About Us | Professional Staff

  • Raymond C. Ward

    Chairman of the Board , CPSS, CPAG, CCA

    Dr. Ward (Ray) founded Ward Laboratories in 1983. Ray received B.S. and M.S.  Soil Science degrees from University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1959 and 1961 and a Plant Science Ph.D degree from South Dakota State University in 1972.

  • Nick Ward


    Dr. Nick Ward received his B.S. and M.S. in Agronomy from Kansas State University in 2007 and 2010 and Agronomy Ph.D degree from University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2015.

  • Rebecca Kern

    Professional Animal Scientist

    Rebecca joined Ward Laboratories in 2016. Rebecca graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2012 with a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Sciences and again in 2014 with a M.S. in Animal Nutrition.

  • Hannah Dorn

    Support Agronomist/Marketing Manager

    Hannah joined Ward Laboratories in the fall of 2017. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016 with a B.S. in Agronomy and a minor in Agricultural Economics.

  • Terry Buettner

    Account Development & Agronomy Support Manager

    Terry joined Ward Laboratories in fall of 2017. He graduated from University of Nebraska-Kearney in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He has been involved in production agriculture and seed sales in the Kearney area for 34 years.

  • Ryan Dennhardt

    Human Resources/Business Manager

    Ryan joined Ward Laboratories, Inc. in the fall of 2019. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and is currently pursuing his MBA with HR emphasis.

  • Nikki Kuhr

    Laboratory Manager

    Nikki joined Ward Laboratories in 2006. She graduated from Southeast Community College-Beatrice with an Associates of Science-Biology Degree.

  • Sadie Dallmann

    Log-In Supervisor

    Sadie joined Ward Laboratories in the summer of 2017. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017 with a BS in Animal Science.

  • Kim Turner

    Sample Prep Manager

    Kim joined Ward Laboratories in 2014 as a Sample Prep Technician and has worked as an Organic Matter Technician, Sample Prep Supervisor, and now Sample Prep Manager. She received her Associates Degree in Information Technology from Central Community College-Grand Island, NE.

  • Melissa Schwarz

    Senior Customer Service Representative

    Melissa joined Ward Laboratories in 2017 and has worked as our Receptionist and Customer Service Representative. She will be attending CCC in Kearney to pursue an AAS Degree in Business Administration.

  • Stephanie Wootton

    Feed Microbiologist

    Stephanie joined Ward Laboratories in 2020. She attended South Dakota State University where she received her B.S. in Biology in 2016 and then her M.S. with specialization in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology in 2019.

  • Carrie Putnam

    Feed Supervisor

    Carrie joined Ward Laboratories in 2013. She graduated from College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO with a B.S. in Animal Science.

  • Jordan Westengaard

    Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manager

    Jordan joined Ward Laboratories, Inc. in January 2020. He received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in 2010.

  • Willie Pretorius, MS

    Soil Health Consultant

    Willie Pretorius received B.S. and M.S. from the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch in 1966 and 1970 respectively majoring in Fruit Science, Horticulture and Plant Physiology. He also obtained a Hons. B from the Stellenbosch Business School in 1984. His background is agricultural research, managing food companies, and soil health.

  • Dr. Ashley Hammac

    Dr. W. Ashley Hammac

    Soil Science/Agronomic Specialist

    Dr. Hammac received his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Science from Washington State University, his M.S. in Agronomy and Soils from Auburn University, and his B.S. in Environmental Soil and Water Science from the University of Arkansas.