KEARNEY, Neb. – Rick Runyan of Clay Center earned a 35-year service award at Servi-Tech’s annual Professional Development Conference in Kearney.

Runyan started working at Servi-Tech in 1982, and will celebrate his 36th year with the company this month.

He described the Servi-Tech job as an ideal fit for him. 

 “Coming out of college I thought my perfect job would entail being exposed to all of different aspects of agronomy, including insects, weeds, diseases and soils,” Runyan said. “There were other careers out there, but they involved things other than being in a field. The job at Servi-Tech seemed like a good fit.”

Runyan worked in Stratton, Colorado for five years. He then moved to Ainsworth, Nebraska, where he worked for 26 years and raised a family. He relocated to Clay Center, Nebraska five years ago and manages a staff of 10 agronomists in the central part of the state.

“First and foremost, I like the job itself,” Runyan said. “I really enjoy working with staff, our customers, and cherish employee relationships that have developed while at Servi-Tech.”

Steve Soden, Chief Crop Services Officer, said Runyan’s 35-year service award is a landmark to be celebrated.

“To have an employee with the amount of experience and knowledge that Rick has is incredible,” Soden said. “His contributions to Servi-Tech have helped pave the way to get the company where it is today.”

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Agronomy, or at least the basic components of it, have not changed a lot in 35 years, Runyan said. But what has changed is the precision side of agronomy — including grid sampling, variable rate technology, aerial imagery, remote soil moisture sensing, and data management. 

“Making a life-long career out of my first job was not on the radar but that turned out to be a great experience,” Runyan said. 

 He added: “More of our employees should contemplate making a career out of their employment with Servi-Tech. This is a great company and there are new career pathing opportunities within the company.  We have a great future ahead of us in agriculture.”

Rick and his wife, Deb, live near Clay Center, Nebraska. They have four children and three grandchildren.