West Region Support Team

Benjamin Smith

Central Valley (Fresno, Madera, Kings)

Ben provides grower support in the Central Valley. He grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Utah, where he spent most of his summers in the alfalfa and corn fields shoveling dirt, desperately trying to get the water to flood the fields evenly.  He knew that there had to be a better way.

Ben went to Utah State University and received a B.S. degree in Crop Science with a minor in Soil Science. He has spent time working for irrigation equipment manufacturers and in production agriculture; installing irrigation systems, maintaining existing systems, and scheduling irrigations over large acreages.

  • (559) 554-4607
Brian Hanson

Brian Hanson

Kern County

Grower Support specialist Brian Hanson was born and raised in Bakersfield and currently resides in Shafter.

He followed a passion for ag to Bakersfield College, and then CSU Chico, where he studied Animal Science. Throughout college he worked with a PCA, and completed an internship focused on hay and cattle production.

After college, he worked four years on a U.S.F.S. Hotshot crew fighting wildfires. He began working as a Field Technician for Hortau installing and maintaining equipment in the field throughout Kern County.

As a Grower Support specialist, Brian is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the Hortau platform are supported and always available to resolve any needs.

  • (661) 703-8300

Brian Henriott

Northern California

Brian Henriott is Hortau’s grower support specialist for Mid to Northern Central Valley.

He is a native Californian originally from the Bay Area. He has had a passion for plants from the start, working for a local nursery as a teenager and then continuing with that passion into college and his professional life.

Brian attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in horticultural production as an undergrad and then in plant protection as a grad student. At Cal Poly, Brian developed a love of entomology, eventually transitioning that interest into a two-year lecturer position at Cal Poly.

After college, Brian worked for four years on the Central Coast as a harvest manager in the vegetable industry.

  • 805-215-2135

Cord Nunez

Central Coast - North

Cord has lived on the Central Coast for the past eight years.
He was born in New Mexico, where he worked during the summer on the family ranch in Northern New Mexico. He attended AIU for Business Administration and Hartnell College in Salinas for agriculture. 
He is passionate about his community and the future of sustainable ag.

  • (831) 331-7370
Danny Giacomini

Danny Giacomini

Southern California

Danny Giacomini was born and raised in Los Altos, California.

After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in Business Marketing, he made the easy decision to stay in San Luis Obispo and bring his IOT, inside sales, and marketing experience to Hortau.

Currently, Danny works as a sales development representative, working with new farming operations to see if they are a fit for Hortau’s precision irrigation management system.

  • (805) 545-5994, ext. 332

Derek Gagne

West Region Service Manager

An early employee of Hortau, Derek Gagne is the West Region Service Manager, based out of the company’s U.S. headquarters in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

He currently manages Hortau’s dedicated team of U.S. technicians, and has traveled as far as Morocco to install systems and train both regional irrigation specialists and growers on how to use Hortau’s platform.

Service is Derek’s number one priority. If growers have an issue with the Hortau irrigation management platform, he recommends they contact him via the information below and he’d be happy to help troubleshoot their issues, or have a technician or grower support specialist visit their ranch to resolve the problem.

  • (805) 545-5994

Gabriel Baustista

Central California - South

Gabriel was born and raised in Fresno County where he grew up around agriculture. Growing up he participated in FFA activities and also worked summer jobs in agriculture.

Gabriel studied Plant Science at the California State University of Fresno and has hands-on labor and management experience growing organic berries for a grower on the Central Coast, where he currently provides grower support services for Hortau.

  • (805) 868-3165

Gil Luera

Central Coast

Born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley, Gil spent his summers working in peach orchards and sweet potato fields.

FFA and field work inspired Gil to go to Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo to pursue an Ag Engineering degree. While at Cal Poly, Gil gained technical sales experience in the automotive aftermarket as a District Sales Manager for CSK Auto.

As chance would have it, Gil’s career path brought him back to agriculture as he spent 8 years selling produce as a full-line produce broker selling primarily specialty produce items grown on California’s Central Coast.

Recognizing the need for sustainable agriculture practices and the aching desire to get back to his Ag Engineering background, it was easy for Gil to make the transition to Hortau. Now he enjoys working with clients to become more profitable and sustainable by providing them a sophisticatedly simple tool to make better informed irrigation decisions.

  • 805 544-5995 x355

Jeremy Otto

VP of Sales

Currently managing Hortau’s sales force in California, Jeremy is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S in Agribusiness.

Jeremy joined the Hortau team in 2007.  He is a native Californian and grew up in a agricultural family. Along with an entrepreneurial spirit, Jeremy’s knowledge of Ag, technology and science helped Hortau establish itself as an industry leader.  As the sole representative in California for many years his role was to sell, service and develop the market. Today he manages seven sales representatives with a focus on business development.

  • (805) 544-5995 x329
Hortau CEO Jocelyn Boudreau

Jocelyn Boudreau

CEO, Co-Founder

Jocelyn Boudreau is CEO and co-founder of Hortau. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters degree in soil physics from Laval University (Québec, Canada). Early in his career, Jocelyn worked at Laval University as a research assistant, helping with the development of a sub-irrigation system in capillary mat for container crops, greenhouse and nursery.

He then acted as a tech consultant for various irrigation, soil physics and technical sales projects, before co-founding Hortau in 2002. He played a key role in the company’s start-up phase, from the business plan and strategy, financing, building and managing a high-level team, as well as the execution of the company’s growth strategy.

Jocelyn is currently responsible for managing the company’s human and financial resources, coordinating the team, strategic planning and also preparing and managing the company’s board meetings. Jocelyn currently lives with his family in San Luis Obispo, Calif, operating out of Hortau’s U.S. headquarters, where he works closely with the sales, marketing and tech support teams on the company’s growth territory.

Joe Wiegand

Fresno County, Madera County, Kings County

Joe Wiegand has been living in Fresno, California, since 2008, working in agriculture.

Before working with Hortau, he sold soil amendments and feed to dairymen around the Central Valley.

  • (559) 999-6605
John Bison

John Bison

Kern and Tulare Counties

John Bison was born and raised in Kern county and grew up with a passion for agriculture. He was very active in 4H and FFA, as well as many Ag leadership programs throughout high school.

After high school, John attended Cal Poly SLO and majored in animal science and also studied viticulture and Agbusiness.

John comes to Hortau with over 15 years of agricultural sales experience, and he contributes his success to building strong relationships and a pride in knowing he’s helping his customers become more sustainable and profitable.

  • (661) 303-4081

Kevin Payne

Northern California

A former ag instructor, Kevin provides sales and grower support in the Northern California region for Hortau.

Kevin’s experience in FFA growing up, encouraged him to attend Cal Poly-SLO, where he earned a degree in Agribusiness. After graduating from Cal Poly, he returned to his hometown of Chico, where he continued his ag studies and was a high school agriculture instructor for 13 years.

Kevin has a passion for agriculture and helping growers improve crop health and production in the face of today’s ag challenges.

  • (530) 320-8223

Rodney Bass

So. California, Arizona

Hortau’s representative for Southern California and Arizona, Bass grew up in eastern North Carolina working on his family farm and the tobacco farms around his home.

He attended North Carolina State University where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with Geotechnical concentration. After working for several private engineering firms, he worked in sales for a number of industries with a dedication to building strong client relationships.

Bass is excited to join Hortau and help growers achieve success and become more profitable in the face of today’s agricultural challenges.

  • 760-822-0363

Ruz Shokrollahi

Merced, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Counties

Ruz grew up in California and graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2012 with his B.S. in Horticulture and Crop Science. While attending college, Ruz was the recipient of the San Francisco Orchid Society’s scholarship award for his dedicated work in caring for the college’s orchids, and held the position of HCS club president.

After college, Ruz worked as a farm manager in Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, where he managed about 15,000 acres of producing pistachios, 3,000 acres of producing almonds, and a few thousand of non-producing pistachios and almonds combined. He maintains both PCA and QAL through continuing education, adding relevant categories when possible.

  • (949) 331-7240

Travis Goldman


Grower Support specialist Travis Goldman was born and raised in Watsonville and currently resides in Freedom.  He graduated from UC Davis and has worked throughout the Salinas Valley as a service technician to learn and understand the technology.

As a Grower Support specialist, Travis is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the Hortau platform are supported in the high demands of the territory.

  • (831) 588-9740

Pacific Northwest, High Plains, Midwest, Northeast, Canada

Jason Cogan

High Plains

Jason grew up in south-central Kansas, and attended Kansas State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science.

After graduation, Jason worked in the animal and crop production side of the industry with a farmers cooperative, where he assisted farmers in various capacities — from fertilizer and production recommendations, to sales and service.

Today, Jason is excited about working closely with farmers in an effort to find sound solutions to their water management needs … an important goal for all farmers, especially those facing the challenging issues confronting the Ogallala Aquifer.

  • (620) 640-0243

Kyle Hagerty

High Plains Region (CO, WY, NE)

Kyle’s territory covers Northeast Colorado, Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming

Born and raised in Northern California, Kyle was always drawn to the great outdoors. Spending time on a small farm in Oregon, as well as a local horse farm created a life-long passion for the outdoors and agriculture as a whole. This lead him to become highly involved in the Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

With a minor in Agroecology, Kyle received his bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology from the University of Wyoming and immediately accepted a position as an Agronomist in the Colorado High Plains where he spent the majority of the next 12 years honing his skills and expertise in soils, water, pest, fertilizer and crop management…through which he assisted his clients in developing and maintaining best management practices throughout their varied production systems.

With his years of experience as a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Kyle is an excellent addition to the High Plains team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, as he serves clients throughout the region.

  • (970) 370-8060

Aaron Voelker

Pacific Northwest

Aaron was born and raised in Yakima. He worked on family fruit ranch growing up, and attended college at Eastern Washington University on a football scholarship. He earned an degree in business administration, and worked for Boeing in Seattle for six years after graduating from college.

A member of the Yakima Pomological Club, Aaron moved back to Yakima after father’s passing to manage the family business in 1992, running ranch operations for 13 years before doing outside sales for an orchard and vineyard supply company.

He also worked for an additional 8 years in outside sales for a New Zealand horticultural fabric company before joining Hortau.

  • (509) 571-0281

Ryan Schutt

Pacific Northwest

Ryan was born on a mint farm in the lower Yakima Valley of Washington, working on the family farm all the way through high school.

He worked in construction and law enforcement before going on to be the water resource manager for Roza Irrigation District for 14 years.

After a major injury and a number of surgeries, Ryan was inspired to go back to college and earned a degree in agriculture business and was later employed as a licensed pest consultant.

Ryan enjoyed his relationships with his farmers as a consultant and enjoyed everyday at work. Soils and irrigation was Ryan’s favorite topic, which is why he accepted an offer to work with Hortau and help growers in Oregon and Washington improve their irrigation management programs.

  • (509) 781-1006

Jean Caron

Co-Founder, Agronomist

Jean Caron is co-Founder of Hortau, and chief scientist at the company.
He is also Chair of the precision irrigation research program hosted at Laval University and in several U.S. institutions.
Jean has been a Professor of soil physics at the Soil Science and Agrifood Engineering Department of Laval University, in Québec, Canada, since 1992, Fellow of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (2009) and Recipient of the Joseph Bombardier Award for his technological innovations (2008).

Brad Hansen


As Hortau’s Midwest Territory Manager, Brad is the sales representative, technician, and grower support specialist for the region.

Brad is a Wisconsin native and received his B.S. in Biology from UW-Madison.

Following his graduation from UW, Brad spent 9 years working for an industry-leading agriculture company within their breeding and testing organization. During that time he developed a passion for emerging technologies within the ag industry and gained experience working with many of the latest precision farming technologies.

Brad is excited to utilize his experience and passion for emerging technologies while partnering with Midwestern growers to bring them tools and solutions that will strengthen their current farm management practices.

  • (920) 475-3467

Doug Larson

High Plains

As a Colorado State University Alum and licensed PCA, Doug Larson came to Hortau with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the industry of agriculture.

Through his years as a 4th generation Colorado Farmer, Agricultural Educator, Irrigation Sales and Service Technician and President/CEO of an irrigation distribution company covering the Western United States and Mexico, Doug has developed a unique set of skills and experiences specializing in the use of advanced irrigation systems, including the use of soil tension technology in the efficient and sustainable application of ag water.

Doug’s hands on style and ability to develop personal relationships, along with his love for the industry and strong desire to contribute to its growth and sustainability are key to the success of his clients, as well as to that of he and his family.

  • (970) 481-0655

Cody Jones

Midwest, Northeast

Hortau’s sales representative and technical support specialist for the Midwest and Northeast, Cody has a degree in environmental Science from St. Norbert College in De Pere.

A Wisconsin native, Cody has worked in cranberry marshes and traditional row crops for both private farming operations and precision irrigation companies based in Wisconsin.

Cody understands the unique challenges Northern growers face throughout the seasons, and is committed to helping growers improve their farming practices.

  • (920) 246-9130

Caroline Letendre


Caroline has a degree in Agricultural Economics and an MBA from Laval University.

She counts numerous experiences in agriculture such as nursery, dairy farming and processing, in-vitro culture, farm management training and trade missions. She speaks French, English and Spanish.

Caroline has been part of the Hortau team since 2009. She is currently in charge of direct sales and developing new markets in Canada, Midwest and Northeastern U.S. She has worked extensively with cranberry growers from coast to coast in both Canada and the U.S., helping them improve production and the profitability of their operations.

  • 418-836-7927 x229

Francis Desaulniers


Francis has an environmental ag degree from Laval University. He also has a degree in ag mechanical engineering from the Institut de la technologie agroalimentaire (ITA).

During his studies, Francis received several distinctions and awards of excellence for his work. Throughout college, Francis interned at Hortau in 2013-14, and re-joined the team in 2016 as a sales representative and technical support specialist.

  • (418) 836-7927 ex. 231

Mohammed Benzaria


Mohammed is in charge of sales and business development for Hortau in Morocco.

He is an agricultural engineer with a Masters of Science degree from University of Quebec in Montreal, and speaks French, English and Arabic.

Mohammed started his career in the Ministry for the agriculture of Morocco, direction of rural equipment, division of great hydraulics. He is a specialist in hydraulics, carrying out several projects for pumping stations, irrigation and wet utilities.

  • 212 (0) 677923180