When Albert Lea Seed acquired Blue River Organic Seed, we were excited to share the news about everything our integrated new brand could offer farmers across the nation. The what, the why, the how — thanks for all the great Q&A and conversations this summer!

Now it’s time to take a moment and introduce you to who you can turn to for specific answers to all kinds of questions as you head into the 2022 harvest and 2023 planting seasons. Our regional sales managers are here to help you learn more about hybrid options, seed genetics, cover crops, agronomic insights and our local dealer network.


Herb Hasenkamp — National Sales Manager

800.370.7979 | herb@alseed.com

Herb’s family farm in northeast Nebraska has been certified organic since 1994, and he brings a depth of knowledge to all things organic — planning, planting, best practices and making the most of new market opportunities. He’s a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and his three boys are active in 4-H. One son competes as a Reining rider.

“With our two companies becoming one,” Herb notes about the expanded portfolio of Viking and Blue River Organic Seed, “we have more to offer and can respond even quicker to specific requests. We’re better able to control costs and help growers keep a rotation of living plants on the soil to maintain biology and reduce erosion.”

Scott Ausborn — Regional Sales Manager, Central

833.813.0910 | scott@alseed.com

From his family farm near Ida Grove, Iowa, Scott works closely with farmers in the Hawkeye State along with Illinois and Indiana. Along with row crops, his family raises beef cattle and sheep. He and his young family enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from fishing and hunting to golf. He graduated from Iowa State University.

“Overall, organic farmers have been seeing good prices for their crops,” Scott says. “We want to be able to provide a good, stable supply of seed and have as many options as possible for corn and beans, small grains and cover crops. Weed management, soil health and diversified rotations are all topics we actively address with growers.”

Joe Fries — Regional Sales Manager, West

833.813.0909 | joe@alseed.com

Joe Fries has been in the seed business for 52 years. “One of the most important things we do,” Joe states, “is getting good information out to farmers to help them avoid difficulties. Maybe it’s a rotational strategy for better nitrogen fixing. Or an issue related to a specific soil type. In this business, you never stop learning.”

This Iowa State graduate lives near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and if he’s not involved in one of his many church activities, you might find him hard at work in his gardens and tending to his vegetables and flowers. He played basketball until he was 70 and now focuses on volleyball.

Carl Gaudian — Regional Sales Manager, North

833.813.0906 | carl@alseed.com

Carl grew up going to the Albert Lea Seed House with his father and uncle, and because they farmed both conventionally and organically, he got a good early look at a wide range of ag systems. He graduated from Bethany College in Mankato, Minnesota, and in his free time today, Carl enjoys sports, gardening and cooking with his wife and three children.

With Viking and Blue River Organic Seed becoming one, Carl concludes, “Today, our pipeline of support is even larger. Production, storage and deliveries are even more efficient. Our customers can order the same way they always have, and we’ll keep building on the best products in each lineup for the best possible selection.”

Matt Nielsen — Regional Sales Manager, East

833.813.0907 | nielsen@alseed.com

From his farm on the sandy coastal plain of Maryland, Matt travels extensively and works with growers from New England to the Gulf Coast. “Farmers are always trying to do better,” Matt observes. “The goal for everyone is improve their operations incrementally, and we’re right there with them, from the diversity of hybrids we offer for different growing regions and conditions to our continued efforts on price stability.”

A graduate of the University of Vermont, Matt helped transition his family farm in New England to organic a decade ago. He grows specialty wheat on his farm today in an integrated grain and livestock operation that supports chicken production. When he’s not farming or traveling, he relaxes with family and friends on his boat in Chesapeake Bay.