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Being a Rep is More Rewarding when Funding America’s Farmers

By: Charlie Blalock, Field Sales Rep, Crop Science Division, Bayer

As a Bayer Field Sales Rep for 10 years, promoting the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program (now open for enrollment for all eligible farmers through Bayer Fund) is far from my primary job…but it’s an amazing perk I’m always excited to volunteer time for. You can’t put a price on bringing a smile to someone.

I’ve spent most of my sales career in Harrisonville, Missouri (population 10,000), and we’re the kind of small rural community who benefits from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program — which has given away more than $60 million since 2010. A lot of people don’t realize how much Bayer Fund gives back through Grow Communities, and how many success stories there have been over the years: from schools buying new computers, to nonprofit food banks, to new equipment for a local 4-H club.

When you get down to it, I just love being in the business of setting up farmers for success. We make sure the farmer has all the tools they need to thrive. Because when a farmer is successful, my fellow Channel Seedsmen and I are successful — and then Bayer, as a whole, is successful.

That’s the simple version of what our work boils down to: without farmers, we’ve got nothing.

But strip away the business talk, and I do this job because I love the people. I’m a social guy, and I love meeting new farmers out in the field. We’re not just selling a bag of seed anymore. When the grower hits a home run with the tools you’ve provided them, it really has a lot of job satisfaction at the end of the day.

That satisfaction extends beyond the business of seeds when I’m able to spread the word about the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. After first learning the program exists, I think most people are surprised to hear how easy it is to enter for a chance to win the donation. Farmers can simply sign up online, by phone, or by filling out and returning a postcard we send them. Many communities have even received multiple Grow Communities donations from farmers who simply enter to win year after year.

Many times, the donations go to help agriculture at rural schools, helping young students get excited about their education and even plant a seed for a potential career in agriculture. I recently interviewed a young man who was interested in becoming a Seedsman and working with us when he gets out of school. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had actually won a Bayer Fund ag scholarship that eventually led to an internship with Bayer. That’s a pretty satisfying process to be a part of: leading a student in the right career direction, and then seeing them want to come back and work for us years down the road.

With school budgets growing tighter, booster club money shortfalls, and other unexpected issues, I’m proud to be part of a program that helps ease the burden on rural schools for our kids. When you think about how simple it is to apply, and all the good that grows out of it, it’s a no-brainer for farmers to enter for a chance to win an America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation.

All it takes is a farmer to bring their community’s need to our attention so we can begin the process of awarding America’s Farmers Grow Communities money where it’s most needed and useful.

In a day and age where funding for rural America is sometimes overlooked, it’s great to see the little guy win once in a while.

You just can’t beat a feeling like that.

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Stories and thoughts from Bayer employees in the U.S.

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Bayer US

The official profile for Bayer in the United States. Our mission ‘Science For A Better Life’ is focused on People, Plants, & Animals.

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