Seed World

WSA Names Tommy Richardson Young Seedsman of the Year

Western Seed Association 2021 Young Seedsman of the Year. C: Sonja Begemann

This year’s Western Seed Association Young Seedsman didn’t come from a farm, as so many in agriculture often do. The self-proclaimed former ‘suburbanite’ came into the seed industry by accident but it’s a place he’s now happy to call home.

Tommy Richardson, Purchasing Manager at Deer Creek Seed, was completely surprised when his name was called for the 2021 Young Seedsman of the Year award.

“I think my exact words were ‘oh, snap,'” he says. “I’ve been coming to the WSA meeting for about seven years and didn’t even know I was nominated.”

Based in Windsor, Wisc., Richardson helped spearhead Deer Creek Seed’s expansion into this new location.

“I tried to keep finding more efficient ways to do things,” he explains. “I got really involved with logistics and operations and did a lot of inventory control. Eventually, I got to where I knew enough about the business, I could start calling customers.”

Richardson has come a long way since he entered the ag industry. He started his journey as a temporary worker for Deer Creek Seed, literally moving bags of seeds for three months until his contract was over. After that, he joined as an administrative assistant and kept working his way up by asking for more work and finding smarter ways to do things.

“I have a mathematics degree and a physics minor, but I started my career in 2011 when we were in the tail end of the recession, I couldn’t find a job for months,” he explains. “I have really come to love this industry.”

Tommy Richardson was surprised to hear outgoing WSA President Matt Fenske call his name. C: Sonja Begemann

To be named WSA’s Young Seedsman of the Year recipients must:

  • Be no older than 40.
  • Have a role in the seed industry.
  • Showcase a willingness to help and work with others in the seed industry.
  • Display enthusiasm for the industry.
  • Be involved in WSA.

The 2021 WSA Annual Meeting was held in Kansas City, MO Nov. 1-4 at the Westin Crown Center.

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