For Kristjan Hebert, farming is an ongoing puzzle of challenges and solutions. As managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Hebert is always noodling a problem farmers face. He likes to think big and think disruptive.
After a five-year detour as a CPA, Hebert returned to his farming roots. He started farming on his own and in 2009, he combined his 1,200 acres with his parent’s 4,500 acres.
Today, the operation includes 22,000 acres of malt barley, canola, wheat, yellow peas, rye and hemp. It employs eight full-time and five-part-time team members and is a partnership between Hebert and his wife, Theresa, his parents, Jeff Warkentin and Evan Shout.
Growth like this doesn’t happen by chance. To sustainably expand, Hebert followed three principles:
- • People are an investment.
- • Technology is an optimizer.
- • Working capital and risk management are the engine.
As farmers around him eyed retirement, Hebert created a merger and acquisition strategy, which includes staggered purchasing plans to help with tax optimization for the retiring party. In addition, the retiring farmer or his team can contribute labor or become part of the Hebert Grain Ventures team.
Hebert wears many hats. He has formed several businesses that provide everything from risk management and finance consulting to insurance products to human resources technology to CFO services.
As a member of his advisory team points out, when Hebert sees an opportunity, he is willing to take a leadership role in making it happen.
The team at Hebert Grain Ventures rely on their legacy statement to guide all decisions. That statement is: “To leave the dirt, financial statements, team members, community and industry in a better state than the last generation.”
That next generation includes the Heberts children: Bentley and Ivy.
Sponsored by BASF, Rabo AgriFinance and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 21st year and represents the best in the business of farming. Three finalists are chosen from numerous applications by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality; financial and business progress; and industry and community leadership.
The three finalists received all-expense-paid trips to attend the Summit, as well as sessions with a CEO coach, courtesy of BASF. The winner also receives the tractor of their choice, either a Steiger Rowtrac or a Magnum Rowtrac from Case IH, for 150 hours of use on their farm, courtesy of Case IH. From Rabo AgriFinance, the winner receives a spot on one of the company’s upcoming “Connections in Global Ag” international trips.
This week’s Top Producer Summit in Chicago included Top Producer Seminar, Tomorrow’s Top Producer, Executive Women in Agriculture (EWA), Legacy Project Conference and Hemp College. for a week of networking and education for the nation’s executive farmers. More than 900 participants attended the Summit, including producers representing 4 million acres from 35 states and Canada.
This year’s seminar featured more than 30 different educational sessions around the theme “Drive 2020: All Systems Go,” for producers to hone their money, marketing and management skills.
Learn more about Top Producer Summit at www.TPSummit.com.
Platinum: Syngenta, Case IH, Bayer, Channel, Rabo AgriFinance and Fendt
Gold: Valent and Becks Hybrids
Silver: Corteva, BASF, AgXplore, Pioneer, Pivot Bio and Top Third Ag Marketing
Bronze: Farmers Mutual Hail, KCOE ISOM, Claas, Clifton Larson Allen, Conservis, Granular, Lincoln Financial and Ag Spectrum