Mike Frank, CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions, is pictured while filming a message from the company. He’s standing in front of one of the company’s demonstration plots. Courtesy Nutrien

One-On-One: Interview with Mike Frank, CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions Inc.

Each month, BizWest asks a business leader to participate in a question and answer feature to help shed light on a business topic, an industry or add insight to a field of endeavor. This month, Mike Frank, executive vice president and CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions Inc. participated in the feature.

BizWest: There have been a lot of changes for your company over the past couple of years — acquisitions, name change and so forth. Please describe Nutrien’s unique value proposition within American agriculture.

Mike Frank: Yes, much like the overall agriculture industry, we have made changes to keep up with the growing demands of our growers and the world at large. In 2018, Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. merged to create Nutrien, the world’s premier provider of crop inputs and services. Nutrien has the largest crop nutrient production portfolio combined with an unparalleled global retail distribution network. As a result of the merger, Nutrien rebranded its retail business (Crop Production Services) to Nutrien Ag Solutions, which is headquartered here in Loveland. We are now the largest ag retailer in the world with localized solutions for growers at more than 1,700 locations in seven countries.

In addition to our physical locations, we are also proud to provide our growers and crop consultants with our unique digital platform, providing growers with a comprehensive, innovative, easy to use, personalized customer experience. This platform is a one-stop solution that allows us to set a new level of experience for growers and empower them to make the best business decisions possible.

BizWest: What effect have relatively low commodity prices had on your ability to be a provider of crop inputs in agriculture?

Frank: Since 2012, there has been a decline in farm prices and return. Coupled with the unfavorable weather in the U.S. and now a trade war with China, it’s a challenging environment for farmers. That said, farmers are resilient, and they are always looking for new ways to grow the food that feeds the planet. We help provide our customers with whole farm solutions from inputs to financing and by taking this approach we become their partner. While the near term is challenging, we believe the mid-to-long term prospects for agriculture is very promising.

BizWest: Have the tariffs affected your business? How?

Frank: Nutrien Ag Solutions’ success hinges on the health and financial strength of our farmers. When our customers are successful, we are successful. Trade wars are good for no one, and we are in strong support of free and fair trade.

BizWest: Has Nutrien been working to capture market share among hemp producers?

Frank: In every country where we operate, we abide by the federal and local laws. We support all types of agriculture. Hemp is grown on a relatively small amount of land, so it may be a small opportunity in some areas, however it’s not really a focus of ours.

BizWest:What is the greatest challenge facing American agriculture right now, and what do you see as a solution to it?

Frank: The biggest challenge facing agriculture is feeding a growing planet.  In the next 30 years, it’s expected that another two billion people will be added to the worldwide population. The American farmer and agriculture industry will play a huge role in ensuring that everyone on the planet has enough food to sustain a healthy life. This is why it’s so important that we have an environment where American farmers can produce and sell their crops to customers around the world.

BizWest:  How many people work for Nutrien in Northern Colorado? In Colorado as a whole? Worldwide?

Frank: We have more than 800 employees in Northern Colorado, where Nutrien Ag Solutions is headquartered, and more than 20,000 full-time employees worldwide.

Each month, BizWest asks a business leader to participate in a question and answer feature to help shed light on a business topic, an industry or add insight to a field of endeavor. This month, Mike Frank, executive vice president and CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions Inc. participated in the feature.

BizWest: There have been a lot of changes for your company over the past couple of years — acquisitions, name change and so forth. Please describe Nutrien’s unique value proposition within American agriculture.

Mike Frank: Yes, much like the overall agriculture industry, we have made changes to keep up with the growing demands of our growers and the world at large. In 2018, Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. merged to create Nutrien, the world’s premier provider of crop inputs and services. Nutrien has the largest crop nutrient production portfolio combined with an unparalleled global retail distribution network. As a result of the merger, Nutrien rebranded its retail business (Crop Production Services) to Nutrien Ag Solutions, which is headquartered here in Loveland. We are now the largest ag retailer in the world with localized solutions for growers at more than 1,700 locations in seven countries.

In addition to our physical locations, we are also proud to provide our growers and crop consultants with our unique digital platform, providing growers with a comprehensive, innovative, easy to use, personalized customer experience. This platform is a one-stop solution that allows us…