Applicator of the Year

Custom applicators in South Dakota spend hundreds of hours in the field every year, applying fertilizer and crop protection products on millions of crop acres.  This award showcases the hard work professional applicators put into caring for crops and customers, as well as their involvement in their communities.  We are proud to recognize these outstanding people and feel they deserve all the thanks they can get.

Nominations open in July of each year, with the winner announced at the Ag Expo in January.  The winner receives a plaque and jacket along with a $250 cash prize!


Time Line

Nominations Open:  July, 2023
Nominations Close:  November 1, 2023
Winner Announced:  January 17, 2024 at Ag Expo

Terms and Conditions


  • Nominators: Each nominator must be a member of the SD Agri-Business Association (SDABA) or work for a company that is a member of the SDABA.
  • Candidates/Nominees: Each candidate must be a custom applicator of agricultural chemicals or an ag retailer operator that has the primary job of operating application equipment.

The SDABA Board of Directors shall have the right to verify the accuracy of all information submitted and also reserves the right to disqualify any nominator or candidate who fails to comply with the Official Rules.

To nominate a candidate, nominator must complete an official online nomination form available above, with all information requested and submit.

SDABA assumes no responsibility for late, lost, misdirected, damaged, illegible or incomplete Nominations. To be eligible, all nominations must be on the official nomination form, completed in entirety and submitted via the website during the nomination period.

There is no limit to the number of nominations a nominator may submit, however, a nominator may only submit one (1) nomination for any one candidate. A nominator may not submit a nomination for himself/herself.  Selections are not made based on how many nominations are received, but rather on the description of the candidate.


Congratulations to the following award winners:

Lucas Gustad (2024)

Lucas’s mechanical knowledge paired with his years of spraying and farming have made him a top-notch applicator.  He knows how to keep his machine running at peak performance and the importance of doing the very best job has led to exceptional service and quality for his customers. He is often called upon by name from either a member of the sales team, an agronomist or a customer to be the applicator on their fields.

Lucas covers thousands of acres every year and is extremely conscientious of how he treats every acre.  His experience has equipped him to catch issues early and troubleshoot before a problem arises.  He works with the Valley Ag sales staff when weed and insect pressures are different

from what the blend sheet prescribes. Lucas is willing and ready to help fellow employees learn new skills.  He regularly trains and assists new and seasonal employees.  He gets along with others creating a tight knit group that can go to each other when they need assistance.  Lucas is always willing to go the extra mile and work the extra hours to make sure the job gets done.

Lucas is a volunteer fire fighter and has led several successful fundraisers.  He is always willing to help friends, family and neighbors.  

Kobus Langenhoven (2023)

Kobus couldn’t be at Ag Expo, so accepting the award on his behalf is Jared Madsen the location manager at Carpenter/ Willow Lake Agronomy Center.

Kobus has worked in Carpenter for Agtegra for four years and in that time, he has become a staple of the community.  He works directly with his customers to learn their expectations and is able to deliver quality and consistent results because of his dedication.  Customers call and request him by name because they know of the outstanding service, he provides them.

Kobus is a leader in Carpenter for other employees, helping them learn how to fix and how to operate more efficiently. He also helps train new applicators.

Kobus has made a positive impact in the community by assisting local businesses with lawn care and snow removal.  He pitches in with ever a customer needs some extra help and volunteers to go to their farm to assist them in whatever they need. 

Kobus is an all-around excellent human being, and his fellow teammates are proud to call him their friend.

Garret Foos (2022)

Garret has always provided great service to the growers that he works for.  The growers ask for him to apply chemical or fertilizer to their fields. He is very patient when he is applying, knows the ins and outs of the monitors that he is running, and knows a lot about the machines to save some downtime when something goes wrong.  When he pulls into a field, he treats the field like it is own and does the field the same way every time.  Garret takes a lot of pride when he works for these growers.  

He takes a lot of time out of his schedule also to help the other applicators that he works with.  He does a lot of training with the other applicators in the winter time and down time. 

He is one of the teachers that meets with the applicators every month in the south region of Agtegra's team and goes through monitors, calibration, and machines with the other applicators.

Garret has been on the city council for the city of Woonsocket before.  He is very active on the volunteer fire dept also.  Garret helps the Woonsocket Agtegra location deliver food baskets in December for the Sanborn County Food Pantry.  Garret is very willing to help out in the community where needed.

Garret likes to spend time with his family camping, going to sporting events or anything going on.  When he is not at work he does spend a lot of time going out and running combine or working ground up for growers in the summer on wheat or in the fall.

Scott Monger (2019)

Scott's application abilities are unmatched in today's agriculture. Many, if not all, of our customers specifically request Scott to spray their fields. They know his experience and knowledge are among the best in the industry, and Scott will do things "the right way". Scott is willing to run any machine or learn any technology. Scott has made lasting friendships and professional relationships with nearly all our customers. Our customers often say Scott is one of the most valuable parts of their operations because "He sees every acre, every year" and will bring an honest opinion of their fields every time.

Scott's attitude towards his job is infectious and inspires the rest of our team to strive to do our best. His effort from start to finish is evident in his willingness to work extended hours, help other applicators, and go the "extra mile" for customers and coworkers. He is not above using older equipment, driving tender truck, running a skid loader, or helping with repairs whenever necessary.Scott is more than willing to help new applicators, agronomists, and interns learn the ropes. He will answer any question and offer advice when needed. He has a way of helping coworkers learn without being overbearing. Scott is usually at the forefront of new application technology. Notably, his sprayer was the first in the company with pulse-wave-modulation and front-load capability. Even our equipment representatives will call him from time to time to ask for his opinion or advice. Scott is also a leader when it comes to safety in the workplace. He doesn't cut corners, and he always reminds his fellow coworkers to do things safely.

Our local communities have benefited from Scott's presence as much as our company. As a member of the local volunteer fire department, Scott has put in countless hours responding local emergencies and training other volunteers. He has volunteered his time to sandbag during floods or clean up after wind storms. He is very active in his hometown's local celebration, often running a grill for a burger feed or driving his machine in the parade. Scott also hosts an annual trap shoot and potluck at his home which brings community members together for a fun evening of competition and camaraderie.