Meet KELLY HEITMANN. Kelly farms with his father Darrell near Belleville, Kansas and works closely with the Byron location.
Kelly came back to farm full-time in 2012 when his grandfather passed away. He had been a project manager for a highway construction company, had 3 young daughters who were about to start school, and his dad needed some help. It was the perfect time to return to his roots and farm full-time with family.
“I always knew I wanted to farm,” Kelly said. “My wife and I are both from the area, so it was always our goal to get back to the farm, but timing is certainly everything. We are very fortunate we were able to move back home to raise our kids in a small-town setting near our friends and family.”
Coming from project management, Kelly said he was constantly putting out fires and worrying about someone else’s agenda.
“It is so nice to set your own agenda and be your own boss,” he said. “I find it rewarding to know that we are raising quality products that are being used around the world for any number of things. It is also very satisfying to work the ground you grew up on.”
Kelly says his family has been working with the Aurora Cooperative team ever since we took over the Byron Coop.
“It’s a small community and my dad grew up with a lot of the employees, so the relationships run deep. It is great to be around friendly faces and people you know; it makes you more comfortable doing business with people you trust,” he said
Kelly believes that Aurora Cooperative has proven to be very customer focused.
“They care about customers and their success, and they try to introduce you to products that they believe are going to benefit your operation. These are things you maybe would not have considered on your own, but they are always looking out for you.”