A word from Kenny
STRATEGY AND EXECUTION. As we close out the calendar year, we continue to track toward record growth. With the revenue line and our change in fiscal year, we are starting the 2022 year off on a very strong note.
Several years ago, we set in place our strategic principals of People, Products and Execution. We have continued to invest and execute against these principals, and I truly believe that execution is what has delivered our results thus far. Of course, most (if not all) companies in agriculture are enjoying growth, but we continue to outpace the industry – that is the result of your commitment, endurance and perseverance. After all, a Strategy without Execution is just a dream. So, what’s next? We are going to continue to focus on the strategic pillars that have gotten us here while investing more in new products and new and innovative ways to work with our customers.
In my upcoming Christmas message I am going to focus on Hope. There have been over 2,000 articles written about Hope and its impact on human psyche. Hope in our terms is a belief in an expected outcome. For Hope to endure, you have to have a pathway to achieve the outcome and a commitment to achieve. Hope is not a fanciful wish – it requires exactly what you exhibit each day: a Hope that we can make a difference around the globe and a commitment to achieve it.
Finally, while a lot has changed, some things, unfortunately, have not. COVID and its variants still exist around the world, and we will continue to deal with the unfortunate outcomes of this for the months and years to come. Having seen the impacts firsthand, I encourage each of our employees globally to get vaccinated. Your health and safety are our utmost concern, and so I encourage you to stay safe and take care of yourself and your families.
We have one month left to finish the calendar year strong. Stay focused. Stay safe. Maximum effort leads to maximum returns. Thank you.
Leaving it Better than you found it.
Carsyn Barnes is an intern in our Finance department who supports Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. She is also no stranger to volunteerism. She got involved in her hometown community at an early age and continued to share her time and talents as an undergrad at East Carolina University servicing the rural communities through North Carolina Mom Clinics, focusing on bringing dental care to those who otherwise would go without.
More recently, Carsyn could be found filling our Little Food Pantries across Wake County (NC) with “Carsyn’s Kits,” which include toothbrushes, toothpaste and additional hygiene and food staples for those who count on the pantry for their basic needs.
While we will miss Carsyn when she embarks on her next chapter next year as The University of Louisville welcomes her to their dental school, we know she will continue to strive to serve those in need. Thank you, Carsyn, for “leaving it better than you find it.”
Learn more about how to help at: www.Fooddrivekids.org
If you or you know someone who is exemplifying our core values, please reach out to let us know! We’d like to feature you or your teammate in our next Leaving it Better spotlight! Email Susan Waldo.
North America Commercial Update:
A combination of People, Process, and Products.
IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES. IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES. Is it just me that feels like the past six months of the ag market seem to mimic the famous first lines of Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities? On any given day, I am sitting in meetings talking about 47-percent growth year over year and record expansion of Verdesian’s business. In the next meeting, I hear about raw material costs increasing by 193 percent on some product ingredients. The third meeting is about record demand for some newly launched product, with caveats about our ability to supply the product to meet the unprecedented demand. Truly, there has never been a more dynamic time at Verdesian.
I want to share with you why I believe Verdesian is built for just this type of marketplace and why – although it will not be easy – we will ultimately thrive through these turbulent times. It really comes down to three things Kenny has mentioned multiple times: People, Process, and Products.
I will start with process. Of the three ag companies I have worked at (John Deere, Bayer, and Verdesian) we are the furthest behind as it relates to mature and efficient processes. This is not surprising given that John Deere has been around 184 years and Bayer is 158 years old. Verdesian is a mere infant at seven years old. I see process improvement as a significant opportunity for Verdesian in the coming five years. With a down ag market, we have been in survival mode until the past year. We have the opportunity to improve our processes and create additional upside for our business.
Next is products. Under Kuide Qin’s leadership and with the addition of Cytozyme, we have dramatically improved our product portfolio. The response from the market has been unequivocal, with Trident being our most successful product launch in company history. We have additional, potentially game-changing products in our product pipeline that will further separate Verdesian as the global leader in Nutrient Use Efficiency.
Lastly, and most importantly, I believe Verdesian will thrive in this dynamic ag market because of our people. As AEA was evaluating our company a year ago, they kept coming back to the caliber of our people. We have assembled a team at Verdesian that I would put up against any team in agriculture. We have smart, creative, hard-working people across all departments at Verdesian. In a dynamic market environment, it is so complex because of the rapid rate of change. Companies that perform best in these environments are the ones with engaged and empowered people who know when to press forward with resilience and discipline and when to adjust, re-think, and try something new. This is why I am so confident in Vedesian’s future. We have the people to succeed not in spite of these turbulent times, but because of these turbulent times.
LOTS going on!
2022 Handbook Update. Be on the lookout for the 2022 Verdesian Handbook coming soon to your inbox. The Handbook will have several updates to policies so please make sure to look through it and ask your HR representative if you have questions.
Martin Luther King Day, January 17, 2022, is now a Verdesian observed holiday. Let’s join together to celebrate each other! Be sure to visit VLSnet for a listing of official holidays.
Ethics Hotline has changed. The number to the Ethics Hotline is now 1-800-673-6718. Also remember that you can use this link as well: http://reportanissue.com/vlsci
FSA reminder. All FSA Participants – Please remember to use your FSA money by June 30, 2022. Also note that you have a grace period to September to use this Plan year’s money. You can log onto the Flores website to see how much you have left in your account – www.flores247.com. You need to know your Participant ID number unless you’ve already set up your account with username and password. If you’ve never set up your account, you would click on First Time User as shown below.
Please join us for a Verdesian Webinar for employees and family members. The title of this webinar is “Covid-19 What to expect?” It will walk you through all you need to know about COVID-19 Pandemic, Virus, Variants, Vaccine, and more. This webinar will include a session for questions and answers. The presenter will be Dr. Fernando Cabanilla, who has more than 30 years of experience in Occupational Medicine.
Stay tuned for updated webinar dates to come December.
As a reminder to all employees that are enrolled in Verdesian’s medical plans: We have two wellness incentives that need to be completed by June 15, 2022:
- First is getting an age-appropriate annual physical (should not be a cost unless you’re having something else done). This only applies to the employee and their spouse if both are on the BCBS Medical Plans. Proof of Physical form is available on VLSnet > HR page and also in UKG Pro (UltiPro) under the Myself > My Company > Electronic Forms.
- Second is logging onto BlueConnect to do the Wellbeing Assessment. If you have not done this assessment (questionnaire) before, you can download the instructions from VLSnet > HR page > Benefit Documents > BCBS Medical > “Taking the Wellbeing (Health Risk) Assessment Step-by-Step Instructions.”
Reminder emails will be forthcoming after the holidays.
The holidays are quickly approaching, and we want to make sure you’re informed of best practices to keep you and your loved ones safe this year. Did you know that 42 percent of Americans are planning to take at least two trips between now and January 2022?
If you or someone you love is planning on taking a road trip this holiday season, it’s important to be prepared for all of the potential risks on the road. Recent data shows that despite fewer drivers on the road in 2020, traffic fatalities actually increased — and these trends appear to be continuing in 2021.
As a gift to you, Smith System is releasing “Driving Family,” an 18-minute video that teaches all drivers how to safely prepare and manage the many dangers on the road. It was designed with you and your loved ones in mind, and we hope you’ll take advantage because it’s completely free to the public until January 2, 2022.
We can’t predict everything we might encounter on the road this year, but one thing we know for sure: the best gift you can give yourself is peace of mind. Share this video with everyone you know to help all of us have a safe, and happy holiday season.
Amazing kudos all around!
BIG SHOUT-OUT TO THE COMMERCIAL AND OPERATIONAL TEAMS for an amazing fall, both domestically and internationally, and to the operational and customer support teams that make it all happen once its booked!
The marketing team has been busy continuing to drive brand awareness for Verdesian and key launch products across the globe. More than 75,000 unique visitors have visited the site in just the past few months alone. Customers, both online and offline, continue to be excited about Nutrient Use Efficiency technologies like Trident, MicroSync, SEED+ GRAPHITE and others.
Verdesian attended and presented at the BioStimulants World Congress in Florida recently, and there is considerable excitement about the portfolio that we continue to expand. Collaborations with groups like Truterra are reinforcing the Nutrient Use Efficiency message as more and more attention it headed to this space.
We are prepping our spring campaigns for both row and specialty crops, across the globe. Best days are ahead!
Past issues of Verdesian NUEs can be found here: