Bryan Wooten

Bryan Wooten is from Grantham, NC. Bryan attended the University of Mount Olive and earned a Bachelors degree in Agriculture Production Systems. Having grown up in a small town, Bryan has always been around agriculture and has always been a part of his schools FFA chapter. He found out about Protech through a Crop Science class. The summer of 2018 was his first year working for Protech as a field tech/crop scout.

Over the years since Bryan has increased his knowledge and recognizes economic issues in row crops. After graduating summer of 2020 Bryan decided to come to work at Protech full time as a Senior Field Technician. He has learned many new skills over the past years. Bryan says “I’ve always wanted to help people and make the world a better place. Working here and helping farmers maximize their yield while trying to stay below the economic threshold is what we do best here at Protech.”

Blake Hill

Blake joined Protech in the summer of 2017 as an intern from the University of Mount Olive. He came back in May of 2019 and May of 2020 to be a field technician/scout for the summer. In the fall of 2020, Blake started helping full-time with soil sampling. He is working on a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of Mount Olive.
He grew up in Princeton, North Carolina, where he attended Princeton Highschool and worked at a small local nursery called Capps Corner. There he learned the basics of operating a nursery and about day-to-day maintenance on greenhouses.
In his free time, he enjoys duck and dove hunting, going fishing and kayaking in local rivers and ponds, and just relaxing with friends.
We are happy to have Blake as a team member. He has taken on the duties of logging daily soil sampling progress and the shipping container packaging of soil, nematode, water, and tissue samples. He prepares the paperwork of the labs and tracks all samples in Excel and MS Access. Blake is helping write SOP’s for these procedures to help future employees handle these tasks with minimal human errors.
In 2020 Blake was assigned the weekly tissue sampling of Al’s corn crop at Little Marsh Farms. He handled the process from sampling through the preparation and getting the samples shipped on a strict schedule basis.
Starting in the spring of 2021, Blake will enter his fourth season at Protech. He will assist Jeff Williard with the management of the summer interns and data collection and preparation for Al to process his crop and pest management recommendations.
Protech is proud of Blake’s ability to grow, adapt, learn and give valuable input into our services and goals.

Jeff Williard

Introducing Protech Advisory Services Agronomist and Research Coordinator:

Jeff joined Protech Advisory Services in March 2021. He grew up in the foothills of North Carolina, a typical boy: hunting, fishing, driving 4-wheel drive trucks and enjoying God’s creation. His family worked a small, self-sustaining farm, growing tobacco, food, animals, and kids. This upbringing gave Jeff a connection to the land, where he learned the value of hard work and the importance of family. It brings him joy to see these same values embraced by his five children and six grandchildren (with more on the way).

Jeff moved his family to Upstate New York 18 years ago to work at a Christian Youth Camp in the rolling hills of western NY. During his time in NY, he was privileged to attend Cornell University as an adult student to pursue an agricultural degree. While attending Cornell, Jeff worked under the tutelage of the Department Head of the Nutrient Management Spear Program. He planned and executed a 13-week study of Enhanced Efficiency Nitrogen Fertilizers, better known as Nitrogen Stabilizers. Jeff published an honors thesis revealing the dramatic decrease in the amount of nitrogen lost to the environment by using these Nitrogen Stabilizers. Jeff went on to graduate from Cornell with a BS in Agronomy.

After graduating from Cornell University, Jeff worked as a Soil Technician and Certified Crop Advisor for Agricultural Consulting Services, Inc. While there he advised Confined Animal Feeding Operations regarding nutrient management practices to ensure their water quality compliance with the DEC and EPA. Jeff also counseled producers on land selection, crop rotation, and pest management.

After working for several years with Agricultural Consulting Services, Inc. Jeff was presented with the opportunity to work with Carolina Eastern-Crocker, Inc. in the retail agricultural market. He gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in custom blending fertilizers to meet the nutrient needs of numerous field and vegetable crops. Jeff also had the privilege of being a Pioneer seed representative, making variety selection recommendations to his producers. Each year Jeff conducted at least two farmer-driven research trials. Among those was a 3-year trial comparison on several Nitrogen Stabilizers, a side-by-side corn Sulfur trial, and a side-by-side soybean Sulfur trial. Jeff also supervised several Pesticide Application Operators in the coverage of 90k+ annual acres of diversified crops.

As a Certified Crop Advisor, his primary goal is helping farmers, both large and small, achieve profitability in an ever-challenging market, while embracing new technology and protecting the environment.

As an Agronomist and Research Coordinator, Jeff will assist Al with management of the employees who soil sample and scout crops. He will develop a knowledge of Protech’s Ag Leader GIS software and our use of MS Access data base. Jeff will also over see the contract research conducted at Protech. Jeff will help Al disseminate “Cliff Notes” from meetings and various types of recommendations to clients from the multiple services we offer. We are pleased to welcome Jeff onboard.

Jennifer Fruehling

Jenn has a wide variety of computing systems experience including most of the software we use at Protech. Jenn is quickly learning SMS Advanced and helping Al generate nutrient prescriptions for the 2021 season. We are happy to welcome Jenn on our team.

Jenn joined Protech Advisory Services in January 2021. She brings satellite and information technology skills learned in the military with years of experience and interest in agriculture to our team.

She grew up in rural southern Illinois with corn fields and dairy cattle before moving to the crossroads region of Texas where she worked on several large ranches training horses, working cattle, and assisting with breeding programs. She also helped people with disabilities learn to ride horses.

During her transition from the military, she participated in the Soldier to Agriculture curriculum sponsored by NC State, which ultimately led her to our organization. She continues to serve the veteran population as an equine specialist for a local therapy program.

Her and her husband own property in Hoke County where they are actively pursuing small scale sustainable and regenerative practices with the intent of educating others on nature’s ability to nurture and the value of North Carolina agriculture.