A Hoosier grabbed the spotlight this week at the Agricultural Retailers Association Conference and Expo in San Diego. Glen Slabaugh, who works for Clunette Elevator Company in Leesburg, was recently named to the top 4 in AGCO Application Equipment’s annual program honoring the best professional applicators in the country. Wednesday at the conference Slabaugh received the top designation of 2012 Operator of the Year.
Slabaugh wins a Harley Davidson motorcycle and speaking with Hoosier Ag Today Thursday morning said all the finalists deserved his honor.
“There’s four of us and I think there should have been four Harley’s down there instead of one! They’re all very worthy, very capable of doing the same thing I do. I wish you could have heard everybody’s story. I don’t know how they picked the winner and I’m glad I wasn’t the one who picked them.”
Slabaugh was recognized for outstanding commitment to his profession and a high level of performance and service to his community. Over a 37-year career he has witnessed technology changes that have been dramatic.
“Oh yes, the technology especially in the GPS end,” he said. “The first thing was the light bar that came along and now of course we’re up to auto steer, auto boom and auto shut off, so the technology in that area has really, really jumped. Who knows what it’s going to be like in the future.”
Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for AGCO Application Equipment, praised all of the finalists but told HAT there was no doubt Indiana’s Slabaugh was the right choice.
“Glen stood out and it wasn’t just because he’s been doing this for 37 years, it’s the other things. He’s logged in over a million acres in those 37 years and if you know that part of Indiana (Kosciusko County) there are a lot of 30, 40, and 60 acre tracts up there. There is a lot of time setting up the machine properly for the right crop and the customers’ expectations. Beyond that Glen is very, very passionate about the customer service piece of it, and then from a community standpoint he’s been deacon of his church for the last ten years. He’s been very active there and teaches Sunday school. He has a passion to care of some of the elderly folks at the retirement villages in that part of the state that don’t get the kind of visitors that they’d like to have.”
Slabaugh was nominated by Jared Haughee, Clunette Elevator Company certified crop adviser, who cited his positive attitude, excellent customer relationships and knowledge base second to none. Well- respected in his community, Slabaugh has also been head deacon of his church for nearly 10 years, served as a Sunday school teacher and has volunteered his time visiting patients in nursing homes to help brighten their day. “Glen is known all throughout our community and customer base, and everyone has the same opinion that he is an honest, caring and hard-working servant,” Haughee said.
The other three finalists were Paul “Rocky” Lang of CHS, Inc., in Royal City, Wash.; Carl Petersen of Crop Production Services in Pipestone, Minn.; and Paul Folden, of Garrison Farmers Union Elevator in Garrison, N.D.
Now in its seventh year, Operator of the Year is open to U.S. and Canadian custom applicators who are nominated by their agricultural retailers. A panel of judges evaluates each nominee on commitment to the profession, performance in the field and community involvement. All nominees receive a certificate from AGCO recognizing their nomination for this prestigious award.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/11/Glen-Slabaugh-wins-AGCO-award.mp3|titles=Glen Slabaugh wins AGCO award]