Rock River
Laboratory, INC.


One million samples in and he's still smiling

Posted on
January 4, 2018
Buffy Uglow

One Million Samples in and He's Still Smiling

By: Don Meyer, President

“It’s people that make the difference.” We’ve heard this expression in business, in movies, in school. Whether or not we believe it is up to us. Rock River Laboratory wouldn’t be where we are today without the outstanding team that helped us build it, create quality analysis standards and uphold them, and help us innovate for the industry of tomorrow. You may have seen our ‘Experts’ page on our website. However, that page doesn’t cover all of the very important experts in their fields here at Rock River Laboratory - one of which I’d like to highlight in this post.

At the end of November, Jason Thompson, a six-year veteran of the Rock River Laboratory agronomy team (the second longest agronomy employee here) at our Watertown headquarters lab, ground his one-millionth soil sample. We all know one million of anything is a lot (and we’d all prefer it in dollars), but to showcase the scale of this act requires a little more background.

Samples arrive at our lab, are numbered and entered for tracking logistics, then dried and ground. Every single sample in both our agronomy and nutrition laboratories needs to be ground before it can move through to the actual Near Infrared or wet chemistry analysis that provides all of our customers with the accurately measured components of their soil, plants, or feed. So, you see, grinding is a vital part of our process here. It is not robotic, and requires someone who is skilled to keep samples moving through this process quickly, but also correctly. We have set grind sizes that need to be maintained for the utmost quality in our analysis, and Jason has perfected the art.

Jason comes to work with a smile on his face, greets the team, and gets to work. Even when he comes out of the grinding room, covered in dust, pushes up his goggles and pulls down his face mask, he’ll likely greet you with a smile or laughter. He is a key cog on our team gearwheel. Jason is one of the hardest working people I know. As many of you reading this can imagine, our soil ‘seasons’ in spring and fall, when soil samples are pulled for analysis, are extremely busy. We bring on extra help in many roles, but the grinding role stays consistent with Jason taking on the extra hours needed to make sure soil grinding, and thus the analysis after, is completed in a timely manner. He knows the importance of the customer’s sample and has great respect for the process and the equipment.

Jason is reliable. One-million-samples-ground reliable. Having such a dedicated team member is hard not to shout about to the masses. And we are so thankful to have him on our team. We hope that you’ll join us in congratulating Jason on a job well done and his tremendous service to his team and our organization!


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Rock River Laboratory

Founded in 1976, Rock River Laboratory is a family-owned laboratory network that provides production assistance to the agricultural industry through the use of advanced diagnostic systems, progressive techniques, and research-supported analyses.  Employing a team of top specialists in their respective fields, Rock River Laboratory provides accurate, cost-effective, and timely analytical results to customers worldwide, while featuring unsurpassed customer service.

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