The Farmers Elevator board didn’t need to look very far to find a new manager.
The guy who took over the largest agri-business operation in the general Pelican Rapids area was right in their midst.
Peter Scott, who has worked at the elevator as a college intern, a seasonal part-timer and a full time agronomy sales representative over the past four years, has been named general manager.
But a youngster–compared to most of the 200 duffers who are members of the Farmers Elevator of Pelican–the board, and Scott himself, believe his youthful enthusiasm will more than make up for his relative inexperience.
A 2012 Pelican Rapids High School graduate, and 2016 agribusiness and crop science grad at North Dakota State University, Scott will be head-first into an operation with more than $9 million in annual sales.
“I’m young, but I’ve learned a lot about agronomy and the business side,” said Scott, who was selected from five applicants for the position. “I’m willing to learn, and the main thing I’m lacking is the experience in buying and selling grain.”
Scott replaces Dave Dufault, who left in the new year after five years here. He took a position with Valley Ag Partners in the Dilworth area.
“This is very exciting,” said Scott, who will be hiring an agronomy sales replacement–a position he held for the past two years at the elevator. “Ever since Dave (Dufault) announced he was leaving, it was in the back of my mind–and it happened.”
No doubt, the elevator board was also attracted to the fact that the young man–with solid roots in the Pelican area–would “stick around for a while,” noted Scott.
“This is h0me for me,” said Scott. “And that’s where we wanted to be.”
Married in December to a fellow Pelican Rapids High School graduate, Abby Ganyo, the couple is making their home a few miles north of Pelican. Abby, a 2017 animal science graduate at North Dakota State, is also working in the ag sector–as a live production supervisor for Jennie-O turkeys.
Both have exposure to farming in their backgrounds, though Scott’s parents, Mark and Jackie (Shulstead) Scott sold out of the dairy business about 20 years ago. Scott’s grandfather, Thomas Shulstead, was a lifelong farmer west of town, in Norwegian Grove township.
Scott takes the reins at the elevator during a difficult time in the agriculture sector. Corn prices are stable, said Scott, but soybean prices are very low. He anticipates some farmers planting more acreage in corn, and a possible uptick in wheat–though wheat has been a small segment of the elevators volume for many years.
“The trade agreements need to happen sooner than later,” said Scott, regarding the trade and tariff “wars” that have disrupted ag exports–especially to the China market.
He stressed the importance of agriculture to the Pelican Rapids area.
“If the farmers are making money, or at least meeting their costs, the local economy thrives as well,” noted Scott.
There are ten year-round employees at the elevator, with four workers added seasonally.
Scott ran a lawn maintenance service for 11 years, starting as a teenager, so he has hands-on experience in small business.
At Pelican Rapids High School, he was student manager of the basketball team.
He attended M State-Fergus Falls community college for two years, then transferred to NDSU, where he was involved in both the Agronomy and Agri-business clubs.