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Nebraska State Games

Good morning!

Joe Young, network computer systems administrator, and Abdel Bruguera, feed lab tech, participated in the Nebraska State Games. Joe got a third place metal in the mountain bike event, and Abdel won three bronze and one silver in fencing (Joe is pictured with his wife, Karissa).

Both Joe and Abdel work in our Hastings Laboratory in Hastings, Neb.

Congratulations, Joe and Abdel!




Amarillo Lab takes part in 24 Hours in the Canyon

Servi-Tech teamed up with a local flower shop in Amarillo and participated in 24 Hours in the Canyon, the only simultaneous road and mountain bike event in the country.

24 Hours in the Canyon is sponsored by Harrington Cancer Center, a non-profit cancer treatment center in Amarillo. All of funds raised goes to patient treatment. Harrington gives away millions in free treatment every year.

  • It is held in Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the US.
  • There are over 650 entries competing in 6, 12 and 24 hour races as individuals or teams as well as non-competitive teams.
  • Servi-Tech paired up with a local Flower Shop, Budding Art and owner, Kerry Smith, who was in their third year of participating.
  • Budding Art/MP² raised just over $10,000 and placed second in fundraising.
  • Budding Art/MP² also had 30 participating entries earning an award for the largest team.

For more information:

24 Hours in the Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon


Team members:
Servi-Tech Crew
Brian Cappilla
Mary Crist
Sarah Crist (Mary’s daughter)
Jordan Hurd
Shane Moore
Ashleigh Richeson
Casey Walden
Brianna Wacura
Todd Whatley


Budding Art Crew
Kerry Smith
Chris Bruckner
Brian Edwards
Vaavia Edwards
Bryson Edwards
Bo Edwards
Billy Emert
Blake Milam
Mark Smith
Troy Vaughn
Betsy Weaver
Walt Weaver
Cody Aduddell
Jeff Wieck
Cole Camp

Speaking to students

Monday morning, Fred Vocasek, senior lab agronomist, spoke to students in social studies classes in Bucklin (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) about his visit to the Ukraine. Rob Scott is their teacher. The 6th grade class has World History as a topic and had been studying the history of Eastern Europe, including the Ukraine.

The temperature in Bucklin, Kansas. was 36°F and the temperature in Kiyv, Ukraine, was 50°. This is a reversal from “normal”, because Kiyv, Ukraine, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, are on the same northern latitude.

fred v 1 fred v 2 fred v 3

National Agriculture Day

Today, March 25, 2014, is National Agriculture Day. It’s a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.

Today is also Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday.

Borlaug100_must prevent tragedy

There are major events being held in Washington, D.C.; and at CIMMYT, the international wheat breeding station in Mexico where Borlaug did much of his work; and the state of Iowa is unveiling a statue at the U.S. Capitol.

From The Houston Chronicle:

“Lawmakers unveiled a statue of Norman Borlaug on Tuesday in a ceremony on what would have been his 100th birthday. Borlaug died in 2009.

“The Iowa native and University of Minnesota graduate is credited with saving as many as 1 billion people from hunger by creating a type of wheat that was disease-resistant and high-yielding. His work won him the 1970 Nobel Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Borlaug100_no simple miracles

Here’s more information:


Servi-Tech in the News

Good afternoon!

Servi-Tech has a couple of mentions in the current issue of Ag Professional magazine.

Here’s a PDF of the stories.

And here are the photos:

john payne pic2

Caption: Panel and roundtable discussions dominated the annual meeting schedule. Talking to the crowd during the “Precision Ag Implementation in Your Business” consultant panel are (left to right) John Payne, Servi-Tech, Inc., Ransom, Kan.; Blaine Viator, Ph.D., Calvin Viator & Associates, Labadieville, La.; and Matt Weller, Centrol Inc., Marshall, Minn.

andrew vrbka story

Caption: The new president of NAICC, Gary Coukell, stands between the two Crop Consultants of the Year – Tim Moline, left, and Andrew Vrbka- during the presentation of awards in New Orleans.

Servi-Tech Agronomist Earns National Award

A Servi-Tech agronomist earned national recognition for his achievements in crop consulting in Nebraska.

Andrew Vrbka

Andrew Vrbka of Geneva earned the 2013 Crop Consultant of the Year award through the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants. Vrbka accepted the award in New Orleans with his wife, Jennifer.

Andrew Vrbka received the 2013 Consultant of the Year award from the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants. He received the award at NAICC’s annual meeting in New Orleans on Jan. 31. The award recognizes entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, innovation and community involvement by an agricultural consultant.

Vrbka is a technical support agronomist for Servi-Tech. He consults on close to 16,000 acres of mostly corn and soybeans in south central Nebraska. As part of Servi-Tech’s precision agronomy group, Vrbka is involved in variable rate fertilizer and seed applications, data management, yield analysis, and satellite imagery. He lives in Geneva and has worked for Servi-Tech for 10 years.

Rick Runyan, Servi-Tech’s central Nebraska manager, said Vrbka is deserving of the award.

“Andrew has a very strong work ethic,” Runyan said. “He’s very dedicated to providing service and technology to his customers and to Servi-Tech employees.”

The NAICC is a professional society that represents the nation’s crop production and research consultants. Vrbka has been a member of the NAICC for five years and said he’s seen other seasoned Servi-Tech agronomists win the award. Other Servi-Tech award winners include Orvin Bontrager, Jeff Kugler, Clark Poppert, Dave Green, and Bryan Boroughs.

“It was a pretty big surprise,” Vrbka said.

Mitch Counce, CEO of Servi-Tech, also said Vrbka is deserving of the award.

“He has been very active and innovative in working with new technologies that are available for farmers,” Counce said.

Vrbka does crop consulting work for Brian Isernhagen of Stormy Valley Farms in south central Nebraska, including collecting soil samples, bug scouting and precision agriculture. Isernhagen said Vrbka is a reliable consultant he can count on.

“Andrew is very thorough and is very good at his job,” Isernhagen said.


Good afternoon!

Awards were given out to Servi-Tech’s crop service and lab employees this month. Congratulations to everyone who won an award!

Here are some photos of the ceremonies.

Bryan Boroughs edited

Bryan Boroughs received the 400,000 acre award.

Mike Dart 2 edited

Shane Wurm received the 300,000 acre award.

Jared Andersen edited

Jared Andersen received the 200,000 acre award and the 15-year award.

BJ New 2 edited

BJ New was named a senior agronomist.

Beau Davis edited

Beau Davis was named a senior agronomist.

Bryce Vance edited

Bryce Vance was named a technical service agronomist.

Andrew Vrbka edited

Andrew Vrbka was named a technical service agronomist.

Orvin Bontrager edited

Orvin Bontrager received the 35-year award.

Kirk Rice edited

Kirk Rice received the 35-year award.

Mitch Counce edited

Mitch Counce received the 35-year award.

Mike Dart edited

Mike Dart received the 25-year award and the agronomist of the year award.

patty_pruett (3)

Patty Pruett received the 30-year award.


Fred Vocasek received the 30-year award.


Ellie Elmore received the 25-year award.

Jeff Nitsch edited

Jeff Nitsch received the 25-year award.


Nancy Jenny received the 25-year award.


Cindy Klein received the 15-year award.


Teresa Hafer received the 10-year award.


Betty Spease received the 15-year award.

Clint Burmester edited

Clint Burmester received the 10-year award.

Steve Bryan edited

Steve Bryan received the 10-year award.


Gary Henry received the 10-year award.

Seth Lade edited

Seth Lade received the Leadership Award.

Justin Meyer edited

Justin Meyer received the New Employee of the Year Award.