep experience in biologicals, becomes Meristem’s Senior Sales Director, operating in Minnesota.
“Vince Wertman knows crop production and he knows biologicals,” said Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO, in announcing the team addition. “Vince has been demonstrating the power of biologicals at field-level for 15 years and has a passion for helping farmers make the most of every seed they plant and crop they raise. We are very excited that he’s joining our team of all-stars.”
“Meristem is leading the way with innovation, making biologicals more effective for crops and easier to use for farmers,” said Wertman. “I’m very excited to work with the Meristem team to bring this new technology to help more farmers gain more bushels for less cost. This aligns perfectly with my personal mission of service to agriculture.”
Wertman grew up on a small farm near Ashland, Ohio, and earned a degree in ag sciences from Ohio State University. He began his journey with biologicals in 2006 with Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM), working with farmers on plot trials and demos in Minnesota. In the years since, he has worked closely with researchers as a technical sales manager on better understanding of abiotic stresses and their impact on crop loss. He saw how biologicals could become foundational products for agronomic programs. ABM was acquired by Lesaffre in 2021 and merged with Lesaffre’s Agrauxine business unit.
“I’m an Ohio farm kid who moved to the frozen tundra of Minnesota to advance my career,” smiles Wertman. “Experiencing both ends of the Corn Belt has been very valuable to me in better understanding crop production. The business of biologicals in agriculture has changed a lot in just those 15 years.” He says more computing power, better mapping of genomes, and improved formulations have been key in unlocking innovation for farmers. “Mapping the genome of an organism in 2008 was measured in days and weeks, now it’s measured in minutes,” he explains. “We didn’t have the raw horsepower of computer power back then that we can use today.”
Development in biologicals, Wertman observes, seems to be following Moore’s Law (computer technology) in that solutions are becoming more powerful quite rapidly. “It’s fair to say we’ve doubled the power of biologicals we are bringing to crop production in just a few years,” he says. “We have newer, more powerful microbes today.”
Wertman lives near Albert Lea, Minn., with his wife Danielle and their son Andrew. When he’s not with his family or helping farmers, he’s an avid CrossFit enthusiast and middle-distance runner, and recently began training with the local rugby club. He says maintaining fitness and guarding against fatigue are also key issues with biologicals, and important to bringing farmers consistency in product freshness, numbers of microbes and overall efficacy being applied to the seed and into the soil.
“One of the things Meristem is doing in an excellent way is bringing a variety of new technologies to market in a way that really makes sense to growers,” he explains. “With the ability to keep microbes separate and vigorous all the way into the planter box, Meristem’s patented BIO-CAPSULE TECHNOLOGY™ is providing a great deal of value.” But he says it’s not only the delivery system, it’s the bundle of value that is coming through the system.
“It’s not just the biologicals,” he says, “it’s also the micronutrients, the enzymes, and the talc-graphite. It’s getting all of that into the furrow to the benefit of the farmer without the mixing and hassles.”
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