Meet Our Team
Jim Turner, Ph.D.Director of Sulutions
Jeff KafkaDirector, Business Development and National Accounts
Grew up in south central South Dakota on a diversified farm and ranch with seven brothers and two sisters. Attended school at USDS, (now a state prison), for civil engineering then transferred to University of SD to pursue a possible law degree. While attending USD and paying for my tuition, I was spending more time working for a cattle feeder than going to class and eventually left school to work full time at the feedlot and managed a restaurant for a year. I joined the US Air Force and spent time in Texas, the Philippines, South Korea, and then while stationed at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, assigned to AWACS, went to Saudi Arabia/Kuwait for Desert Storm. I continued to take college classes everywhere I was stationed working for that college degree.
After Desert Storm I separated with my GI Bill and went back to SDSU to finish college where I worked with Robbi Pritchard, Dan Gee, and many other great professors. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. While at SDSU I bartended, cut meat, and cooked for Gordy’s Meat Market. After graduating I went to work for Alltech, Inc. when it was still a relatively small, mostly unknown company. I covered all species in SD, ND, MT, WY, CO, NE, and Western IA but eventually focused on beef, was moved to Oklahoma and was the Beef Team Manager for Alltech, setting up research studies and projects needed to prove the products to the Beef Industry. I found I really enjoyed the business-to- business sales and relationships that I developed and I have kept going back to that role ever since.
I left Alltech after 12 years and went to work for Vet Life covering most of the upper Midwest selling implants and feed additives to feedlots and feed manufacturers. Vet Life was purchased by Elanco, and I was in another hybrid role with the feedlot team managing the feed manufacturing relationships from a beef perspective. I worked for Elanco until January 1, 2018, when during some company re-alignment I was offered an early retirement from Eli Lilly and Co.
Started with Kent Nutrition Group on Jan 3, 2018, as the Beef Sales Manager. My focus was with outside feedlot consultants and managing the relationships and supplement bids for their feedlots and ranches. The bid business involved coordinating feed production, freight, billing and quality assurance for the consultants/feedlots and ranches. My position later turned into a hybrid role managing toll mill feed manufacturer accounts as well as managing the business and relationships with beef consultants where I worked in a business-to-business role with many of my career long accounts.
In early 2022 I was offered a unique offer with a start-up company, Vence, to be their director of sales and business development as they entered the first year of commercial sales. Vence was purchased by Merck and at the end of 2022 I made the choice to leave Vence and join Sulutions. With Sulutions I am excited to again be working with many of my career long relationship accounts.