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New Hire: Sean Steele, Cargill Animal Nutrition (Purina)

Published on 24 January 2019

Progressive Dairyman would like you to meet:

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Sean Steele
Strategic Dairy Consultant
Cargill Animal Nutrition (Purina)
Ontario

What education are you bringing with you to this position?

I graduated from the University of Guelph – Ridgetown College in the spring of 2000. Since then, I have embraced various industry training opportunities within Canada and the U.S. In addition to advanced nutrition and farm management technical support, I have undergone extensive robotic training with both Lely and DeLaval. Just this past spring, I attended Purdue University’s agricultural sales management and leadership course.

Please describe your agricultural background.

Growing up, my parents owned a fruit and vegetable farm, yet I was always more drawn to animal agriculture. Fortunately, my uncle owned a dairy farm, which really sparked my interest in the dairy industry. I went on to work on progressive dairy operations both pre- and post-college.

My wife has a dairy farming background, yet succession plans weren’t in the cards for us. I didn’t give up on the dairy dream but rather changed my path to the sales world. I may have started in dairy genetics, but I quickly noticed producers really value their feed advisers. A good feed adviser is a lot more than just a salesperson.

What territory will you cover?

Mostly southwestern Ontario with some work in eastern Ontario

What are your new responsibilities?

I am the strategic dairy consultant in southwestern Ontario for Cargill Animal Nutrition (Purina). In that role, I will be supporting both Purina managers and consultants on a technical and strategic level.

What previous positions have you held?

I previously held the dairy technical and sales supervisor role with a feed company in Ontario. Before advancements in that company, I was a sales representative with Genervations.

Who has made the biggest impact on your career?

My parents were early influencers who taught the value of hard work, to not take anything for granted and to do your very best to prove yourself each day. In recent years, Bill Woodley and Dave Bates have been mentors of mine I owe a multitude of thanks. In my regional roles, I have also learned a lot from countless dairy producers who allowed me to be part of their business.

How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?

I take an honest approach to nutrition consulting. I make it my goal to first understand producers’ needs, wants and goals. Cargill/Purina has all of the tools to help a producer not only meet requirements but excel in nutrition, and I look forward to putting those to best use on each farm.

I also take a “whole-farm” approach to nutrition to understand true opportunities and potential to increase efficiency and profitability on the farms I work with. My motto is: It’s never one thing, and nutrition can’t solve everything.

Why did you choose this company?

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Purina. I view Cargill Animal Nutrition (Purina) as a company committed to adding value through technology and innovation. I believe technology and innovation will be crucial in the dairy industry moving forward and, in my mind, Cargill/Purina is leading the way.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?

My first goal is simply to get to know the Purina team and earn their respect. After that, I hope to be able to help each Cargill/Purina consultant further develop their technical skill set to ensure they reach their personal and career goals. I look forward to helping prove Purina is the number one nutrition company of choice on each dairy operation.  end mark

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