Contrasts abound between infrastructure in South and North America, according to the John Deere vice president of marketing and sales for Latin America who poked his head into a Western Illinois equipment dealer in early December.
Aaron Wetzel, a native of East-Central Illinois, mixed with employees of and customers at Kleine Equipment of Galesburg on December 9. He provided insight into the life and times of agriculture in South America and drew notable distinctions to how it compares to and contrasts with the agriculture industry in the U.S. Midwest.
"The infrastructure in South America is almost nonexistent compared to that of Illinois," Wetzel said, according to the Galesburg Register-Mail.
He said some growers have no choice but to travel hundreds of miles to sell their produce. He also said farmers are forced to sell their grain when it is harvested since storage facilities are underdeveloped in Latin America.
Wetzel embarked on his John Deere career in 1989 while a student at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. After graduating, Wetzel worked as an auditor and his responsibilities increased in 1995 when he became a manager with the Golf and Turf division. Five years later, he was promoted to national sales manager which led to his next assignment as group product marketing manager. His team developed the John Deere GatorXUV.
He continued climbing with Deere and was then stationed in Europe as director of strategic planning and customer focus for Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the agriculture division. In 2009 he assumed the position he presently holds.