Producer of the Month

October 2018 - Loren Helmer


“It’s exciting to start and satisfying to finish.” Loren Helmer is certainly looking forward to this year’s harvest. “It’s going to be a good one. As soon as it dries out, we’re ready to go.” The first day and the last day are Loren’s most gratifying parts of harvest time. To him (and safe to say most growers), the middle is kind of a blur. Between early mornings, late nights, and market-watching, October through November is one of the busiest times of the year for all area farmers. Not only are the watching the markets, but the weather as well. Their entire fall depends on factors that are uncontrollable, which is possibly why it is so satisfying to finish out the season.

Loren Helmer officially started farming in the Andover area in 1989. Although this was the year his career began, his farming experience started much earlier. He grew up on a farm and is a third-generation farmer, so he has seen the many ups and downs of the industry. One of the biggest changes Loren has encountered is the advances in equipment. “The comfort and the speed that things get done is impressive.” The relationships with his neighbors have also been tremendously helpful for Loren. “We help each other out when need be. I know if I need someone in 10 minutes, they’ll be here. And if they need me, I can be there for them.” There is something to be said for having good neighbors.

“It’s all about service for me.” Loren works closely with our Pierpont agronomy location and has a strong preference for customer service as well as solid relationships. “Just the other day, they stopped by. It’s nice that they check in to make sure we’re satisfied. They make me want to do business there.” The feeling couldn’t be more mutual when discussing their relationship. “When farmers like Loren understand their business and ours, it makes it easier for both of us to work with each other. Full Circle Ag knows that we need each other to be successful and that is a key factor now and for the future. Customers are just not a name, they are who we are and why we are here.” Matt Nelson, Pierpont manager.         

The best part of being a grower? For Loren, it’s spring. “It goes from black to green really quick. The weather turns in your favor and things start looking up. Everything is looking forward.” The freshness of a new season is something to celebrate. Getting the crop in the ground is equally as busy as getting it out.

There have been huge improvements in chemicals and crop genetics throughout Loren’s years of farming. “In the amount of time that I’ve farmed, the corn yields are 2.5, maybe even 3, times better than they were before.” The increased yields have been very beneficial to offset increase costs associated with every day farming practices.

Loren’s view on the importance of cooperatives is straightforward: “The idea of collectively buying and collectively selling definitely has merit. And it works.” As service is Loren’s #1 priority, we look forward to building a strong working relationship.

Thank you, Loren Helmer, for being our October Producer of the Month! We appreciate your business and wish you a safe and prosperous harvest.