Carl Riben of Blaine Lake was recognized as Canadian Operator of the Year by AGCO at the Canadian Association of Agri Retailers (CAAR) Convention and Trade Show in Regina in February.
Riben began his crop-spraying career as an aerial applicator in 1996. The purchase of an agricultural aircraft provided Riben with an opportunity to apply fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides when ground application was not an option. Piloting skills of flying low enough to reduce chemical drift and being alert of potential obstacles and dangers makes the occupation a dangerous one. In 2008, after a couple “close calls,” Riben made the decision to retire his wings, sell his plane and purchase two SS1084 Rogators to continue his chemical application business on the ground.
Riben has over 14 years’ experience in the custom application of fertilizer and crop protection products. His attention to detail, customer service and as a participant of a Saskatoon Co-op Agro team has assisted the Co-op in growing its chemical application division.
“We wouldn’t offer custom application services to our customers if we couldn’t provide the level of service they expect,” said Rich Szwydky, crop inputs manager for Saskatoon Co-op. “Carl is dedicated to meeting the needs of his customers. One of the things he always says is ‘we’ll be there’ and he always is — weekends, evenings or whenever the job needs to be done. This kind of commitment and reliability has kept our customers happy, and helped us grow our business. It’s really great to see him get some national recognition for all his hard work.”
Working as a team with Saskatoon Co-op and Richardson Pioneer provides the customer with a wealth of resources. The customer has access to an agrologist who will assist with field inspections to determine the problem and then recommend the treatment whether it is herbicide or pesticide related.
All Precision Ag Services, Riben’s Blaine Lake business, offers two SS1084 Rogators fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology — Full Line GPS system, 100-foot booms, auto steering, automatic boom height control and boom section auto shutoff.
“These features allow me to maximize accuracy and efficiency in the field,” says Riben. “The boom auto shutoff ensures that there is no waste. It is so precise and saves the farmer money.”
Riben is so committed to customer service that he will even follow up with the farmer to ensure they are satisfied with the application. He is truly a professional and outstanding business operator in the community.
The Ag-Chem Operator of the Year program provides national recognition for the industry’s best custom applicators. It is an ongoing program, in its third year that is offered by AGCO Application equipment and CAAR. Riben was presented with a plaque and the keys to an Arctic Cat ATV. He is appreciative of the award and acknowledges Full Line Ag for his purchases of the Rogators, Saskatoon Co-op for its teamwork in providing customers and to all farmers for their support and confidence in his business.
Vivian Nemish writes from Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan