Rod Osthus is President of the No.1 Seed Sales Training and Consulting Firm in North America. After more than 45 years in the ag business, Rod has developed a unique understanding of how to keep ag suppliers and their salespeople “relevant” and ahead of all the changes that continue to revolutionize farming. There is a lot of pressure on today’s farmers to produce more in order to feed the world. Since products, technologies, and production practices change so fast, farmers can’t keep up and rely on ag suppliers to lead them to those new levels of production. It also means sales reps who call on these sophisticated growers must constantly change so they can guide their customers into the future.
Rod was raised on a farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He received his B.S. Degree in Agronomy from South Dakota State University in 1972 and attended graduate school in Quantitative Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He joined the corn research team at Trojan Seed Company in 1972 where he worked as a plant breeder and later became Research Station Director in Maui, Hawaii. Later, Trojan sent Rod to Brazil where he studied exotic germplasms and introduced new, highly-resistant insect strains to the U.S.
In 1977, Rod became the first employee of the newly formed Keltgen Seed Company, where he worked as a District Sales Manager, Regional Manager, and in 1984 was named Vice President of Sales. Later, Keltgen Seed Company became a member of the Dow/Elanco Team where Rod continued to orchestrate his tenure of 17 consecutive years of sales increases.
In April 1994, Rod formed the R.C. Thomas Company—a sales and marketing consulting firm named after his son Thomas. They work with agricultural companies world-wide to help show farmers how to utilize crop inputs as part of one complete, highly-productive crop production system. The result is dramatic increases in both yield and quality.
Rod’s extensive background in research, production, and sales and marketing coupled with his highly-tactical, hands-on approach make him one of the most effective agricultural consultants in the industry.
Rod says: The secret to success in the ag business is to learn everything you can, regardless of how much you think you already know. Practice until you have the social skills to apply what you have learned. Then present YOURSELF in a manner that demonstrates the highest level of knowledge and leadership possible.