Ag Retailer Builds Career by Cultivating Trust

Don Boehm, a veteran ag retailer, offers growers reliable agronomic insight — with a personal touch.
Ag Retailer Builds Career by Cultivating Trust
From left to right: Don Boehm, crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative in Findlay, Ohio, and Jason Clymer, his Syngenta sales representative, work together to give growers in the area sound agronomic advice.
Over the course of 41 years in the agriculture industry, Don Boehm has worn a lot of different hats. He’s been a sales rep, a crop specialist, a location manager, an area manager and a grower. In these various roles, he’s learned a range of skills to meet his responsibilities. Yet, he’s found one skill continues to resonate, no matter the challenge: relationship-building.

Don Boehm, a veteran ag retailer and longtime Syngenta partner, offers growers reliable agronomic insight — with a personal touch.

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“I’m a relationship person,” Boehm says. “I put a lot of value in who I do business with, who I work with. It’s the same with farmers. There are some farmers who say they buy strictly on price, and some do. But at the end of the day, there’s still something special about a relationship.”

Today, he relies on strong relationships as a crop protection manager at Legacy Farmers Cooperative in his hometown of Findlay, Ohio. With Legacy, Boehm acts as a reliable resource for growers looking for agronomic insight. To effectively communicate his input, he must first build trust. His years of experience in the field give him the tools necessary to cultivate that trust, no matter the grower.

I’ve always thought of Syngenta as a partner. And the quality of its products is second to none. Together, we do the best we can, with the ultimate goal of being the best for our growers.

Don Boehm
Grower and Retailer
Findlay, Ohio
“Each year, I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before, and I’ve learned something,” Boehm says. “There’s something to be said about experience. It’s hard to beat.”

Building Blocks

Boehm wasn’t always able to rely on a wealth of experience. Like many in the agriculture industry, he started at the ground level, as a sales representative.

“I remember when I started, my boss gave me the keys to the truck and said, ‘Go sell,’” he says. “I had to learn the hard way.”

According to Boehm, that kind of start was a key career building block.

“When I look back, starting at the bottom wasn’t so bad, because I learned from my mistakes,” Boehm says. “I became well-versed in every facet. I custom applied, I sold, I made deliveries, I did maintenance, I managed people and I managed multiple locations. I’ve had the luxury to do a lot of things, which I think has helped me to be a help to Legacy. That’s something I continue to impress upon my younger colleagues. There’s nothing wrong with starting at the bottom.”

A Passion for Ag

Once, Syngenta retail sales rep Jason Clymer was one of those colleagues. When Clymer was at Legacy, Boehm was quick to take him under his wing.

“I’ve known Don for almost 12 years,” Clymer says. “He helped me get into the ag industry — he helped me learn about crop protection and the different products. He’s a good teacher. He’s patient, and he’s passionate about the industry.”

Now, Clymer and Boehm work as partners, with Clymer supplying Legacy with Syngenta products for its grower customers. Though Clymer was initially apprehensive about the new dynamic, he says their friendship has only grown stronger in the process. That friendship helps them bring value to growers.

“We really connect on a personal level,” Clymer says. “We both farm, and we both live in the same community, so we’re aligned. Having that local knowledge helps us understand what growers need.”

According to Boehm, Clymer complements that expertise with a tireless work ethic.

“Of all the reps we’ve got, Jason is the most conscientious,” he says. “He’s always trying to help our people, always trying to do those little things. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

That high level of support is uncommon, in Boehm’s experience. It’s one of the factors that sets Syngenta apart.

“I’ve always thought of Syngenta as a partner,” he says. “And the quality of its products is second to none. Together, we do the best we can, with the ultimate goal of being the best for our growers. That working relationship is one of things I’ve appreciated over the years.”

The Next Chapter

Although Boehm will retire from his position at Legacy at the end of 2020, he won’t be leaving the agriculture community. In fact, he plans to spend most of his retirement on his 140-acre family farm in Findlay, working alongside his two sons.

“It’s our therapy,” he says with a laugh. “That’s always been our joke.”

Boehm is looking forward to spending more time on the farm, which will give him the opportunity to see his 12 grandchildren grow up. However, he’ll be sad to say goodbye to his colleagues and partners, including Clymer.

“I love ag,” Boehm says. “It’s been a great industry to work in, and I’ve enjoyed my job. But, most of all, I’m going to miss the people. I’m really going to miss the people.”