AP NEWS

Skagit Farmers Supply grows agronomy department

March 2, 2019

Skagit Farmers Supply has brought on two new agronomists in order to provide a higher level of service for local farmers and producers, agronomy sales manager Steve Groen said.

Jon Jarvis and Molly Pershing recently joined the co-op’s agronomy division. With one staffer leaving, they bring the division’s staff members from six to seven.

“We’re excited about the growth and we’re excited about agriculture,” Groen said. “The business isn’t getting any less complicated.”

Jarvis and Pershing will work out of the Burlington and Conway agronomy centers to help local farmers and producers in Skagit, Whatcom, Island, Snohomish and King counties increase soil productivity, improve seed quality and bolster the nutritional value of crops.

Pershing started work at Skagit Farmers Supply at the beginning of February.

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Pershing worked in the pest control sector.

She left after two years to pursue her passion for sustainable agriculture with Skagit Farmers Supply.

“Molly has an excellent work ethic,” Groen said. “She’s already hit the ground running.”

At the co-op, Pershing’s work will focus on soil fertility and protecting crops from pests and disease.

“I like working with farmers,” she said. “I can see soil is so important to them. When you see it changing for better or worse, that’s their livelihood.”

Jarvis moved into his new role Jan. 1 after working at Skagit Farmers Supply as a commercial farm applicator for four years.

Coming from a farming background in Southern Idaho, Jarvis said he had always known he wanted to work with crops.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business management, he went on to manage a 4,000-acre farm in Idaho before relocating to Skagit County.

“Jon is the kind of person you can put on any farm and know he’s going to get the job done,” Groen said. “Not only does he have an academic knowledge, he has a practical knowledge of what farmers are doing.”

Jarvis said he’ll be working with a wide range of growers and producers — be they organic or conventional, dairy farmers or those getting into emerging markets — to make sure their individual needs are being met.

Those needs include making sure fertilizers and seeds are delivered in time, as well as ensuring growers are aware of the best products available.

“Our job is to help the farmers be as profitable as they can,” Jarvis said.