Lance “Trapper” Koch, Precision Ag Parts Specialist
The man behind the parts counter at the Innovation Center is affectionately known as “Trapper.” Serving as the Precision Ag Parts Specialist, Trapper has been in his position since Innovation Center opened. He plays a key role, keeping the parts center stocked in order to keep growers up and running strong.
Trapper anticipates parts most frequently needed by customers on a seasonal basis and works to keep those parts in stock at those times. While that typically means parts for planters in the spring, components for sprayers in the summer, and combine and fertilizer support in the fall, Trapper says, “We really don’t have an off season here. In between the busier times of planting and harvest, growers are preparing for what’s coming up and still stop by needing parts.”
While customers often visit the Innovation Center to learn about new machinery or bring their equipment in for maintenance and upgrades, parts can sometimes be an afterthought – but they shouldn’t be.
Trapper explains, “We’re a retail store, but we’re owned by our producers. That means we typically sell things at a more reasonable cost than our competitors can offer. We want to get our growers what they need and get them back in the field.”
Trapper and the parts department are the glue that holds the Precision Ag group together. Without parts, it would be hard to keep growers running strong. And Trapper also takes a lot of pride in his work.
Trapper says, “I always have customers come in thinking that I’m not going to have what they need. One grower comes in every time trying to stump me in needing something he doesn’t think I’ll have. Last time he came in needing a 3-way valve and he said, ‘I’m SURE you won’t have this.’ But of course I did. It made him very happy.”
Trapper understands how difficult downtime can be on a grower’s bottom line. He says, “It’s very seldom that I don’t have something a grower needs. I know what it’s like when I go somewhere and they say ‘I’ll have that next week.’ I want to have it on hand, ready for my customer. Anything you can think of, we either have on hand or we can have by tomorrow.”
More than just having parts in stock, Trapper works hand in hand with the expertise of the Precision Ag team to provide the exact service and maintenance customers need. “It’s rare that a customer comes in with an issue we can’t solve. If I can’t figure it out, I will find somebody on the team to get it taken care of to keep them running. My number one goal is to have what the producer needs.”