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Bill Merrigan, Blue Mt Seeds

Company / Personal Questions:

I’ve worked for Blue Mt Seeds for 24 years. I have been in the grass seed industry for 37 years. I am currently the general manager. I’m not currently involved in any public service however, I did previously serve two terms on the Imbler School district board of directors. I grew up on an irrigated farm in southern Idaho that my parents homesteaded in 1959. Although they have passed on, our family still owns the farm.


PSA questions:

PSA benefits our company thru the contacts, the networking and the content we receive at the annual meeting and quarterly zoom calls. We have been a member for at least 20 years. I don’t recall if Blue Mt Seeds was a member before I came to Blue Mt Seeds. My favorite part of being a member is the contacts and friends my wife and I have made in the many years we have been associated. Our first meeting that we attended was in 1991 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho when Roger Styner was president. We have gone to every event since 2007. We missed some in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. My favorite had to be Santa Fe. But the one I missed that I regret the most is Claus Sass’s in Victoria. My advice to new PSA members is get involved and meet the membership in order to make connections. I can confirm that those connections can last your whole career and likely longer.


Industry Questions:

Very difficult to identify what I love most. I enjoy the people I work with, follow employees, growers and customers. I also enjoy the challenge of producing seed from species that are often times a challenge to produce seed from. For someone wanting to enter agriculture I would advise them to keep an open mind and always be willing to take a new challenge or to learn something new. There will be many opportunities that present themselves that you could not possibly imagine when you start out. I read Seed World, Seed Today along with the Capitol Press and other Ag related publications.


Career Questions:

Biggest professional achievement is difficult to say. Taking over as general manager of Blue Mt Seeds and guiding it though some pretty major growth has been fun. As was serving on the board, going through the chair’s and serving as president of PSA. Another one is serving a term as RVP for ASTA.


As far as career advice I try and live by is work hard, be honest and treat customers and suppliers well, don’t make any enemies as this industry is too small to have enemy’s and be thankful for what you have. I don’t know who actually gave it to me but I saw it in many respected and successful individuals in our industry over the years.


Looking ahead my primary goal is continue to improve the efficiency of Blue Mt Seeds. Also, to help develop our younger employees and prepare them for the future. As far as my job goes I enjoy the people I work with, including our staff here at Blue Mt, our growers and customers. But what I also love is watching a crop develop from the time it is planted until we harvest the first crop, especially a new variety that we are excited about. When I started out at Grassland West 30 some years ago, it was kind of a sink or swim situation. I was creating a new position in the company as a field rep but I also was given the opportunity to help with sales. I made a lot of contacts and helped grow the company. 10 years later I went to work as production manager for Zajac Performance Seeds, which was a new company and I got to develop that position. I also was helping in sales there. Those opportunities working with growers as well as customers gave me a unique perspective. That’s been a big help for me today.


The biggest career challenge or challenges I have faced is stepping out and changing jobs. It has always taken a lot of prayer and contemplation to make those changes.


Fun Questions:


I don’t read near as much as I would like. Mostly industry publications. I listen to several podcasts such as Ben Shapiro, Jason Whitlock, and Dan Bongino for news and information along with the Unashamed, Undaunted life and Pursuit of Manliness which are Christian Ministry based.


I have lots of hobbies, I just don’t spend much time with them. I golf a little, ski a little, hunt and fish and I just bought my first Harley Davidson motorcycle. I also spend a lot of time working on our home and yard. I plant a pretty big vegetable garden each year and my wife has a cut flower business that I help out with.


Fun fact not many people know about me, is that I recently became a Harley owner.


I grew up north of Paul Idaho, which is about 30 miles east of Twin Falls. I graduated from Minico High School and went on to graduate from the University of Idaho.


Go to comfort food? I guess a burger and a beer.


Many people have impacted my life. But professionally it would be Roger Styner, Dick Bailey, John Zajac, and Bill Dunn to name a few.


Many favorite memories: Getting married, the birth of my kids, the day my daughter won a state championship in softball and the day my son won a state championship in football, the day they each got married and the birth of my grandchildren to name a few.


Best restaurant is tough as there have been many and my wife is a great cook but I guess I would have to say I have had some great meals at elk camp with my buddies, a couple who are great cooks!


At the 2023 convention, President Nicole Hostert presented Bill Merrigan with Blue Mt. Seeds the "Person of the Year" Award at the banquet on February 14th, 2023.




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