Gary Fassett Sauk City, Wisconsin Vice President of Sales Accelerated Genetics
Please describe your agricultural background?
I grew up on a 100-cow Registered Holstein family farm in central New York. My family was very involved with showing, promoting our cattle and the Holstein breed. We farmed about 400 acres on the home farm and rented some additional land. Our primary crops were corn, alfalfa and some small grains. I was active in 4-H and FFA on the dairy cattle judging teams. I was also a State Farmer in the FFA and held many offices in the school's FFA chapter.
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
My degree is in Agricultural Business from the State University of New York - Cobleskill.
What previous positions have you held?
I come to Accelerated Genetics from World Wide Sires, Ltd. WWS is one of the largest international marketing organizations of bull semen in the areas of the world that they serve. Accelerated Genetics is a 50% shareholder in WWS. I was an Area Director of Marketing and the Director of Training and Business Development for them. The areas I was responsible for marketing was in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Luxemborg. Over the years, I had marketing responsibilities in many Middle Eastern and European countries. I have traveled to more than 40 countries in my 14-plus years with WWS. Prior to my time with WWS, I spent 24 years with another A.I. organization in various positions within North America.
What are your new responsibilities?
I'm responsible for all global sales at Accelerated Genetics. Including the sale of Beef and Dairy semen both conventional and sexed product and our line-up of solution-based farm products. I also will work in the training area and other areas of employee development.
What territory will you cover?
Virtually, I cover the entire world. At Accelerated Genetics we have our own sales force across the United States. In Canada and Latin America we have our own distributors we work with directly and for the areas outside of the America’s we work with World Wide Sires, Ltd to market our products.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
There are several things that really excite me about this opportunity with Accelerated Genetics. To join a dynamic team of people who are committed to helping those in agriculture become more successful is a really big motivator. I enjoy the excitement of the global cattle breeding industry. The respect for the U.S. dairy producers and the U.S. cattle genetics is unbelievable and one that is envied by every other country involved with A.I. The cow families that we have in the U.S. are known and so respected around the world. The passion that I have seen for building a better herd and improving their quality of life is amazing.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
My wish is to help put value back into the dairy industry. My whole training focus is based upon providing value to our customers by identifying their unique needs and helping them achieve their goals. My 38 + years in the industry are a big plus, I've been a technician, direct service person, taught a.i. schools and have traveled extensively around the world. My family is still involved in farming in New York, I understand the challenges and ups and downs of farming.
What’s your best story from the first day on the job?
(Probably recent stories from working with WWS.) Oh man, there are plenty to share. Most have a somewhat humerous and positive ending. Most involve international travel. Without going into specifics, not getting off a train in Friesland (part of the Netherlands) and ending up in the wrong city then having to take a taxi to the right city. A helicopter ride from Copenhagen, Denmark to Malmo, and Sweden. Riding with a guy in Sweden who drove down the wrong street and almost getting us in a big wreck. Eating camel in Saudi Arabia. Meeting with a Sheik in the UAE who's family owned a lot of land in Dubai, this guy wanted to have cows of every color! Riding from Oman to the UAE with a guy named Osama who did not speak any English. Eating food that I could not recognize in China.
Why did you choose this company?
Through WWS, I had 14-plus years experience with Accelerated Genetics. I knew and had great respect for the organization and their team. This is a very unique opportunity and one that I saw myself as being a very good fit.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My number one goal is to do my part to help Accelerated Genetics become as successful as we can become. To reach this goal we will need to lead, motivate and train our team to meet the needs of our customers. We sell genetics, but this really is a people business. Enhancing the quality of our team and the service they provide are goals as well. PD