Merlin Siefken

Merlin Siefken

Merlin Siefken contracts with Decision Innovation Solutions to provide Business Development services. He is responsible for maintaining and enhancing existing business relationships, conducting research of new product lines and service offerings, collaborating with the Decision Innovation Solutions team on project development and administration and identifying prospective customers.Originally from Nebraska, Merlin worked for John Deere in numerous sales, finance, and strategic business unit positions. He and his family moved to the Des Moines, Iowa area in 1986 as part of a seven-member Deere management team that started a new company, Deere Credit Services, now known as John Deere Financial. Starting with about 45 employees, the business grew to employ more than 800. Merlin retired in 2001 after 34 years of service at John Deere. After retiring, he worked at the Iowa Agriculture Innovation Center as a business development professional, and in 2007 formed an independent consulting company, Siefken Management Services. Merlin began consulting with Decision Innovation Solutions in 2011.Merlin earned a BS degree in Mechanized Agriculture with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska.

Blog posts by this Author:

  • Feed Mills are a Critical Link in the Food Chain

    Over the past 4 years, our team at Decision Innovation Solutions has had the opportunity to work with all levels of the livestock, poultry and aquaculture production industry.

  • Our Approach to Managing Client Projects

    Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS) has the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients who all have their own unique needs. The team of professionals at DIS bring a wide range of skills and experience into each client's project.

  • I Learn Something New About Protein Everyday

    At this point the US is a net importer of seafood. However, there are a lot of things happening in breeding, feed composition, consumer trends and production technology that will support future growth in USA production of seafood.

  • It Isn't Easy to Learn About Aquaculture

    Data on the industry with the fourth largest sales per farm number is scarce, why?

  • New High Protein Canola Threat to Soybean Meal?

    U.S. livestock and poultry producers have typically relied on soybean meal (SBM) as a valuable and consistent source of protein in their rations. The inclusion rates for SBM varies by species. Except for dairy cattle, and to a certain extent beef cattle, SBM is the preferred source of protein.

  • 10 Years of Better Questions, Better Answers and Better Decisions

    Ten years ago two partners formed a new company to leverage their financial modeling and decision support skills. Sterling Liddell and Spence Parkinson were both working in the Research and Commodities department at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). They had developed some highly sophisticated methods for financial modeling and risk analysis.

  • Bringing the Sea to Iowa

    This time of the year the fields in Iowa begin to turn into seas of green corn and soybeans. In the last few years some Iowans, in the familiar pioneer spirit have begun bringing the sea to consumers in Iowa and surrounding states. Aquaculture appears to be a growing endeavor in Iowa and neighboring states.

  • Can You Trust Economic Contribution Studies?

    I have a Google alert set for Economic Contribution and another for Economic Impact. This gives me a great overview of the plethora of studies commissioned by clubs, resorts, businesses, counties, states and non-profits all seeking to justify their contribution to society.

  • Is the problem on the rails or in the rails?

    I was reading a Reuters Media article dated March 15, 2017 entitled “New, safer U.S. rail cars gather dust even as ethanol trains grow longer”. The article referred to the recent spill of ethanol from a unit train derailment in northwest Iowa.

  • REAP Program Supports Energy Savings in Rural America

    I was browsing through my seemingly endless stream of alerts and newsletters a few days ago and noticed a blog about the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This program is part of the Farm Bill and it provides grants and loan guarantees for farms and rural businesses to improve or add energy saving systems.

  • A new pork processing plant in Iowa is good for the planet and reduces stress on pigs

    While Iowa has a high population of hogs being fed for the market, many of the market ready hogs are being transported to processing facilities in other states or, at the very least, long distances to the nearest processing facility.

  • The Pleasure of Dealing with Helpful and Friendly Experts

    I have been working with our team on several projects that required us to learn a lot about animal nutrition for most of the species of animals raised in the US for food as well as companion animals like dogs, cats and horses. We started by developing...

  • Divulging Our Sources

    Do you know what the following list of acronyms have in common? AMS, APHIS, ARS, CNPP, ERS, FSA, FNS, FSIS, FAS, GIPSA, NAL, NASS, NIFA, NRCS, RMA, RD. That's right, they are all United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies. You can find out more about each...

  • Grinnell, Iowa: A shining example of community and college collaboration

    Our Executive Director, Spencer Parkinson, and I completed a very interesting and fun project earlier this month. We had the opportunity to work with a great team representing Grinnell, IA, Grinnell College, the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, and POW-I80 (the economic development group...

  • Timeless Values Continue to Guide DIS

    I have the privilege of working with a team that shares the guiding principles of placing family first, being honest in all of your relationships, having an unquenchable desire to learn, and a commitment to creating value in everything they do. While I enjoy my official role...

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