All across the country, farmers work hard every day to produce food for the nation and their communities. America’s rich landscape allows farmers to grow a variety of crops and raise livestock.
If you’re a farmer, whether you produce poultry products that you take to your local market or grow corn on a large scale, you provide services on which every community depends. Being a manufacturer in the agricultural industry, Chief Agri understands the importance of supporting farmers the same way that farmers support everybody else.
Chances are you’re familiar with the service-oriented professionals at Chief Agri. The company has been in business for over 60 years, providing grain storage solutions to farmers. But that’s not all the Nebraska-based company does. Chief Agri is a brand of Chief Industries, a business that supports the agricultural community in more ways than meets the eye.
“We don’t have one singular way we support our farmers,” says Beth Frerichs, Chief Industries’ director of marketing and communications. “We truly support our producers on a large scale in many ways.” As a family-owned and -operated company that puts people first, Chief’s goal is to provide solutions that take care of your livelihood.
Strong relationships drive community connection for Chief Agri
At first glance, it’s easy to see how Chief Agri’s products benefit farmers. Many farmers are familiar with the company’s innovative grain storage solutions that minimize storage costs while maximizing product quality.
The company also produces the Chief Pivot Walker, which was a hot contender for the Nebraska Manufacturing Alliance’s 2022 Coolest Thing Made in Nebraska competition. The Pivot Walker replaces conventional pivot tires and instead uses foot pads to trap mud and prevent deep, costly ruts in your field.
And all of this is because Chief Agri listens to its customers and responds to their needs. The company values agility and relevancy and maintains direct lines of communication with the community to ensure they’re always providing what farmers need.
“We’re with them in every single phase of growing their business, farm or co-op,” says Jose Mesa, Chief Agri district manager. “We think about the entire agricultural community and industry and constantly ask how we can best support them.”
Chief even has its own transportation operation, Chief Carriers, to ensure that Chief can oversee care for the customer’s needs. Chief’s trusted carriers supply dependable transportation solutions across all 48 contiguous states and Canada. Their professionals deliver materials on time, to wherever the end customer needs them.
From home to the fields, farmers can feel secure with Chief products
Chief prides itself on providing durable, cost-effective solutions to farmers that don’t just serve their operational needs in the field, but also serve their families at home. The company’s modular home division, BonnaVilla, produces custom homes, constructed with high-quality materials at a reasonable price. With a durable home that won’t break the bank, farmers can rest easy knowing they can depend on Chief’s engineering to keep their families safe.
Homes aren’t the only tried-and-true constructs under Chief’s purview. Chief Buildings provides versatile, energy-efficient solutions across many industries and markets, including recreational facilities, retail spaces and warehouses. Whether you’re a farmer who depends on Chief’s strong and environmentally conscious materials to house your equipment, or you’re a business owner who needs a manufacturing space to produce the goods that support you and your family, Chief Buildings has you covered.
Processes that provide income opportunities to farmers
Chief does more than provide top-quality products for farmers to optimize their operations. Chief operates two of Nebraska’s 24 ethanol plants, contributing to Nebraska as the No. 2 ethanol-producing state in the country. In 1990, Chief Ethanol purchased Nebraska’s first dry-mill ethanol plant that has been in production since 1985. Chief acquired its second plant in 2016. Between the two plants, Chief can produce over 120 million gallons of fuel annually.
Chief’s presence in the ethanol industry is also an opportunity for farmers to generate income. Farmers can sell their grain to Chief’s ethanol plants. Not only do the plants make ethanol from this grain, but high-value animal feed goes back into farmers’ hands to support their livestock production.
“We look at how we can support them on the back end, not just through grain storage, but by providing an opportunity for producers to sell directly to us,” says Frerichs. “We’re supporting agriculture producers on both sides.” The high moisture content and transportation costs mean farmers local to Chief’s two plants experience the greatest benefits of accessing this animal feed for their livestock production.
Working directly with local organizations to uplift communities
The Chief Foundation is another avenue through which the company invests in the agricultural community at large. The foundation partners with local organizations to support communities where it counts. In Rensselaer, Indiana, for instance, the Chief Foundation recently provided a grant for a new childcare program to help alleviate the stress many families were facing by the childcare shortage. From supporting United Way efforts to valuing the agricultural education efforts of the FFA, Chief invests in communities, letting local partners lead the way.
“We find local organizations where we know their impact will be giving to the people in the local community,” says Frerichs.
Chief’s operating model focuses on people, whether farmers benefit from the company’s line of products or families benefit from Chief’s investment in their community. The folks at Chief listen to their customers’ and community contacts’ needs to continue earning the agricultural community’s trust.
-written by Amy Carpenter-Driscoll, Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer