Ag Spotlight: Nutrien Ag Solutions
Meet Jackie Montgomery, Mark Amaral, and Matthew Pearse of Nutrien Ag Solutions
Say hello to three members of the Nutrien Ag Solutions team: Jackie Montgomery, Mark Amaral, and Matthew Pearse! They all work as pest control advisors for the sustainable crop protection company, which has offices throughout the United States and Canada.
Jackie has wanted to be a pest control adviser since she was 6 years old and riding around with her dad, who farms row crops.
" I remember seeing a lady walking through the broccoli field. She came up to my dad and started talking," Jackie recalled. "I remember being impressed by her because she was smart and very professional, talking about insects and what she was seeing in the fields. I asked my dad who she was, and he said, 'She is the bug lady; you could be a bug lady someday if you wanted to. That is a great job.' I was sold. I wanted to work outside and help farmers."
Jackie thinks of that memory often when she is out in vineyards checking for pests, diseases, and fertility issues.
"I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to do what I love," she said.
Fellow Pest Control Advisor Mark Amaral is also a farmer with a 10-acre-vineyard! His petite sirah wine grapes are under contract with Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, which happens to be his hometown.
"My father was a farmer/rancher in this area and my mom was a Paso Robles High School home economics teacher," Mark said. "I attended Cal Poly, SLO, and while in school, I worked at Farm Supply. I attained my PCA license and began my career in 1998."
When asked what he loves most about working in agriculture, Mark said, "Having the freedom to work on your own schedule and making yourself accountable for day-to-day routines, as well as working with and getting to know all of the great people involved in agriculture throughout the Central Coast."
The biggest challenge is keeping up with supply chain issues, weather changes, and ever-changing markets.
In addition to working as a pest control advisor, Matthew Pearse is a certified crop advisor for Nutrien Ag Solutions. But he's been interested in agriculture and plants all his life.
“My experience as a kid working with my grandfather in his garden grew into one of my first jobs working in a nursery. As I found success working in that nursery, I set a goal to attend the School of Ag at Cal Poly, SLO," he said.
Today he provides consulting services to clients on all kinds of pesticides and fertilizers. So what's a typical day like for Matthew?
"I visit different ranches (mainly wine grapes) and walk crops then report the good and bad of what I see to my customers," he said. "A lot of times I am collecting soil, water, or tissue samples to send to the lab for analysis."
Since starting at Nutrien, Matthew has been especially interested in crop fertility.
"At the time, I noticed that a lot of my customers did not use nearly enough fertilizer to maintain crop potential and yield. As I have developed my knowledge base, I have shared my expertise in fertilizers to maximize crop efficiency over and over again," he said. "This accomplishment has improved many growers' outcomes and profitability, which has given me a great sense of accomplishment."