The Varimax Team

Dr. Chad Godsey -Founder / Research and Product Development

Chad Godsey was born and raised on a farm and ranch near Wray in northeastern Colorado. After graduating from Colorado State University with his B.S. in Ag Business and Soil and Crop Sciences he went to Kansas State University to get his M.S. and PhD in Agronomy/Soil Fertility. During his M.S., which focused on site-specific management of Fe chlorosis in irrigated corn in  SW Kansas, he developed a passion for precision agriculture. He switched focus for his PhD studies which were centered on soil test recommendations and management of no-till acidic soils. He also worked full-time as the KSU Soil Testing Lab Manager during his PhD studies.

After graduation in 2005, he went to work at Oklahoma State University as a Cropping System Specialist in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. He served as the State Specialist for most of the oilseeds produced in the state. Most of his research and extension efforts were focused on increasing the efficiency of crop production through use of technology, no-tillage, and crop rotation. This appointment gave him a great amount of experience with most crops grown in the Southern Great Plains. Throughout his graduate studies and time at OSU he stayed actively involved with precision ag. research and how to best use the technology in real-world situations.

During his 7 years with OSU he noticed a disconnect between the precision ag industry and past research that had been conducted at Universities around the US. Nobody was offering services centered on the researched and proven technologies from the Universities. If services were being offered they often times were not being used correctly. At this point Godsey Precision Ag was created to better help producers utilize precision ag. technologies to increase their profitability. Dr. Godsey is passionate about using precision ag. technologies to increase the efficiency of crop inputs and reduce the environmental impact of applied fertilizer. His latest efforts include development of an Irrigation Scheduling system that helps producers and consultants improve water use efficiency. 

Shane Ohlde-Founder/Chief Executive Officer

Shane Ohlde is the CEO of Ohlde Seed Farms, Inc. and VariMax, LLC of Palmer, KS. Shane attended Fort Hays State University majoring in Crop Science. Upon returning to the family farming operation, Shane took over operations of Ohlde Seed Farms in 2003, now doing business in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma, currently serving over 1400 farmers and 105 dealerships. In 2017, Shane developed VariMax, LLC and is acting CEO, VariMax does business in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Australia in wheat and corn. In 2019, VariMax started the purchase of Precision Crop Management as an Irrigation software platform.

Shane presently serves as treasurer of Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, Linn Willow Creek Dairy board of directors, President of Palmer Ball Association, Linn Lutheran Auction Committee, Linn Lutheran Endowment Fund, and Vice President of AGSECO. Shane was selected as the ASA/DuPont Young Leader in 2007, served as a board member of the Kansas Soybean Association, Independent Professional Seedsman Association, has served on the church council as trustee of St. John Lutheran Church. Shane is married to his wife AnnMarie Ohlde and they have three children together. Dylan is 12 years old, and twin daughters Kyra and Lexie, who are 8 years old.

Chad  Hiltgen-Chief Operations Officer

Ch ad Hiltgen was born and raised in Palmer, Kansas, a rural town located in northeast Kansas. Chad is the Chief Opera tions Officer of Var iM ax, LLC, a sensor-based precision agricultural company located in rural northeast Kansas. Since joining the company in 2017, Chad has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business including software development, partnership development, and strategic planning.

Chad has spent most of his career in both the agricultural and technology industries. After moving back to rural Kansas in 2003, Chad spent three years as precision sales specialist for KanEquip, where he was the lead for GPS installations. Before joining the VariMax team, Chad spent the previous ten years at Blue Valley Technologies where he was initially employed as a computer/network technician before holding the position of Sales Manager, where he was responsible for leading and overseeing the growth and development of the Sales Division.

Chad’s role with VariMax has enabled him to utilize his past experience and passion for business, technology, and agriculture by combining the same into a succinct service that he and the rest of the VariMax team are excited to share with ag producers and partners.

Chad holds a B.A. degree in Business and Economics from Bethany College. He currently lives in Washington, Kansas with his wife and four children. In his spare time, Chad enjoys watching sports, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his family.

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