OUR PEOPLE MAKE US WHO WE ARE.

Our people are the key to our business—they always have been and they always will be. We believe the right people can make as much of an impact as the right seed. We’d like you to meet a few of the people on the Dairyland Seed team.

Gary Leeper

Gary Leeper

General Manager

Gary Leeper, General Manager for Dairyland Seed, has worked in the seed industry for 37 years. He has held numerous sales and sales leadership roles with Northrup King, Asgrow Seed Co., Mycogen and most recently as the Sales Leader for Dairyland Seed the past 13 years.

As General Manager for Dairyland Seed Gary is responsible for leading the Dairyland Executive Committee, overseeing all aspects of the day to day operations of the company as well as working closely with the Dow AgroSciences U.S. Seeds Business.

Gary is an Iowa native and received his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa.

Gary will provide direction and support in ensuring Dairyland Seed continues operating under its core principles of putting farmers first and ensuring the company is poised and positioned for future growth.

Fred Reckner

Fred Reckner

Controller

Fred Reckner, Controller at Dairyland Seed Co., Inc., joined the company in June 2005.

He directs the Accounting and Information Technology Departments and is responsible for internal and external financial reporting, management of local treasury functions and IT projects. He is a permanent member of the Executive Committee interacting with corporate management, financial institutions and all financial reporting with Dow AgroSciences. The four roles in the Finance function are: 1) Commentator – focus on explaining the numbers, 2) Business partner – focus on value creation, 3) Scorekeeper – focus on bookkeeping, 4) Custodian – focus on governance. Having been born and raised on a dairy farm in Central Wisconsin helps in the appreciation of the family culture, business practices and the work ethic necessary in today’s competitive business environment and the satisfaction of being part of the supply chain in feeding the world.

Fred has over 25 years of accounting and management experience, working at The West Bend Company and serving with an Illinois Tool Works, Inc. Division in Los Angeles. He has an MBA from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He holds a Certified Public Accounting certificate from Wisconsin. He is married with two children and resides in West Bend, Wis.

Kim Mayne

Kim Mayne

Operations Leader

Kim Mayne started his career in the seed industry in 1973 working for Kussmaul Hybrids, in Mt. Hope, Wis. From 1973 through the fall of 1981, he was employed as warehouse manager, conditioning room supervisor and distribution manager. Kim also carried various district sales manager responsibilities in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Montana throughout his employment there.

Kim joined Dairyland Seed as a member of the warehouse staff in the fall of 1981. He was named Warehouse and Shipping Manager in 1982 and also served as District Sales Manager in western Iowa and other western states from 1983 through 1990.

In 1993 he was promoted to Corn Production Manager and Plant Manager at Dairyland’s Mt. Hope production facility. His duties included overseeing all corn production throughout the Midwest, managing all daily activities at the Mt. Hope conditioning facility, working with research on various production projects and working with Quality Assurance to continually investigate new ways of improving seed quality.

Kim was named Operations Leader and became a member of Dairyland’s Executive Committee in May of 2006. He has full responsibility over all hybrid seed corn inventory and quality assurance. He also serves as Chairman of the Supply Chain committee, is a member of Dairyland’s Strategic Planning Committee and is the site leader at the Mt. Hope corn production facility.

He is married and resides in Mt. Hope, Wisconsin.

TJ Strachota

TJ Strachota

Marketing Leader

TJ Strachota serves as a Marketing Leader for Dairyland Seed.

As Marketing Leader, TJ directs the Marketing Department at Dairyland Seed and leads the interaction with their outside ad agency. He oversees all advertising and promotion, and is in charge of brand development. He is also a member of the Dairyland Seed Executive Committee.

Dairyland Seed was started by TJ’s great-grandfather in 1907, and TJ became a fourth generation active family member when he joined full time in 2004.   He grew up around the business, and worked part time during high school and as an intern during college. He joined Dairyland Seed as a Marketing Associate in 2004.

TJ is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in Marketing.

Deb Backhaus

Deb Backhaus

Office Manager/IT

Deb Backhaus started with Dairyland Seed in 1983.  From 1983 until 1988 she was employed as an order entry clerk, distribution manager for West Bend, and also in a sales administrative role.  In 1988, she was promoted to Office Manager.

As Office Manager, she is in charge of the Customer Service department and is responsible for IT project management along with the IT staff.  Deb’s role also includes budgeting, managing mobile application development, and web development and overseeing security of IT.

Deb is a member of Dairyland’s Executive Committee.  She also serves as a member of the Supply Chain committee, Strategy committee, and assists with chairing the Steering committee.

Deb was born and raised on a dairy farm near Kewaskum, Wis.  She is married with three children, and remains actively involved in their dairy operation.  She also remains active in community organizations.

Boyd Hoffmann

Boyd Hoffmann

National Sales Leader

Boyd Hoffmann, National Sales Leader, is responsible for managing the sales of Dairyland Seed through its dealer network in the Midwest, as well as overseeing the Corn and Soybean Agronomy Team and Forage Product Manager.

He currently holds a seat on the Dairyland Seed Executive Committee and has worked for the company since 2006 as both a District Manager and Regional Manager.

Boyd was born and raised on a dairy/grain farm in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from UW-River Falls and has over 25 years of seed sales experience working for Croplan Genetics, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dairyland Seed.  He also has experience as a Crop Production Specialist, Certified Custom Applicator and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Barry Sutton

Barry Sutton

Regional Sales Manager

Barry Sutton joined Dairyland Seed in December 2002. As the Central Region Sales Manager of the territories in Iowa, Illinois and southern Wisconsin, he is responsible for the day-to-day management of his sales force, which includes budgeting, market forecasting and asset allocations.

Barry holds a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois. A life-long resident of Illinois, Barry resides in rural La Moille with his wife and two children.

Gary Freiburger

Gary Freiburger

Regional Sales Manager

Gary Freiburger has worked for Dairyland Seed for more than 25 years. Before joining Dairyland Seed, Gary worked in sales and managed a retail fertilizer and seed outlet in northwest Ohio and prior to that worked in sales for Northrup King in Michigan. Gary started with Dairyland Seed as a District Sales Manager in Indiana and after four years was promoted to Regional Manager covering Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Gary has also participated in special projects such as serving on the DSR-STS soybean task force launch team.

As regional manager, Gary is responsible for overseeing and training the District Sales Managers in his region. He is responsible for helping to develop sales programs and policies for the sales group. Gary also sits on the new product review board to provide input on new products and product replacements. 

Gary holds a B.S. in business from Indiana University. Gary is Certified Crop Advisor and member of the American Society of Agronomy.

Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson

Regional Sales Manager

Dan Johnson joined Dairyland Seed in 2011 as Regional Sales Manager and is responsible for sales in the Western Region encompassing Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Working closely with District Managers, Success Dealers and customers, Dan is responsible for the growth and development of his sales team while implementing crop planning, sales programs and customer service.

Born and raised on a grain/livestock farm near Worthington, Minnesota, located in southwestern Minnesota, Dan was active in the family farm operation. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, earning his bachelor’s degree in agriculture education.

Dan brings a wealth of agribusiness experience in sales, sales management, dealer development and sales training within the seed and agronomy retail business. His most recent agri-business accomplishments included working for: Ag Partners LLC in northwest Iowa and Pioneer Hi-Bred International.  Dan and his wife, Kathi, have three children and reside in North Mankato, Minnesota, where they are also active in several community organizations.

Ryan Mueller

Ryan Mueller

Hybrid Corn Agronomy Specialist

Ryan Mueller is the Hybrid Corn Agronomy Specialist for Dairyland Seed and is responsible for product selection and product support for Dairyland Seed’s dealer sales network. Additionally, he serves on Dairyland’s Sales Planning and Strategic Planning committees. Ryan has been in the seed industry for nineteen years. He previously served as the Hybrid Corn Research Coordinator for Dairyland Seed. As a plant breeder, Mueller was instrumental in the development of Dairyland Seed’s highly successful HiDF corn silage research program.  He also established Dairyland’s HiDF on-farm strip plot testing program.

Ryan is a Wisconsin native and currently resides in Beloit, Wis. with his wife, Tammy, and two sons. He received a bachelor's degrees in history and psychology from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis.

Rod Moran

Rod Moran

Product Agronomy Specialist

Rod Moran has served as the Product Agronomy Specialist for Dairyland Seed since 2010. Joining Dairyland in 2004 as District Sales Manager overseeing counties in Central/Southern Illinois, Rod provided sound agronomic advice, product recommendations and customer support to a number of dealer and direct buyer accounts.

In his current role Rod works directly with the Dairyland management and sales staff to provide agronomic support and education to aid in optimizing product placement. He is involved with the research staff in order to gain the knowledge necessary to provide the most accurate recommendations for a wide variety of environments. He also works collaboratively with the research, production and sales leaders to assist in aligning research and product development to meet Dairyland’s commercial objectives.

Rod holds undergraduate degrees in earth science and agronomy, as well as a master’s  in crop science from the University of Illinois. He is a Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), and holds memberships in the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Midwest Forage Association.

Rod, and his wife, Beth, and their children reside in Forsyth, Ill.

Chad Staudinger

Chad Staudinger (Interim)

Forage Product Manager

Chad Staudinger, while now promoted to Regional Sales Manager will continue to assist in the Forage Product Manager position for Dairyland Seed until a replacement is named. Chad joined the company as a District Sales Manager in Wisconsin in 2004. He provided seed products and services to customers in Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Green Lake, Waushara, Marquette, and Adams counties. Chad has experience with direct and retail sales to crop producers as well as agronomic consulting and crop planning.

The forage product manager helps to develop and maintain existing on-farm strip trial product testing programs to gain knowledge of forage product performance in various environments. They coordinate with the National Sales Leader, the Alfalfa Strategy Leader, Marketing, the Corn Product Development Agronomist and Alfalfa Research to design and implement a strategy that will stimulate interest and purchases in all of Dairyland’s forage products. The primary focus is on Dairyland’s hybrid alfalfa and HiDF Corn Silage Products.

Chad holds a B.S. degree from the department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in dairy nutrition. He is a member of the Midwest Forage Association, the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the Wisconsin Soybean Association, and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

Adam Stoffel

Adam Stoffel

Site Leader/Soybean Production Manager

Adam Stoffel serves as West Bend Site Leader.  In this role, Adam is responsible for oversight of all Operations activities at Dairyland’s West Bend location.  He also oversees all of Dairyland’s EH&S (Employee Health and Safety) activities at the site.

In addition to West Bend Site Leader, Adam also serves as Soybean Production Manager for Dairyland Seed where he is responsible for all soybean production activities which include all conditioning and packaging for retail sales.  He also manages Dairyland's soybean distribution network throughout the Midwest.  He currently serves as a member of Dairyland’s supply chain committee.

Prior to his current role at Dairyland Adam was a member of the warehouse staff at West Bend.  He then joined the soybean production area, assisting with many of the same tasks he is now responsible for.

Chad Staudinger

Chad Staudinger

Regional Sales Manager

Chad Staudinger, Regional Sales Manager for Dairyland Seed, is responsible for sales in Dairyland’s Northern Region.  He works directly with the District Managers, Success Dealers and customers in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Chad joined the company as a District Sales Manager in Wisconsin in 2004. He provided seed products and services to customers in Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Green Lake, Waushara, Marquette and Adams counties.  Chad then took on the role of Forage Product Manager where he helped to develop and maintain the on-farm strip trial product testing program.  He also worked to design and implement a strategy to stimulate interest and purchases in all of Dairyland’s forage products, specifically hybrid alfalfa and HiDF corn silage.  Chad has experience with direct and retail sales to crop producers as well as agronomic consulting and crop planning.

Chad holds a B.S. degree from the department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in dairy nutrition.  He is a member of the Midwest Forage Association, the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the Wisconsin Soybean Association and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.