GALVA - Rod Brosamle began working in 1980 at Cropmate in Galva, and his son Jeff began working with him there in 1983. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Cropmate plant himself, located at 117 N. Main St., Brosamle did so, and began his business, Rod's Fertilizer and Sales, Inc., in 1985. Jeff and his daughter, Joy, soon joined the business.
What is that business? Rod's "offers what the farmer is looking for." Their products include liquid fertilizer, lime, chemicals, insecticides, seed corn and beans, treated right at their fertilizer plant, and their services include both pre- and post-custom application and soil sampling.
Rod Brosamle, who has been involved in farming all of his life says, "We can sit down with our customers and figure out a plan that would best fit their operating needs, and at harvest time, we can assist them by hauling their grain with our trucks. We can take care of them from the beginning to the end of their growing season."
left to right - Certified Applicator Luke Schossow, Office Manager Joy Babcock (in the tractor cab) and salesman T.J. Padovich are three of the 17 full-time employees at Rod's Fertilizer and Sales, Inc. Photo by Dan Whitney
Rod's business started very small in 1985, with only one full-time employee, along with a few part-time employees. After 24 successful years, the business has expanded in both size and services, and they now employ 17 full-time workers. In addition, they also continue to hire a few local men to help out during their busy spring and fall seasons. When I asked Joy Babcock what their hours of business are, she just chuckled, and said that during the busy farming seasons, the hours generally run from about 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday - Saturday. She said that they try not to work on Sundays, they have been known to, particularly if weather conditions have been such that farmers have not been able to get into their fields. During the "offseason," their hours are closer to those of other (non-farm-related) businesses, like 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Rod Brosamle says, "Our employees are a lot like family. Most of them are local, and we have known them for many years. Without our employees, we wouldn't have the business we have today."
Some of his employees are actually family members. Rod's son, Jeff, is now the Manager of the Plant, while his daughter, Joy (Babcock) is the Office Manager. Rod's wife Marllys, a former school teacher, is also involved in the family business, and serves as Vice President of the business' corporation. Rod serves as the President of the corporation, while Joy serves as Secretary, and Jeff is the Treasurer.
Rod's Fertilizer and Sales, Inc. is truly a successful small town family business.