Our people make us who we are.

Our people are the key to our business—they always have been and they always will be. We believe the right people can make as much of an impact as the right seed.

We’d like you to meet a few of the people on the Dairyland Seed team.

Meet the team

Gary Leeper

General Manager

Gary Leeper, General Manager for Dairyland Seed, has worked in the seed industry for 37 years. He has held numerous sales and sales leadership roles with Northrup King, Asgrow Seed Co., Mycogen and most recently as the Sales Leader for Dairyland Seed the past 13 years.

As General Manager for Dairyland Seed Gary is responsible for leading the Dairyland Executive Committee, overseeing all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the company as well as working closely with the Dow AgroSciences U.S. Seeds Business.

Gary is an Iowa native and received his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa.

Gary will provide direction and support in ensuring Dairyland Seed continues operating under its core principles of putting farmers first and ensuring the company is poised and positioned for future growth.

Boyd Hoffmann

National Sales Leader

Boyd Hoffmann, National Sales Leader, is responsible for managing the sales of Dairyland Seed through its dealer network in the Midwest, as well as overseeing the Corn and Soybean Agronomy Team and Forage Product Manager.

He currently holds a seat on the Dairyland Seed Executive Committee and has worked for the company since 2006 as both a District Manager and Regional Manager.

Boyd was born and raised on a dairy/grain farm in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from UW-River Falls and has over 25 years of seed sales experience working for Croplan Genetics, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dairyland Seed. He also has experience as a Crop Production Specialist, Certified Custom Applicator and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

Fred Reckner


Fred Reckner is Controller at Dairyland Seed, having joined the company in June 2005.

He directs the Accounting and Finance departments and works closely with the Information Technology department and is responsible for internal and external financial reports, financial analysis, local treasury functions and internal controls. He is a permanent member of Dairyland’s Executive Committee. His role interacts with corporate management and he oversees all financial reporting to Dow AgroSciences and now, Corteva. Having grown up on a small dairy farm in Central Wisconsin helps him appreciate the family farm culture, as well as to understand business practices and the work ethic necessary to navigate in today’s competitive business environment. Being part of the supply chain to the Agriculture industry adds to his job and personal satisfaction of helping to feed the world.

Fred has over 25 years of accounting and management experience working at The West Bend Company and serving with an Illinois Tool Works, Inc. Division in Los Angeles. He is an Accounting graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and holds a Certified Public Accounting certificate from Wisconsin. He also has an MBA degree from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He is married to Kari and they have two married daughters, Melissa in Minnesota and Amanda in Texas; each with two boys to spoil.  Fred and Kari reside in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Kim Mayne

Operations Leader

Kim Mayne started his career in the seed industry in 1973 working for Kussmaul Hybrids, in Mt. Hope, WI.  From 1973 through the fall of 1981, he was employed as warehouse manager, conditioning room supervisor and distribution manager. Kim also carried various district sales manager responsibilities in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana, throughout his employment with Kussmaul Hybrids.

Kim joined Dairyland Seed as a member of the warehouse staff in the fall of 1981. He was named Warehouse and Shipping Manager in 1982.  He also served as District Sales Manager in western Iowa and other western states from 1983 through 1990.

In 1993 he was promoted to Corn Production Manager and Plant Manager at Dairyland’s Mt. Hope production facility.  His duties included overseeing all corn production throughout the Midwest, managing all daily activities at the Mt. Hope conditioning facility, working with research on various production projects and working with Quality Assurance to continually investigate new ways of improving seed quality.

Kim was named Operations Leader and became a member of Dairyland’s Executive Committee in May of 2006. He has full responsibility over all hybrid seed corn inventory and quality assurance. He also serves as Chairman of the Supply Chain committee and is the site leader at the Mt. Hope operations facility.

Kim is based out of the Mt. Hope location. He is married and resides in Mt. Hope, Wisconsin.

Deb Backhaus

Administrative & IT Leader

Deb Backhaus started with Dairyland Seed in 1983. From 1983 until 1988 she was employed as an order entry clerk, distribution manager for West Bend, and also in a sales administrative role. In 1988, she was promoted to Office Manager.

As Administrative & IT Leader, she is in charge of the Customer Service department and is responsible for IT project management along with the IT staff. Deb’s role also includes budgeting, managing mobile application development and web development and overseeing security of IT.

Deb is a member of Dairyland’s Executive Committee. She also serves as a member of the Supply Chain committee, Strategy committee, and assists with chairing the Steering committee.

Deb was born and raised on a dairy farm near Kewaskum, Wis. She is married with three children, and remains actively involved in their dairy operation. She also remains active in community organizations.

TJ Strachota

Sales Effectiveness and Marketing Leader

TJ Strachota serves as the Sales Effectiveness and Marketing Leader for Dairyland Seed. TJ is responsible for leading current and future sales growth initiatives and works closely with his team to develop and implement district level planning and growth activities. He also oversees the Marketing Department at Dairyland Seed, leading the charge with company advertising, promotion and brand development.

Dairyland Seed was started by TJ’s great-grandfather in 1907, and TJ became a fourth generation active family member when he joined full time in 2004. He grew up around the business, and worked part time during high school and as an intern during college. He joined Dairyland Seed as a Marketing Associate in 2004.

TJ is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing

Ryan Mueller

Product Portfolio and Agronomy Leader

Ryan Mueller is the Product Portfolio and Agronomy Leader for Dairyland Seed. His primary responsibilities include corn hybrid evaluation and recommendations, but he is also involved with marketing and the corn production plan. Ryan also oversees the Dairyland Agronomy Team and works to provide strategic direction on field sales support and product education.

Ryan has been with Dairyland Seed since 1995 and has been involved in product development and selection for much of his career working in both research and most recently with the commercial side of our business over the past 10 years. While in research, Ryan was instrumental in the development of Dairyland’s highly successful HiDF corn silage research program. He also established Dairyland’s HiDF on-farm strip plot testing program.

Ryan is a Wisconsin native and currently resides in Beloit, Wisconsin with his wife Tammy and two sons. He received his B.A. degrees in History and Psychology from Carroll University in Waukesha, WI.

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