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Producing Excellence

Jim Vermilya

Dover, MN

Vermilya Farms

Products Raised or Grown: Cash Crops

Size of Operation: 2,300 acres

In Business Since: Three generations

Farm Credit Partner: Compeer Financial

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1971

Anyone looking for proof of the value of hard work and honesty need look no further than Jim Vermilya, a successful cash crop farmer in Minnesota. Jim farms 2,300 acres of corn, soybeans and canning crops, 1,160 of which he owns. The rest he leases from 18 different landlords, some of whom he’s worked with for 42 years. Over this time, Jim has built a strong level of trust, so much so that his landlords look to him to determine fair lease rates each year.

One reason for this level of trust is that, in addition to Jim’s track record of fair dealing, he pays attention to conservation on the land he farms, taking care of it so it will continue to produce into the future – even if he’s not the one farming it. He takes steps to reduce erosion, and he’s introduced technological advancements such as grid soil sampling and analysis so he can carefully control site-specific micro-nutrient additives to enhance his harvest. Jim also works to minimize his cost per unit, which can help him set more favorable rental fees.

Jim also shares a strong relationship with Compeer Financial, which he says has been instrumental to his success over the years. “I say it all the time,” he says. “I couldn’t have done it without them.” In addition to providing equipment and building leases, Jim has also worked with Compeer on operating, equipment and real estate loans as well as crop insurance. Jim says that he appreciates Compeer’s advice as well as their high-quality educational programs, which help him in his business planning.

The Vermilya’s relationship with Farm Credit spans generations, beginning with Jim’s father, Hugh, and continuing with his son, Steve. Compeer’s Mike Christenson has worked with all three of these generations, though he laughingly says, “I hope I won’t be working with the fourth generation, if Steve’s son, Jack, decides to get into farming. But only because I’d like to be retired by then.”

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