When PRCA bareback rider and three-time NFR qualifier Leighton Berry first heard that the Certified Agriculture Group CEO Pat Driscoll was looking to do something big in the rodeo industry, the 24-year-old athlete from Weatherford, Texas, was immediately intrigued. Ag Truck Trader wanted to shake up the usual sponsor-athlete dynamic, Berry learned, and the company would do it in a big way.
Whatever it was, Berry knew he wanted to get in on the ground floor. He sought out Driscoll, and once the two got together, it was clear something special was brewing.
“We started conversating about putting together a rodeo team for Ag Truck Trader, and everything just kind of took from there,” Berry says.
Driscoll sought to build a world-class team not only by finding rodeo athletes who were at the top of the leaderboards but who also genuinely reflected a team focus honoring Ag Truck Trader’s values of passion, faith, and an overall emphasis on doing good things.
“We had a long conversation with Leighton,” Driscoll says, “We talked with him about the vision. We had shared with him that we wanted him to be our team captain if he thought that this was something he’d be interested in working with us on. He didn’t hesitate with me. He immediately began seeing things, and the word he brought forward was ‘unity.”
Unity is an underlying theme not just in a team composition, but it’s also at the heart of Certified Ag Group’s business. Before the formation of the Certified Agriculture Group, there was little a farmer or rancher could do to confirm a dealer in their region had ag-specific expertise. So, Driscoll and the team sought a way to bridge this gap while providing opportunities to make buying and selling agriculture trucks a seamless experience. The team developed the Certified Agriculture Dealer training program, acting as a public seal of approval to ensure any certified dealer has the qualifications to address farmers’ and ranchers’ most pressing truck needs. As a value add, the team worked with partners throughout the ag industry to develop AgPack, which offers more than $30,000 in discounts and savings on other farming and ranching necessities simply for working with a Certified Agriculture Dealer.
Ag Truck Trader’s rodeo team would reflect that ethos. It would be comprised of rodeo personalities who not only excelled in the arena but brought something extra special to the table. For Driscoll, this meant a team that would function as a family, working together to rally fans and communities in a manner that falls far beyond the typical sponsorship relationship.
And, as the team leader, Ag Truck Trader’s foray into rodeo on the ground floor was an opportunity Berry wouldn’t take lightly. He worked with the folks at Ag Truck Trader to carefully hand-select rodeo athletes who aspired to collaborate in a manner that reflects the company’s values.
“Typically rodeo athletes’ sponsor deals involve what you’re asking for out of them, and what they need from you, and maybe how much you might get paid or what you might do with that company,” Berry says. “But with Ag Truck Trader, we’ve been able to sit down and have meetings and crucially pick who’s going to be a part of the team. We want to be sure the team members share the same goals. We all obviously all want to be world champions, and we’re all striving to do that. But we also all have big beliefs in our faith. It’s been a great process thus far.”
The team’s all-star lineup includes barrel racer Jackie Ganter, bull rider Clayton Sellars, breakaway roper Jordan Jo Hollabaugh, and steer roper and tie-down roper Taylor Santos. Not only are each of these cowboys and cowgirls powerhouses within their respective domains, but they also firmly represent the values of the Ag Truck Trader family.
“They’re a very sophisticated team,” Berry says. “We share the same goals, and we want to spread awareness and do good things.”
The Ag Truck Trader rodeo team embodies that spirit of unity in a nutshell: people coming together to build something greater than the sum of its parts. Case-in-point: Ag Truck Trader’s forthcoming Ag Rally presented by John Deere, which will take place to celebrate Ag Day on March 19, 2024.
AgRally is a “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” marathon-style event that celebrates the hard work, passion, and dedication of the members of the agriculture community. During the event, people across the country can tune in to watch the members of the Ag Truck Trader rodeo team interacting with fans and celebrating their accomplishments in the arena. And, for this year’s festivities, viewers can expect a special performance from a country music icon whose identity will be revealed in the coming weeks.
People nationwide can also attend live farm show-style events at more than 150 Ag Certified dealers. Driscoll even says there will be cameras on the ground at some locations, with live check-ins to celebrate the activities at dealerships, many of which will have their own AgRally festivities for attendees.
While the event is undoubtedly a celebration of unity within the agricultural and rodeo communities, it also allows rodeo fans to give back by simply supporting the athletes they love and admire.
Ahead of this year’s event, each of the Ag Truck Trader team members has selected a charity organization that represents something meaningful to them. Leading up to AgRally, fans can vote for their favorite athlete and associated charity. During AgRally, the team will announce the winning charity, which will take home a major donation on behalf of the Ag Truck Trader and additional sponsor charities.
But Driscoll suggests events like the team’s participation in the AgRally charity initiative are only the very beginning of what fans can expect from the team. He assures rodeo fans that there’s still much more to come.
“We’re coming up with some crazy good ideas,” Driscoll says, “You’re going to see this team doing some amazing things that other athletes are going to look at and go, ‘How do I become a part of this?'”
Celebrate Ag Day and Support a Great Cause with Ag Truck Trader
Each Ag Truck Trader team member has selected a charity to support, with voting open at Ag Truck Trader through March 1. The team will announce the winning charity during Ag Rally, which is presented by John Deere and will air as a nine-hour broadcast on the Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV on March 19, 2024.
The Trenten Montero Foundation (Leighton Berry): Founded to honor the life of bareback rider Trenten Montero, the charity supports widows and children of rodeo professionals who have passed away due to injuries sustained in connection with rodeo sports.
Careity (Jackie Gartner): A Texas nonprofit providing direct care that saves lives, gives hope, eases pain, and allows cancer patients and families to focus on healing. www.careity.org
Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (Clayton Sellars): Provides need-based financial assistance to athletes injured through their participation in professional rodeo. www.justincowboycrisisfund.org
The Huntsman Foundation (Jordan Jo Hollabaugh): A Utah-based charity committed to pushing the boundaries of cancer research and discovering more potential cancer cures. healthcare.utah.edu/huntsmancancerinstitute/foundation/ways-to-give
Golden Circle of Champions (Taylor Santos): Raising awareness and funds to help children battling pediatric cancer. www.goldencircleofchampions.com
Fans also have the option to select another charity to win the prize money, so members of the agriculture community with ties to other charities that represent Ag Truck Trader’s values are encouraged to submit their entries for consideration.
Rodeo fans can further support their favored charities using the team’s QR code to register for their free AgPack ID, free for anyone involved in an agriculture enterprise.
Members of the ag community can learn more about local, in-person Ag Day events at AgTruckTrader.com. To learn more about the team, follow Ag Truck Trader on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AgTruckTrader) and Instagram (@agtrucktrader).