Dave Ogden calls himself the second-and-a-half generation farmer on a farm near Wood River, NE. His grandfather moved to the farm in the middle of his milkman career, took the risk, and made a successful go at it. When Dave first started farming, he bought his farm in 1987 with 18% interest. His father, a lifelong mentor of Dave’s, helped him focus on keeping the money out of the banker’s hands, and Dave says it was the best decision he ever made. His father always said, “Time is the most valuable commodity,” and Dave lives by that statement. Now, 100% of his farm is irrigated corn that is turned into ethanol. Married, with five children, one grandchild and another on the way, Dave is the embodiment of a family farmer. When he can spend a day or two away from farming, Dave gets out and golfs, pheasant hunts and snowmobiles, and if he didn’t, he’d be farming every day. His motivation is his family, and now with his son coming back to the farm after school, Dave is thrilled that his farm is in the hands of people he trusts: his family and Aurora Coop. Dave relies on Aurora Coop and their teamwork to accomplish every goal he sets for his farm. Technological advances, seed choices and every other decision would not have the same value and impact as it does with the advice and collaboration with Aurora Coop.
Aurora Cooperative is at the top of their game in the industry. They are ahead of the curve with technology and innovation, they are incredibly knowledgeable people and they have people you like working with, who know your operation and your goals. They make things easier on our operation because they are experts. We trust our salesperson, Bryce Consbruck, and he helps us try new things that don’t break the bank. We want to out produce our competitors. My dad raised me to be different and we are not afraid to be different.
Owners Acres allows us to perform research on a bigger scale, with the focus being on management systems and treatment timings. We work closely with Real Farm Research to find new solutions that will bring value and yield to our Owners Farms. With the constraints of 2020, smaller groups and one-on-one tours were offered for increased safety.
Since its inception, Owners Acres has grown to include:
- 200 acres in Hastings, Nebraska both irrigated and dryland,
- 24 dryland acres in David City, Nebraska
- And 33 acres in Central City, Nebraska
Brandon Hamer is the Director of Precision Crop Management for Aurora Coop. Their team is responsible for the 325 acres of Owners Acres across four locations in Central Nebraska. The Precision Crop Management team interacts with employees and growers regarding new technologies in planting and application while looking at innovative farm management practices. 2020 saw record yield results in several trials at Owners Acres.
Working as a Family
Jason Throener is the VP of Sales and Operations for our Agronomy team. With 16 years of experience at Aurora Coop, Jason has held multiple positions including Location Manager, Business Unit Manager and Director of Procurement. His years of experience have brought him to overseeing all agronomy sales and operations. Jason believes that no matter what happens, pandemics or even year-to-year weather challenges, tougher together means doing what is necessary to get the job done. That starts with the unique personal connections and relationships we strive to have with our farmer-owners. In 2020, our team was resilient in keeping safety and health top of mind for our growers and ourselves as we never stopped servicing acres. “We learned how important our faith, family and friends were through the challenges of 2020. My time here has taught me this is more than just a place to work. It’s a family both with the employees and our farmers. Strong family farms supporting their cooperative circle back into building strong rural communities.”
We had a wind event that took out some of our trial results, but we collected data on the majority of our trials and overall, it was a favorable growing season. Owners Acres was able to accomplish these feats through implementing management practices that have continually improved our farms. Our team wakes up in the morning focused on helping our owners produce more bushels in an efficient manner, and we are able to demonstrate many of those practices at Owners Acres. Tougher together starts with a relationship where we are both working together, hand in hand, from Owner Acres tour events all the way to meeting with farmers in their shops or dining room tables throughout the winter months.
The Show Must Go On
Regardless of it being at the height of quarantine, near perfect weather conditions set the stage for our farmers to get their crop planted in 10 days. Hitting this window with service that doesn’t stop until the job is finished is what makes us tougher together. But to be tough, you have to prepare. Our competitive edge is logistical management. Just because our locations limited interactions, it didn’t keep our products from getting to your farm. We used the opportunity to serve you where you needed us. We learned that where we work doesn’t constrain us from what we do for your operation.
Our Research, Healthy Farming
Director of Real Farm Research, Chad Hill, oversees the verification of seed value with small plot research through the hills and plains of the Midwest. “Everything we do is for the farmers. All of our workers are willing to get their boots dirty and work to ensure we provide value in everything we do and help make the best decisions while being there to help farmers with their operations. Through the pandemic we are truly there with the farmers through the thick and thin. We are still out there validating products showing their value.”
Real Farm Research
Real Farm Research works with Prairie Valley and A-Brand seed to conduct small plot research for both corn hybrids and soybeans variety trials, along with trialing of our R2G product line-up. With 21 locations in five states including Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska, Real Farm Research tests seed samples in many different environments, which increases verification of crop yield and seed value.
Prairie Valley locally tests and selects highly valuable seeds providing you with the most potential for your farm.
Prairie Valley was good for me this year- stood good & yielded good on my farm. I will be planting this again!