Rail continues to be the most efficient land-based way to move agricultural products and BNSF has partnered with American producers for over 170 years. We met with BNSF’s Agriculture Ombudsman for the Pacific Northwest, Roger Hsieh, to learn more about him and what it takes to make the U.S. farming supply chain one of the most efficient and productive in the world.

Q: How long have you worked with BNSF?

Roger: I’ve been with BNSF for 21 years and counting. I started in Fort Worth, Texas, transferred to the Gulf Coast, and in 2014, I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve served in various roles including forecasting and planning, systems development, economic development, and sales and marketing. These experiences were foundational for my current role.

Q: What does it mean to be BNSF’s Agriculture Ombudsman for the Pacific Northwest?

Roger: I am responsible for BNSF’s ag franchise on the West Coast along with Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona. It’s a multi-faceted role. I act as both an internal liaison between marketing and operations as well as work with our commercial teams to ensure delivery of best-in-class value and service to our customers. I also serve as an account manager for key customers, pursue business development, in addition to serve as a liaison for Columbia River District ports.

Q: What is your background?

Roger: I have always had an interest in using data to better inform decisions and the optimization of alternatives as well as identify and implement process improvements. BNSF is the perfect place for data geeks! My relationship with agriculture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers. It is truly my privilege and BNSF’s birthright to help move grain for our producers and customers given my history, personal connections and experiences.

Q: What’s it like to work for BNSF?

Roger: What we do is incredibly integral to the U.S. economy. We help feed the world with high quality products, enable global trade, and elevate standards of living. It’s an inspirational calling. Additionally, the people make it a great place to work. I have had amazing mentors, developed tremendous professional networks, and made so many friends at BNSF. My work with BNSF has been fun and given me opportunities, career progressions, and a life for my family. It’s awesome to marry a sense of mission to a fulfilling and balanced career.

Learn more about BNSF’s Agriculture Ombudsmen here.