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Indiana Farm Applicator Brings Home Harley-Davidson Hardware

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A Hoosier just won a brand-new Harley-Davidson in New Orleans as AGCO’s Operator of the Year. So, will Mose Middleton be riding it back home?

“No, I don’t think so!” he said. “It’s a little cold in Indiana so I don’t think we’d be doing that.”

Middleton of Fulton and Cass County was honored at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) 2019 Conference & Expo this week, an event for agricultural retail industry professionals. The 14th annual AGCO award recognizes the best professional applicators for their responsible placement and stewardship of products applied for optimizing crop production.

Middleton, with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Rochester, was humbled by the award and the support he receives from others.

“There are plenty of other people who could have won this award,” said. “The two gentlemen here with me deserved to win this award too, and I won the award but it’s a team award. Our people back at the plant, without them I couldn’t have done it.”

And the work he and others in his business do? It’s long hours of attention to detail.

“I put dry fertilizer out on the field, I spray fertilizer on the field, and we start early in the morning and work late at night. We work 16-18-hour days through the spring and through the fall, but the equipment we’ve got today is much better than the equipment we had years ago. It makes my job a lot easier than it used to be.”

The award is sponsored by AGCO, manufacturers of ag equipment, including applicator equipment, and Middleton appreciates the recognition they provide through the program.

“I just want to thank them for putting it on, and there are a lot of applicators out there that work hard every day and don’t get any recognition at all. Everybody should get some, so I think this is a great thing. And the motorcycle is just icing on the cake. It’s just an honor.”

Those nominated must meet criteria that includes service, quality and consistency over time in application, organizational and customer impact including teamwork, mentoring, training and leadership, and service to the local community.

Middleton is known as a perfectionist, and for 28 years, his customers have benefited. He applies to 33,000 acres per year and goes above and beyond, making sure customers get the best application.

“We have people call and request Mose,” states Curt Klein of Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We have gained new business based on his reputation as an applicator. He is a positive leader and has trained several of our beginning applicators.”

A sports enthusiast, Middleton has coached many local school and Little League teams. He also helps the State Hospital, playing sports with the patients. His willingness to volunteer and his passion for life has made Middleton well-known in the community. If he is too busy to take the Harley out in the spring and fall, there’s a good chance sons Chris and Kyle will offer to give it some road time.

“The enthusiasm we’ve seen for the program this year shows just how important professional applicators are to their employers, the farmers they serve and to the agricultural industry,” said David Webster, director of Application Marketing North America, AGCO.

Middleton was joined in New Orleans by finalists Mike Anderson, Simplot Grower Solutions, Caldwell, Idaho and Chad Rogers, Coggins Farm Supply, Lake Park, Georgia.

Sources: AGCO and Chuck Zimmerman