This episode features TJ Kartes of Saddle Butte Ag, Inc. We talk about Saddle Butte Ag, their mission to build soil health, and how they plan to continue this mission in the future.
Exposed to cover crops in 2009, TJ brought the idea of cover cropping home to his uncle, and by 2012 had fully converted to cover cropping practices in their operation. In 2012 TJ also started working for Saddle Butte Ag, Inc, a seed company formed by Don and Maryanne Wirth in 2001.
Specializing in cover crops and forage seeds, Don and Maryanne can trace their family of farmers back to before Oregon was a state. This heritage and connection to the land provided a solid foundation for TJ to continue his exploration of cover crops and allowed him to share his passion for farming and land stewardship with the world.
TJ can connect farmers with seed under two different brands that Saddle Butte Ag, Inc provides – 360 Forage and Bio Till Cover Crops. Products held under both brands provide soil health benefits. However, they are utilized differently and allow TJ to effectively market seeds and provide recommendations depending on their intended usage.
Passionate about the benefits of cover crops, TJ knows that education drives the sales of Saddle Butte Ag. Educating farmers and guiding them on critical points in cover cropping is a mission that TJ takes seriously. An example of this is when he coaches farmers that even if plants are small, various species provide a range of benefits. All the species are doing different things and taking on different roles. Those tiny plants still did a job.
Encouraging fellow farmers throughout their use of cover crops is just what TJ is passionate about. Trying new things might be hard for some farmers, but TJ and the rest of the staff at Saddle Butte Ag are here and available throughout the process. Future Plans for TJ include the ability to provide advanced breakdowns for the covers he recommends in economic terms, enabling his customers to make critical decisions for both current operations and future continued profitability.