Everyone says change is good. Change is necessary. And this may be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

If change is inevitable and a vital part of our life, Crop Quest was born on this philosophy.

Over 30 years ago, Rollie Stukenholtz and Ron O’Hanlon announced they would be forming a new crop consulting company. Rollie had previously started another consulting company, so when the opportunity arose to take a different direction, Rollie stuck his neck out to start all over – this time with an employee ownership mindset.

In 1992, sixty-five other determined coworkers came together with Rollie and Ron to form what would become known as Crop Quest Agronomic Services. They had two goals in mind:

For Our Customers

To serve our clients to the best of our ability.

For Our Employees

Every employee has the opportunity to share the rewards and risks.


Starting a company with 67 employees with nothing but a concept is risky to say the least. Many of our Charter Members were young in their careers, newly married and with young families at home. Going home to tell their spouse and families that they were joining a newly founded company that had no assets yet, and would need to use their own vehicle or borrow family members’ equipment to make it work was a bit unsettling and nerve-racking for everyone involved.

The determination that our Charter Members had to serve their customers was fundamental to making this concept work. Our employees knew exactly what was needed to serve their customers. They did not need a fancy product line; they needed unbiased recommendations to provide to their customers. The idea of being employee owned, allowing our employees to lead the business by taking on the risks, has proven instrumental to our foundation.


Over the past thirty years, we have been through a lot alongside our farmers. There have been extended droughts, record setting high temperatures, damaging windstorms, low commodity prices and record setting high commodity prices. Crop Quest Employee Owners were there during the advent of GMO’s (genetic modified plants that resist insects and herbicide damage), for the growth of precision agriculture, and the technological changes in the irrigation industry as sprinkler nozzle efficiency improved, and now the growth in subsurface drip irrigation systems.

There have been tremendous changes in farming practices as well. Conventional tillage has been replaced with more efficient residue management systems, such as strip-till, no-till and other modifications. Changes have occurred with the very clients Crop Quest has worked with, as farm sizes have generally increased. Some farms have also decreased in size, where some farmers are now supporting their operation by working in a career off the farm. Currently, it is the mid-size farmer who has really struggled during these past thirty years to survive, especially when commodity prices have been low.


We attribute a lot of our success to the fact that we are employee owned, but none of this would be possible without the trust and commitment from our farmers. We really owe it to our customers; they have believed in us since the beginning. They are the ones who have stayed with us through tough years when markets have been less than favorable. We wouldn’t be where we are without our group of very important people who we call our clients.

“Crop Quest exists because of the dedication, sacrifice, talent and innovation of a group of people that found a better way to serve their customers, as well as a way to protect their philosophy of providing unbiased help to a group of very important people – our customers”

Rollie Stukenholtz, Crop Quest Co-Founder


Crop Quest formed as an employee owned company in 1992, also known as an ESOP company. ESOP is an acronym for Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In the US there are roughly 7,000 ESOPs that offer their employees stock in the company. The founders at Crop Quest were so serious about the company becoming employee-owned that they worked to become 100% employee owned, with no majority owner

Over thirty years later, that is exactly how we continue to operate. Today, Crop Quest is the largest employee owned crop consulting company in the world advising on over 1.7 million acres across seven states across the High Plains. Crop Quest has been serving their farmer clients with this dedicated purpose for over thirty years and looks to the future with great anticipation of providing innovative solutions for our great customers.