Seed World

Be Upfront About the Seed Industry: Q&A with Scott Sanders

Though most folks from the seed sector have been taught to be humble, Scott Sanders, general manager for Peterson Farms Seed, says it’s time to be upfront and loud about our stories.

Seed World (SW): What’s your favorite hobby?

Scott Sanders (SS): It depends on the time of year. Right now, it’s deer hunting. I love getting to spend time in the woods with my friends and of course, getting a big buck doesn’t hurt!

SW: What’s your No. 1 travel destination?

SS: Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. There are too many great places to name just one. If I could go anywhere today, it would probably be Italy.

SW: How’d you get involved with the seed industry?

SS: I began in a canola crushing company eight years ago, and through that role, I met Carl Peterson. I wanted to return to North Dakota, so I knew getting into the agricultural industry would be a great career choice.

SW: What do you think it means to be/work with an independent seed company?

SS: It means I get to work very closely with a lot of great people. It also allows us the opportunity to partner with our local farmers, providing them with the best options for their farms. As we say at Peterson Farms Seed, “being independent means we are friends with everyone and beholden to no one.” We take our independence very seriously.

SW: Day-to-day, what’s the most difficult problem you encounter working with Peterson Farm Seed?

SS: The culture and people here are fantastic, so I don’t have a lot of day-to-day difficulties; however, something I strive towards every day is ensuring we have a sustainable growth trajectory, while still providing the “Peterson Experience” to every farmer.

SW: Though you focus more on the day-to-day aspects of the business, how do you keep that long term, company focus in mind?

SS: I am blessed to work for Carl and Julie Peterson; they have an entrepreneurial mindset and a great appetite for growth. With that support, I can focus on the critical areas of our business that will sustain us for the future: retaining and hiring talented people and finding the next great opportunity for our farmers.

SW: How do you think our industry — especially independents — can better talk to folks about what we’re doing in fields and for U.S. agriculture?

SS: Many people in our industry come from hardworking, Midwestern family values. This means they are inherently humble and tend to shy away from talking about what they are doing to help the world. I believe we need to be upfront about everything our industry does for the global food supply and for our environment. Often, the loudest voices heard in the public forum aren’t as knowledgeable about farming practices, nor are they sharing positive things that agriculture is doing for our planet. We need to be more vocal and willing to have honest conversations about our trade, so those outside the industry are better educated.

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