Riley Reynolds chooses to live about three hours south of the town where he grew up on a family farm. “I love the Idaho way of life,” he says. “That’s why I’m here. It’s close to the Salt Lake City International Airport, so I do my business and get back home.”
The director of sales and marketing for Oro Agri, headquartered in Fresno, California, Reynolds says his uncles all grew potatoes. “I had a lot of experience on the farm growing up,” he relates, “pulling truck boards at 8 years old, driving potato trucks when I was about 11 or 12 years old and tractor when I turned 14.”
“We had alfalfa and wheat on our own farm,” Reynolds adds.
Oro Agri seemingly burst onto the potato and vegetable growing scene, in the early 2000’s, with crop protection products and yield improvement solutions, namely conventional and organic biopesticides, adjuvants, fertilizers, bio-stimulants and soil conditioners.
The company develops and manufactures agricultural, home and industrial products marketed as being low impact and environmentally friendly.
Such include Encourage NANOCAL, a soil-applied liquid formula that supplies potatoes with readily available, sub-micronized calcium when they need it most, during tuber initiation and development; PREV-AM, a three-in-one insecticide, fungicide and miticide; and ORO-RZ, a soil adjuvant designed to improve the uniform distribution of soil-applied pesticides and nutrients.
Oro Agri boasts global distribution to more than 85 countries with upwards of 2,000 dealers and retailers, and 240 employees spread out over 30 countries.
Research, development and technical support teams, as well as manufacturing facilities and laboratories, are based in South Africa, Brazil, the United States and Europe.
The company came into agriculture quite by accident, having been in the South African mining industry, in the 1990’s, making a product to control dust in mines.
Since it worked in mines, it was sprayed as a fog in chicken houses only to realize it was killing the mites.
Later, it was tested on strawberries and lettuce, killing aphids on lettuce and knocking down powdery on strawberries. Now, with EPA registration, it reinforces the old adage that it’s better to be lucky than good.
Oro Agri came to the United States, in the early 2000’s, with some momentum.
“What sets us apart,” says Reynolds, “is good technology that has been proven time and again. In 2003-2004, I introduced into Wisconsin the first bio-degradable soil-wetting agents. In my experience with products that come and go, of what has been and where technologies are now, there are no products out there like ours, and I have seen some good ones.
Reynolds has been with Oro Agri for 10 years and says the company’s products are the best he’s seen. Proof is in the pudding.
“I am excited Wisconsin has its own rep and about potential growth in the Midwest. It’s exciting,” Reynolds adds. “I would invite any Wisconsin growers to talk to Kevin Boehm. He knows his chemistries, and we are here to make their programs better, more efficient and less expensive where possible.”