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Agtegra Aerial Takes Flight

Apr 21, 2021

by Sadie Vander Wal

Agtegra Cooperative has recently expanded its aerial operations division by adding a pilot to the Aberdeen area. Agtegra pilot Jason Vercruysse will serve as an onsite resource for Agtegra’s sales team and patrons.

This addition brings Agtegra’s number of aerial locations to six, as Aberdeen will join Highmore, Harrold, Huron, Clark and Webster.

Growing up in the western panhandle of Nebraska, Vercruysse fostered an interest in both flying and agriculture from an early age. After spending six years in the Navy as a Chemical and Radiological Controls Technician and completing his college career, Vercruysse began pursuing his pilot license while continuing to work in the power generation industry. Ten years later, he entered the aerial application sector in South Dakota and fell in love with the area.

“This position presents an additional challenge of growing the aerial footprint in northeastern South Dakota and southern North Dakota,” Vercruysse said. “As I become more familiar with the established company procedures and operations, both inside and outside the aerial division, I’ll be better equipped to help grow the company name and reputation.”

Craig Bair, Agtegra crop claims manager, is responsible for all Agtegra airplanes and pilots, including pilot safety, aerial program offerings, aircraft maintenance and acquisition and aerial business development, just to name a few.

“By having a pilot stationed in Aberdeen, our aerial division becomes much more visible to our inside and outside customers,” Bair said. “Aerial application is no different than any other portion of agribusiness; it’s all about the relationship with our growers. Having Jason onsite in the Northeast Region will provide an aerial resource for our customers and establish relationships that will strengthen the confidence our customers have in the aerial application business.”

Like Vercruysse, aviation runs in Bair’s veins. Flying with his grandfather at the age of ten, Bair earned his commercial pilot’s license at the age of 18 and has been a part of the industry ever since. Bair later started his own aircraft maintenance shop before buying his parents’ agricultural aviation business. A little over ten years later, he and his wife, Teresa, sold the business as he pursued other positions within the industry before coming to Agtegra Cooperative.

“Agtegra aerial operations is not just another aerial application service,” Bair said. “At Agtegra, we have a whole team of agronomy professionals, from sales agronomists and precision ag specialists to tech services and prescription ag products, our aerial application business outshines the competition.”
 


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