I have enjoyed taking in the stories from the Seed World Insiders since it started, and I’m pleased to be a contributor. It seems like my first obligation is to introduce myself and my company, O’Mara Ag Services now in its 20th year. In the1980s, I landed at Corn States Hybrid Service and worked through their purchase by Monsanto. I then founded this company in 1998. We are a design-build-construction company to the seed industry. We manufacture just about anything in a seed plant, and are agents for such companies as Buhler, Oliver Mfg. and Hamer-Fischbein.
Twenty years ago does seem like yesterday and holy crap, the changes (and opportunities) we’ve seen! Consolidation, technology to optimize processes, safety becoming way more than a second thought, our workforce, the economy, healthcare, prices, tariffs and the world for gosh sakes. The time it now takes between imagining, designing, testing and building things is shorter than ever.
We have been lucky enough to share in the success stories of many seed companies. Some of my favorite things are seeing how much better people’s lives are when they make improvements, squeeze more into less space, get more capacity, dry seed better and faster, experience fewer breakdowns, create less seed damage, throw away less good seed and when they thank me sincerely for providing them good dust control, or help them enjoy more profit.
I have a bunch of really smart folks working here that help make me look smarter. They are real people who put your needs first. We take a “build in the seedsmanship at manufacturing” approach to design plus a “pre-build all we can” approach to construction. This helps overcome what seems to be a diminishing skillset among installers and ultimately rewards our customers with more value and less cost. Being more seed friendly, more user-friendly, more installer-friendly, more engineer-friendly, more service-friendly and more pocketbook friendly are our sincere goals. We count personal responsibility and integrity as some of our basic core values. While it seems like we charge plenty for what we do, what we charge says a great deal about what we deliver. We do deliver extra value.
Like the rest of business owners, and managers and – quite honestly – most men, I’m still 35 in my head, in spite of what the calendar says. I don’t know when to stop. I spend, I borrow, and I’ve learned to live at the edge of my comfort zone. I’ve learned that I have more gears than I thought.