It was the shortest day of 2023 and Landon McGarrah was catching up on paperwork and taking a deep breath after one of his longest days on the job the day before.

As an integrated solutions consultant on P&K Equipment’s 6-person Precision Pinpoint Group supporting the company’s John Deere products, he had been part of the team effort to introduce the new 1 Series baler across P&K’s 20-store market area in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The team spent much of November and December conducting a series of 6 meetings across Oklahoma and western Arkansas, arranging for equipment deliveries, booking meeting sites and attending well-rehearsed meet-and-greets to present video presentations and answer questions about the new product line. Between those meetings, each team member still had their own customers to support out of their respective stores, and on-farm problems to solve in their local territories. 

“More affordable used equipment is enticing folks who have never had an interest in precision equipment to consider its value and convenience…”

Now, however, the introductions were complete, Christmas was only days away and McGarrah was back in his office in Owasso, Okla., recuperating after 16 hours on the road the day before at the last 1 Series meeting in Fayetteville, Ark.

9:03 a.m.

It was a quiet morning, and McGarrah was signing and sorting work reports — expecting me to arrive for a day-long ride-around as the subject of Precision Farming Dealer’s Day in the Cab feature. 

In preparation, the 6-year P&K veteran had lined up several stops with customers, including a trenching project using precision guidance and an on-farm equipment installation. Another angle he was planning didn’t work out, and as best laid plans usually pan out, the trenchers cancelled at the last minute because of soil conditions. 

“Not a problem, Landon. This just leaves more time to find out how you go about your job, what’s special about it, and how does that relate to success for you and your employer?”

9:15 a.m.

McGarrah, 29, explains he’s a native of Wyandotte, Okla., located a little over an hour northeast of Owasso on the Will Rogers Turnpike, so he’s a “local” in the immediate market area of the P&K store.

He came to his current position with an educational and experiential background including studies at Missouri Southern State Univ., the Univ. of Oklahoma, a stint as a Kubota service manager, and finally an animal science degree from Oklahoma State Univ.


Landon McGarrah initializes the installation of a Gen-5 Plus display in a customer’s 4830 John Deere Sprayer, replacing a smaller fourth-generation display with a larger screen and the potential for autonomous operation in the future. Photo by: Dan Crummett

“That degree is so broad, it allowed me to look at many career paths, so when this job was advertised, I took a chance, applied and they hired me,” he explains. “I immediately began training on the job working with my team leader, Travis Thedford from our Enid, Okla., location. Now, my position is really the ‘tip-of-the-spear’ for P&K’s precision business in my territory.

“I see my responsibility as trying to build relationships and trust in us (P&K) and John Deere technology,” he says. “Every farm is different, and I try to determine the customer’s needs so I can provide solutions for them individually. I want to convince them we care about them and are not trying to just rubber stamp a system on their equipment just because we have it. I try to analyze which pieces of technology might fit best and integrate those to optimize their operation’s productivity.”

McGarrah says his customers range from those who use the whole suite of John Deere technology including AutoPath, AutoTrac, turn automation, Machine Sync and implement guidance, to the average producer who uses only AutoTrac and possibly section control.

“Some use data sharing if they have two or more machines in the field, which helps them share guidance lines,” he says. “Then we have even smaller operators who are just now moving to auto-steer.”

McGarrah’s territory ranges from just east of I-35, which bisects Oklahoma north to south, roughly along the route of the Chisholm Trail, eastward across the river bottoms of eastern Oklahoma into Arkansas west of Little Rock.

“Much of our agriculture is populated by smaller farms (relatively speaking) located in the region’s patchwork of prairies and lowlands around creeks and rivers,” he says. “The largest farms in our territory are up to 10,000 acres, and there are many 2,000-to 4,000-acre operations, many of which are irrigated.”

9:47 a.m.

McGarrah estimates 90% of his customers are no-tillers and about 30% use strip-till management.

“While much of the geography is covered in hardwood timber, row-crop corn and soybean farming is common, along with areas of melon and sweet corn production. Other important crops include wheat, cotton and hay.”


During a routine installation of transceivers for Deere’s JDLink in a pair of customer hay tractors, Landon McGarrah simultaneously takes care of business on one of a myriad of phone calls he receives during the day. Photo by: Dan Crummett

Cattle, too, play a big part in the area’s farm receipts and consequently forage production on bermudagrass and fescue pastures is prime territory for McGarrah’s services as well as P&K’s products. The 3 Case IH dealers in Oklahoma are all located west of I-35, and in Arkansas the Red line has 5 dealerships, all concentrated east of Little Rock.

“So, we’re predominantly Green across my territory,” McGarrah says. “It’s a large market area and I put 30,000 to 40,000 miles on my truck each year.”

10:08 a.m.

We leave the dealership and drive to a diversified farm near Collinsville, Okla., to swap an older display unit in a customer’s 4830 JD sprayer. The customer is getting a new, more capable (think automation) Gen-5 Plus display. 

On the way, McGarrah explains he’s seeing more smaller (and older) producers interested in adopting auto-steer — particularly since used equipment prices are “tanking” as post-COVID supply line bottlenecks for new gear have loosened.

“More affordable used equipment is enticing folks who have never had an interest in precision equipment to consider its value and convenience,” he says. “These new customers excite me because I can really be of service to them — finally making technology a part of their operation.

Check out the Day in the Cab Video Series

Click this link to watch behind-the-scenes footage of our Day in the Cab visit with Landon McGarrah. The integrated solutions consultant expands on P&K Equipment’s approach to service and support, the challenges of serving a diverse customer base, new precision technology trends and more! 

“We’re also seeing an uptick in precision equipment demand from our hay producers, so the demand seems bright even for our market area which doesn’t include the sprawling farms of western Oklahoma and Kansas, or the operations like you find in the Corn Belt.”

McGarrah says most of the used installations he sells involve tractors, but one customer tapped him for help in blending auto-steer to a Peterbilt-truck-based field spreader. 

“That project was a lot of fun and is an example of the variety I encounter in this job,” he says. “There’s always something challenging and different popping up. The only problem we had with the spreader was a gap between the minimum speed of his cruise control and the maximum speed of the auto-steer. He was so disappointed he still had to sit in the cab to control the throttle.”

11:02 a.m.

McGarrah says his interaction with customers mainly involves “first contact” visits to solve equipment problems with displays or GPS. But those contacts allow him to begin the all-important relationship with customers that he says is the key to his team’s success in growing P&K’s business.

“Our system involves the Pinpoint Team making the customer contact, and if we can’t solve the problem on the phone or in person, we can consult with our service department techs, particularly if it involves a tractor issue feeding into the precision equipment. 

“If the problem is more extreme, we create a case and submit it to Deere technicians for guidance on how to proceed,” he explains. “Ultimately, we’re first-responders on anything technical on digital equipment.”

McGarrah says another facet of his interaction with customers includes helping them organize digital data such as field maps, yield results, planting and spraying maps, and tractor data.

“We’re seeing an uptick in precision equipment demand from our hay producers…”

“I enjoy working with them to set up easy-to-access displays so they can make data-backed decisions more easily for the next season.”

12:21 p.m.

It’s well past noon when McGarrah finishes installing a pair of MTG (modular telematic gateway) units in the customer’s two hay tractors, then proceeds out of the machine shed to set up his laptop on the pickup’s tailgate. As he initializes the JDLink equipment which he calls “cell phones for the tractor,” he fields several calls from customers and company associates as he waits for the tractors to join the on-farm “conversation.”

The MTG enables customers to do location tracking of equipment on a smart phone or computer, plus it can send codes sent to dealership for maintenance records and background information for technicians who may have to work on the machine in the future.

“We’re first-responders on anything technical on digital equipment…”

12:55 p.m.

That done, we head for S&B Burgers back in Owasso where I’m introduced to the “Black and Bleu” burger, a “Nimitz Class” patty adorned with blackened seasoning, bleu cheese, bacon, smashed avocado, lettuce, tomato, on a Kaiser bun. I was both amused and sated.

1:43 p.m.

Back in the office, we discuss the Pinpoint Team’s upcoming sprayer/planter clinics set for late January across P&K’s 2-state territory and some of the challenges such an educational effort entails. In the back of my mind, however, I remember playing telephone tag with Landon trying to set up this Day in the Cab visit, and many times he was somewhere in Arkansas or eastern Oklahoma participating in a team workshop or busy engaging potential customers. 

“It’s business as usual,” I thought, “And it’s a vital part of the growing P&K customer base. McGarrah is an integral part of that.”

After a wrap-up conversation about the day, Landon attacked another pile of forms to complete, and I headed home.