A Lifelong Career: Bob Fluke Retires after 45 Years

Feb 07, 2023

Not many people can say they have stayed with one company for their entire career. But those people are not Bob Fluke.

Fluke retired from Agtegra in December after 45 years with the cooperative.

“Bob Fluke has served this organization with distinction his entire career,” said Jason Klootwyk, Agtegra CEO. “He has a natural affinity for the people in the business, our customers and our employees. He has maintained the highest standards of integrity and customer service for 45 years, and I’m honored I got to work with him. We are going to miss him dearly, but we wish him all the best in retirement.”

Graduating with an agricultural business degree from Lake Area Tech in 1977, Fluke moved back to his hometown of Bath, South Dakota, and started his career at Bath Fertilizer in operations and as an applicator. A year and a half later, he became the assistant manager and managed parts for the company.

After seven years in Bath, Fluke and his family moved to Chamberlain where he was an agronomist. When Chamberlain split into its grain and agronomy divisions, he assumed the agronomy location manager role. After 25 years in Chamberlain, Fluke was promoted to manage the cooperative’s central region in the fall of 2009. In 2017, he then transitioned to managing the south region, which is the role he held until retirement.

Working in agriculture had been Fluke’s goal since he was a young boy watching and helping his grandpa and uncle on their farm outside of Bath.

“I knew I couldn’t farm myself, so I did the next best thing – work with farmers,” Fluke said.

As he pursued his degree in Watertown, he obtained a summer internship with Selby Equity Exchange where he gained valuable work experience in the industry hauling fertilizer and doing application work.

When asked why he chose Agtegra as a fresh college graduate, Fluke noted how he knew it was going to be a great place to grow his career.

“To me, Agtegra is one big family,” Fluke said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities, and they’ve always treated me and my family so well.”

Over the last 45 years, Fluke has made an impact on hundreds of customers and co-workers.

“I will miss the daily interaction with employees and customers,” said Fluke. “My favorite part about visiting locations as a regional manager was getting to know employees. I’ll probably miss that the most.”

In his retirement, Fluke plans to spend more time with his wife, Jean, and his two children and their families, including his six grandchildren. He also hopes to be able to ride his motorcycle more.

“Man, 45 years was over in a hurry,” Fluke said with a laugh. “I’ve had a great career with a great company, and I’ve always enjoyed what I do.”

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