Idaho Applicator Named AGCO’s Operator of the Year

Published online: Dec 09, 2021 Articles
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AGCO Corporation named Kolby Watson of the J.R. Simplot Company and St. Anthony, Idaho, the 2021 Operator of the Year at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Annual Conference & Expo in San Antonio on Dec. 1. The award recognizes the skills, dedication and customer service demonstrated by application professionals to their local communities.

“I’m humbled by this recognition and very appreciative of the honor,” says Watson. “The other finalists are such amazing professionals and community supporters, and I was just thankful to be nominated alongside them. This experience has been surreal and exciting, and I’m so grateful to everyone who made it possible.”

As Operator of the Year, Watson won an all-expenses-paid trip to the ARA conference and a commemorative trophy. He will also receive a side-by-side utility vehicle (or cash equivalent) and 100 hours use of the all-new Fendt Rogator 900 Series applicator.

Watson is well-known in his community for his professional skills and devotion to helping others. Customers specifically request his services in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana for difficult and tedious jobs, which require long hours and great attention to detail. Watson stays abreast of the industry’s fast-paced agronomy developments as a statewide consultant and a regional certified crop advisor.

Watson’s community service centers around his work as a volunteer with the South Fremont Fire Department where he serves as a training officer. He participates in the Search and Rescue (SAR) Demolition Derby, which helps equip the group with new equipment and operational funds. He also pitches in with efforts to harvest local potato crops, which helps area farmers get them into cellars before bad weather arrives.

Bill Bata of Adams, North Dakota, and Brady Jones of Lindsay, Ontario, were also finalists in the program and appeared at the ARA conference with Watson and AGCO’s application marketing teams.

“All three of our finalists exemplify the values that Operator of the Year seeks to recognize,” says Greg Pumo, director of application marketing for Fendt North America. “We’re always very impressed with the skills and dedication our nominees demonstrate, and these hardworking professionals well serve our industry and communities.”

For more information about Operator of the Year or application equipment from AGCO, visit and