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Producing Excellence

Jerry and Dana Miller

Deering, ND

Agritec, Inc. and Farming Operations

Products: Canola, wheat, corn, soybeans and agronomy products

Size of Operation: 6,000 acres

In Business Since: 1986

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit Services of North Dakota

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1986

Farming a 6,000 acre spread wasn’t enough of a challenge for Jerry and Dana Miller, who founded agronomy company Agritec, Inc., in 1999 and have been expanding sales ever since. In fact, Jerry says, they’ve grown 20% every year since they started, growth that they anticipate to continue.

Third generation farmer Jerry started farming right out of high school, taking over his family’s operation and adding acreage over time and selling his crop to local elevators. At the same time he was running their sizeable farm, he was also an aerial applicator, piloting a plane to treat crops from the air, and began selling crop protection products to local farmers.

It was this interest in agronomy – which includes fertilization and other chemical inputs that reduce water usage, protect plants and increase yields, leading to less expensive food for consumers – that led the couple to establish their now very successful company, building on Jerry’s agricultural knowledge and Dana’s business management skills. They operated Agritec out of their home office until 2002 when they purchased a nearby grain elevator, a significant investment that included building their first outdoor blending plant to provide fertilizer for themselves and other area farmers. At this plant, they custom blend fertilizer not based simply on crop, but very specifically to address each individual customer’s soil needs, spending hours on the phone each day consulting with farmers about their fertilizer needs. This level of service led quickly to expansion.

“It didn’t take long to outgrow the first plant,” says Jerry, and in 2008 they built a new indoor blending plant facility. “In a normal year we’ll ship between 7,000 and 9,000 tons of blended fertilizer to sites in Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota.” This is no small task when you consider that all material has to be shipped in and out by truck. “The rail spur was abandoned some time ago, and transportation is certainly a challenge,” says Jerry.

“We are very lucky that Jerry and I are very good business partners,” says Dana. “We’ve built a good life for ourselves, and an awesome life for our kids.” And with much appreciation, Dana states, “We couldn’t do it all alone. We are very lucky to have the outstanding employees that we do.”

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