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Producing Excellence

Harvey Heier

Grainfield, KS

Heier Farms

Products Raised or Grown: Corn, wheat, milo and cow/calf herd

Size of Operation: 6,000 acres, 100 head

In Business Since: 1977

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit of Ness City

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1982

Harvey Heier’s drive to expand his farming operation started when he was just out of high school and borrowed money to buy his first land. His farm also now includes what had been his father’s acreage, a father who also helped instill Harvey’s commitment to growth. “My dad always told me that once you can maintain what you’ve got, you can always go and get a little bit more,” Harvey says. “It’s just the drive in me.”

That drive has almost doubled the size of his farm to its current 6,000 acres, a growth that Harvey managed slowly and methodically to make sure that he could, indeed, effectively manage what he had. “Harvey takes a lot of pride in farming,” says Dennis McNinch, Harvey’s Farm Credit of Ness City loan officer for the past 25 years. “His farm looks like something out of a magazine. I think his peers look to him as the gold standard in good farm stewardship.”

Harvey’s approach to farming includes adopting new practices when they make sense for him. For example, he’s embraced no-till farming, which increases his yields and helps retain water in the soil. This is critical for a dry-land farmer such as Harvey, who jokes that in some years he’s more of a “drought land farmer.” One of Harvey’s most significant investments was in a local ethanol plant. “It seemed like the thing to do, and that it would really help the local economy,” he says. “And it has - it’s put a lot of people to work in the plant itself and the trucking outfits, and it’s helped the wet distillers.” It’s also provided an outlet for Harvey’s crop: he now sells 90% of his corn and a portion of his milo to the plant.

Harvey’s twin 19-year-old sons will be joining the farm full-time later this year when they finish college, and will be there to help with future expansions. “My dream is to keep gradually growing the farm so my two boys can have the same kind of lifestyle I’ve had,” Harvey says. “Rural America is a great place to live.”

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