Local Farm Manager Keeps Clients Ahead of the Curve, Wins Award
To Schmitt, being able to problem-solve is one of the keys to being a successful farm manager.
“I’m the first to admit that I do not have the answers to all problems,” he said. “What I do have after 27 years in the field is the knowledge to call for help when I need it.”
Schmitt’s clients trust that he will keep them informed about any new technologies or solutions that may be a good fit for their property.
“Tiling has become very important here in the Midwest, where we have dark, heavy soils,” said Brent Rockers, professional farm manager lead at Syngenta “However, it can be pricey to install. Ken has been able to convince his clients to spend the money upfront to install tiling because in the long run it will help to increase their yields.”
click image to zoom[Left to right] Paul Joerger, 2013 ASFMRA president; Craig Abell, Syngenta; Rick Patton, Vance Publishing/AgProfessional; Ken Schmitt, Farmers National Company; Brent Rockers, Sygenta; and Bob Kacvinsky, Syngenta.
ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD
Client Jim Rundle praised Schmitt for his ingenuity and forward thinking.
“Ken convinced us early on that tiling was the way to go, and we’ve noticed a big difference in our fields,” said Rundle, DDS at Rundle Brothers LLC in Indianola, Iowa. “Spots that were previously under water are no longer there. Our production has increased immensely thanks to Ken. I am very confident that he will always have the latest information to bring to us if he thinks changes should be made. We can trust that he’ll see that things get done.”
Schmitt also has successfully modified crop rotations to increase production and profits on his clients’ land.
“I’ve been trying to analyze different rotations to determine what’s the most economical and profitable for a particular farm,” Schmitt said. “We’ve really seen a payoff in the past three or four years with a continuous corn rotation, in some cases increasing bottom lines by more than $100 per acre.”
TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION
When Schmitt is not out managing various properties, he is actively involved on the board of directors for Farmers National Company and enjoys spending quality time with his children and grandchildren.
His son Bryce, 23, has learned everything he knows about agriculture from his dad.
“He likes to show me things that he learned when he was a kid from his own dad,” Bryce said. “He shows me how they did it back in the day, and it’s really cool to see how things have changed over the years.”