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Agrimarketing : May 2008 Supplement
28 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 2008 NAMA MARKETER OF THE YEAR I f you sifted through a long list of potential candidates for the posi- tion of Marketing Lead for Monsanto’s new Delta and Pine Land (D&PL) Business, you would- n’t find a more qualified prospect than Dave Rhylander. His resume would naturally just float to the top of the pile. Rhylander’s extensive experience with and knowledge of Southern agriculture in general — and cotton in particular — should bode well for the new Monsanto business entity and its customers. His marketing savvy and unique way of working with customers also make him ideally suited for the Marketing Lead role, as does his broad portfolio of experience across many of the major brands in agri- culture today. He has been involved in a wide range of brands — Roundup Ready soybeans, corn and cotton; Bollgard, Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex cotton; YieldGard corn and the continual evolution of Roundup agricultural herbicide products, among others. MAKING REAL CONNECTIONS That marketing savvy is something that D&PL Business Lead Kevin Eblen says is ingrained in Rhylan- der’s personality but isn’t to be con- fused with the slick sales image so frequently pointed to. “It is amazing to watch Dave in a room of 400 growers,” Eblen says. “He makes connections, real connec- tions with customers, and that’s something quite a few of us continue to work on. “A grower may introduce him- self, and Dave will ask whether he was at a certain field day years ago. Dave continues to say how he remembers talking with the farmer about his crop, what the weather was that summer and that the grower was a fan of a particular land grant university. The connections he makes with customers illustrates ‘nobody cares what you know until they know how much you care.’ He talks to that customer and learns so much that he can pull into our business.” Those same skills have played an important role within the creation of the new Delta and Pine Land Busi- ness. In his years at Delta and Pine Land Company, Randy Dismuke worked closely with Rhylander and developed a respect for his style and way of doing business. “When Dave got the opportunity to move to the corn traits side of the business, we were excited for him,” Dismuke recalls. “But we were sure sad to see him leave the cotton business. Now, we’re absolutely delighted to welcome him back. “When we put this new organiza- tion together, Dave’s name came up in discussion repeatedly. His great experience with marketing and his behind-the- scenes involve- ment in the industry are unmatched by anyone else. Dave is a real ‘out-of-the- box’ thinker.” NATURAL CONDUIT Eblen points out that Rhylander played an important role during the merger and transition process. “With the legacy D&PL team, Dave was a natural conduit for us in meetings and conversation. He had built a relationship of trust and respect that was an immediate asset as we looked at getting us to a com- mon culture and getting all of our people on the same playing field.” Phoong Tang , D&PL Strategic Planning Lead, has been working with Rhylander on some projects that will carry the business into the future. “I have learned from him the importance of listening to and getting quality input from our customers and channel partners,” she says. “He has a genuine nature about him that enables him to gain the trust of those around him very quickly.” Tang observes that Rhylander is willing to take risks in the marketplace and has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of his marketing skills. “He will push the envelope in a con- servative industry,” she observes. “I believe that — in order to be brilliant at marketing — you have to have an intimate knowledge of your customer base. He innately knows where and how to push the envelope in a new direction.” AM DAVE RHYLANDER BRINGS MARKETING FLAIR TO DELTA AND PINE LAND by the AgriMarketing Editors Delta and Pine Land’s facility in Scott, MS. Last year, Monsanto acquired Delta and Pine Land, the nation’s largest developer and marketer of cotton seed. NAMA Marketer of the Year Dave Rhylander was named its Marketing Lead.