Our Team

Tim Gutormson

Agronomist, RST
Tim.Gutormson@SoDakLabs.com

With 35 years in seed testing, Tim understands the seed from the inside out to the field, developing and designing testing programs to assist seed producers for advancements in their operations. He serves as a consultant to seed producers and seed associations for changes in conditioning processes or clarification of seed testing rules to improve the industry. In addition, Tim conducts workshops on soybean, wheat, corn and seed supply and teaches webinars on seed production and seed biology.

Kalyn Brix

Genetics Lab Manager
Kalyn.Brix@SoDakLabs.com

Kalyn has fifteen years of experience in biotechnology seed and crop evaluation. She implements quality and lean systems to provide quick and accurate testing strategies. In addition, Kayln has ten years of experience in seed and crop research for laboratory and field aspects. She manages the Genetics Testing and is implementing an ISO quality system and managing seed research projects for seed safety and test development.

Laura Carlson

Test Evaluation Manager
Laura.Carlson@SoDakLabs.com

Laura has sixteen years of experience in seed technology and seedling evaluation.  She is a Registered Seed Technologist and manages the germination and purity laboratories.  She also assists in with the quality management system at SoDak.

Christy Sternhagen

Test Initiation Manager
Christy.Sternhagen@SoDakLabs.com

Christy has 10 years of experience in seed testing, and 5 years in other agricultural fields.  She manages test initiation; which includes sample receiving, test distribution and the planting line. 

Les North

Genetics Lab Manager
Les.North@SoDakLabs.com

While aquiring a degree in agronomy at Iowa State University, Les started a part time job at Blacks Seed Farm which led to a full time job after college. Les has experience as assistant to research directors, plant manager, seed corn and soybean broker, wholesale and contract production, and growout program supervisor. He has read growouts in Argentina, Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Les also brings 5 years of fertilizer industry experience to SoDak Labs.

Al Bortnem

Genetics Lab Manager
Al.Bortnem@SoDakLabs.com

Al brings 40 years of seed industry experience to SoDak Labs. Beginning in the mid 70's, Al worked in seed corn and soybean production in Brookings SD with Sokota Hybrids, AgriPro, Garst, and Syngenta. Al will put this experience to work at SoDak Labs working on seed corn sample sizing, shakeouts, as well as growout prep and evaluation in Puerto Rico.

Jared Baszler

Software Developer
Jared.Baszler@SoDakLabs.com

Jared designs and develops software and technology solutions for seed testing labs. He enhances the customer experience by providing tools that offer quick and accurate information management for client operations. Jared’s background includes ten years of software development in the seed testing industry.

Jena Werpy

Administrative Assistant
Jena.Werpy@SoDakLabs.com

 

Although new to SoDak Labs, Jena is no stranger to Customer Service! After obtaining her A.A.S in Business Administration from Southeast Technical Institute, she made her career debut in banking.  With a resume now ranging from retail banking to law enforcement, she brings over 13 years of customer service experience. Jena is passionate about the needs and goals of our clients and has a keen eye for detail. She is the first point of contact for all clients at SoDak Labs, making them feel welcome and valued when it comes to their seed testing needs.