ASM Harvey Largen Retires with 47 Years of Service

ASM Harvey Largen Retires with 47 Years of Service

Premier Area Sales Manager Harvey Largen retires on March 31, 2024 after 47 years of service. Please join us in congratulating him and thanking him for his contributions and dedication to our cooperative!

Harvey began working for Virginia-North Carolina Select Sires (VA-NC SS) in the summer of 1976, between his junior and senior years at Virginia Tech. He served as a relief inseminator in various parts of the state when other technicians had days off work. The following year, in June of 1977, he was hired as an Area Sales Manager in southern North Carolina. He was in charge of a large new area of Select Sires.

“It took me three days to visit all of the farms on my list, and the rest of my time was spent knocking on doors,” said Largen. “It was neat, I was kind of like the voice of Select Sires there. A lot of people never heard of Select and I got to bring the word to them! I got to the point of really loving cold calls.”

Harvey has seen a lot of Select Sires history over the years, remaining with the organization through many mergers and acquisitions until it eventually became Premier Select Sires, the 23-state cooperative we know today. In 1993, General Manager Wayne Dudley asked Harvey to take on the role of Sales and Service Coordinator as VA-NC SS was acquiring new territory. His cold calling skills and sales experience allowed him to coach others to grow the business. In 2000, when the organization underwent a merger with Sire Power to become Select Sire Power, he became the Southern Regional Manager, overseeing Area Sales Managers and helping them set and meet goals for growth and sales. In 2017, he chose to return to the role of Area Sales Manager in southcentral Virginia and has remained in that position until his retirement.

Working with cows is in Harvey’s blood. He grew up on a small dairy farm milking no more than 18 cows, and when Hoard’s Dairyman would come in the mail, he’d devour it and wait for the next one to come. He initially wanted to be a dairy farmer but decided to attend Virginia Tech, at first for pre-veterinarian medicine, then switching to agriculture education. He said that teaching was his fallback, but his hopes were to graduate and work for Select Sires.

“I’ve wanted to breed cows since I was 16,” said Harvey. “I got my first cow at 10 years old and I knew even then it was better to use A.I. to enhance genetics. At 16 I wanted to go to an A.I. school and my mom wouldn’t let me because I wasn’t yet allowed to drive in town. Luckily I finally got trained when I was hired as a relief technician. I went to the training school the week before I started, and I was on the job while being trained. It was a slick deal all the way around.”

Harvey has worn a lot of hats over the years and has seen the organization from various vantage points.

“The grassroots level for me is where it’s at,” said Harvey. “I love working with people, especially on the farm. I’ve seen kids go from babies to showing interest in taking over the farm. Gosh, the people I’ve gotten to work with! I’ve been a lot of places, from farms with 7,000 cows to the guys with 4-5 family cows.”

The memories Harvey says he will treasure the most include those of getting to know so many different people.

“I truly think if you love what you do, work is not work. Really I haven’t worked very much! It’s been great working with the greatest people on earth, farmers. I’m really thankful I’ve been allowed a career in this industry, and I wish the best to all my friends and associates I’ve made,” said Harvey. “I’m impressed with all the new talent coming in. New technology doesn’t fascinate me, so it is time for new blood and fresh crisp minds to take it over!”

Brad Barham, current Regional Sales Manager for Premier’s southern region says, “It has been a joy to work with Harvey in my comparatively short tenure at Premier Select Sires. Harvey always lights up a room with a big grin when engaged with our customer-owners and teammates alike. Having Harvey as a team member has brought depth of knowledge, years of varied experiences, and a helpful hand to all. He will be remembered in a very positive light by anyone who had the pleasure of working along his side. I’m excited and a little jealous of his retirement plans and wish him nothing but the best.”

In retirement, Harvey says he and his wife Therese will keep busy with their eight children and nine grandchildren. A beekeeper of 30 years, he looks forward to “doing it in the daylight instead of odd hours after work,” and he looks forward to enjoying more time out in nature.

Please join us in wishing Harvey the very best in retirement!


Photo: Harvey at the beach with his wife, Therese Haugh, their eight children, and eight grandchildren (and one more grandchild has been added to the crew since this photo was taken!)