Territory Sales Manager
James Grothe has a simple answer to the complex question of how to get the most profit and production out of cattle: The Three C’s – Comfort, Consistency and Calories.
“It’s asking, ‘Are they comfortable? Are they showing signs of stress?’” Grothe says. “Then it’s asking, ‘Are they being fed consistently and at the same time every day?’ After that it’s a matter of diet, which is based on getting the calories right.”
The actual application of those solutions is much more involved, of course, but Grothe always knows where to start. Having been in the feed business more than 30 years, he is known as the “go-to guy for dairy beef” at Kent Nutrition Group (KNG).
He spends nearly all of his work hours on the farm, doing rations, walking feed lots, helping producers with projects and giving advice on how to manage cattle. He crisscrosses his sales territory of South Dakota and North Dakota all day long in his red Chevy truck, meeting with dealers and producers of all sizes – but with similar needs and concerns.
“There are market challenges that we have to work with,” Grothe says. “We have to be efficient. I have a huge amount of trust and faith in our products to help in that area. I know that when Kent makes a product, it’s going to work. Plain and simple.”
But often producers need Grothe’s help in other areas, such as recommendations in management practices, and finding new sources to market. At any given time, he can walk into operations that need help reducing scours among 300 baby Holstein calves or deciding how to sort cattle to get the right size and number in the pen. All of it makes him feel invested in the producers’ success.
“I don’t sell to customers, I sell to my friends,” Grothe says. “They trust me, because I trust the quality of the product I sell.”
Before joining Kent, one of the feed companies Grothe worked for was much larger — and he never met any of its top executives. “With Kent, just this week two of our VPs came with me to visit one of our dealers,” Grothe says. “They show up in person, they know our customers by name and they know their operations.”
It’s that kind of personal service that Grothe says makes his job easy – and rewarding.
“People don’t care what you know until they know you care.”
James Grothe lives with his wife, Leah, and a black Lab named Jake near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Both of their children currently attend the University of Minnesota. He enjoys DIY projects, fishing with Leah, and spending time with family.