Melissa Mohr left her family’s grain and hog operation at 18 years old to attend college, with no plans to return to the ag world. For almost 20 years she held multiple jobs in career service, accounting and even ran a daycare center. She lived a separate life from the farm, only providing brief seasonal labor for her family. Mohr’s plans took an unexpected turn when her brother, Scott Burroughs, asked her to help build a precision ag dealership that later became Bottom Line Solutions. Sadly, her plans took another unexpected turn in 2020, when Scott passed away after a battle with cancer. Throughout her journey, Mohr has realized the importance of family and relationships in business.
Bottom Line Solutions (BLS) is in Morton, Illinois, and has been a devoted Ag Leader dealer for 6 years. We are proud to have such dedicated dealers in our network and driven leaders like Mohr. Here is more of her story.
Q: What is your role?
A: I love how my position at BLS has evolved since I started years ago. In the early days there were lots of business processes I had to develop on the fly, like accounting receivables, inventory, and ordering parts. Over time I fine-tuned those systems. Today, my role remains flexible depending on the season. I help troubleshoot on monitors, ordering parts, receiving products, invoicing, inventory, as well as manage social media and marketing efforts.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?
A: Interaction with our customers is a highlight of my role. I have strong loyalties to them and want them to have success in planting and harvest seasons. Whatever it takes to make their farming operation more efficient through a BLS product or service, I want to be there for them.
Our team takes pride in our service. That’s why people keep coming back to us, because we will drop everything to help them out.
Q: What made you want to work in the agriculture industry?
A: As a young woman, I was a prime example of someone who was clueless of the variety of career opportunities in agriculture. It was the potential that my brother, Scott, saw in me that made me consider making another career change. At the time I had just made an exciting career move to get approved for selling insurance, and I was worried about mixing our sibling relationship with business. When Scott came to me with his offer to help with BLS I was frustrated he hadn’t come to me earlier. He said, “Melissa, I just didn’t know if you had any dimension before. When I saw you make that change and got out of your comfort zone– that attracted me. I could really see how you could catapult my business!”
That was a gift that now I am truly thankful for. Before BLS, Scott and I had lived in different states and saw each other at family holidays. Through this job I was able to work with him for 7 years and develop an amazing relationship that I never would have had otherwise.
Q: What is it like being in the agriculture industry?
A: When I first teamed up with Scott, I had a lot to learn. Learning the products and business was baptism by fire, but Scott pushed me to work through challenging situations. He made me figure out how to help customers on my own. He did not want me to go to him as a default. This made me dive into reading manuals, looking up pictures, and reaching out to our product reps to find answers. He never allowed me to hit the easy button.
Scott made me go the extra mile. Looking back now, that lesson really enriched me and improved my product and industry knowledge. If he hadn’t done that well before he passed, I don’t know how I would have managed.
Q: What is your advice for young women wanting to get into the agriculture industry?
A: Talk to other women in ag and see what opportunities are out there. I encourage those I know to interview other people in the industry. It is a bit intimidating, but it’s how you can figure out if a career path is a good fit.
Q: Where do you see the agriculture industry in 10, 20, 50 years?
A: Social media will make an impact. Increased exposure of those women that are in the industry will help young women to get involved. It can inspire others when they see different sides to ag they never knew about.
I’d also say with the companies I work with, there are more women becoming connected with agriculture that wouldn’t be otherwise. The tech side of the industry connects people like programmers and others to be a part of it. That’s exciting to see!
This is one of the stories of the hard-working and driven individuals that keep the wheels of ag technology adoption and innovation turning.
Check back in for more stories of women in precision agriculture coming this month!
See other stories like this.
Moriah Rataczak: Persevering in Precision Agronomy
Women of Ag Leader: Supporting Ag Innovation & Adoption