2012 Professional Farm Manager of the Year: Brent Bidner
In addition to traditional lease types, Bidner manages a number of farms on the flexible cash rent lease system. “Flex cash rent leases are mutually beneficial because owners can enjoy higher profits in years of high crop performance while protecting farm operators in low crop performance years,” said Bidner. “The program is especially valuable as a risk management tool for operators, who I consider a partner and a key player in achieving farm goals.”
Bidner helps clients navigate the transition from one generation to the next. Here he is with Paul Gorden, left, president, Kenway Farm, and Paul’s father and previous farm president, Ken Gorden. One of Bidner’s institutional clients under the flexible cash rent lease system, Michael Septer at UBS AgriVest LLC, has nothing but praise for Bidner’s management of the entire process.
“He develops good relationships with our tenants, making sure that he gets all of the information from them that he needs for his reports to us as landowner,” said Septer. “I have worked with many farm managers over the years. Many that did a very good job for us. However, I have always put Brent at the very top of the list. In the 20-plus years that we have worked together, never once has he given us anything but a level of service that went beyond what would be expected of other managers.”
Beyond making day-to-day crop management decisions, Bidner plays an important role in transitioning farmland to future generations.
“Farm managers today play a very important role in the management of the land,” said Brent Rockers, district manager for Syngenta. “Today, more and more children come off the farm, go to school, and then take jobs off the farm and move away. So, as we go forward and families want to keep that land in the family, they are relying heavily on professional farm managers to manage their farm for them.”
Bidner recently assisted in transitioning farm leadership from one generation to the next for client, Kenway Farm. Paul Gorden was raised on the family farm and comes from a long line of farmers, but had no personal farming experience at the time he took the role over from his father, Ken.
When asked how Bidner helped Kenway Farm achieve a smooth transition in leadership, Ken Gorden, retired president of Kenway Farm, praised Bidner’s deep knowledge of agriculture. “You need somebody back here that knows what’s going on and knows how to do it, and Brent’s the person,” said Ken Gorden.
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