Nestled in Gering, Nebraska, Kiesel Farms is a thriving three-generation farm that stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of family and technological innovation. Established in 1960, this farm initially specialized in the cultivation of beets, beans, and corn. Over the years, it has evolved into a 7,500-acre operation, producing alfalfa, corn, and wheat.
The farm's journey began in 1960 when Cody Kiesel's grandfather took the first steps into farming. Following closely in his footsteps, Cody's father, Randie, joined the family venture straight out of high school. It was only a matter of time before Cody, after earning a welding degree, decided to come back to the farm.
"Our operation has grown quite a bit since Cody got involved with us,” Randie said. “He had pretty good offers to go somewhere else to weld, but he stuck it out here." For Cody, the decision to carry on the family tradition was an easy one. He states, "I just decided I wanted to raise a family here, too, like my parents and everybody did. It was a great life growing up, and I wanted to do the same thing for my kids.”
Technology Fuels Growth
The farm’s growth can also be attributed to the adaptive approach taken to technology. One pivotal moment was the adoption of GPS technology.
Cody shared, “I went and talked to my grandpa (about GPS), and he goes ‘we’re just going to get us one of those this year.’ We didn’t even go tell my dad, we just went and got it… It wasn’t two years later we had GPS on everything…If I didn't have GPS, I'd be lost because I spray everything on an angle or crosswise, whatever is the fastest way to spray.”
Kiesel Farms also utilizes John Deere's Operations Center and a combination of the Priority Service Program (PSP) and the Next Century Productivity Package offered by 21st Century Equipment, further solidifying their technological edge.
Cody shared a recent experience that highlighted these advantages: "Our combine broke down about a week ago. They have a program where if your combine breaks down throughout harvest, they have to have you another one within about 12 hours. I called them right away, and they brought us out a brand new 780 combine. I used it for two days, and we kept rolling until the combine was fixed."
The seamless integration of Operations Center played a vital role in this efficient response. Taylor Lackey, a salesman at 21st Century Equipment, emphasized the importance of having the Kiesel's equipment connected to Operations Center. "One of the important things to us is having these machines connected, so all the information and data is getting transferred over to Operations Center," he noted. "From a service side, it's big for us because they're (Kiesel Farms) is never in a spot where we can't really help them."
Kiesel Farms also actively participates in the Priority Service Program (PSP) with 21st Century Equipment, an initiative that offers annual check-ups and maintenance for their equipment. Cody believes this proactive approach is invaluable, sharing, "We actually get our combine PSP'd every single winter. I feel like everybody should probably do that.”
A Partnership with 21st Century Equipment and John Deere
Taylor Lackey has worked closely with Kiesel Farms over the last year and has enjoyed the diverse operation. “Kiesel have been a lot of fun to work with. Their operation in particular is pretty diverse. They do a lot of hay, and they do a lot of corn as well. It’s fun because it's a lot of different equipment and the scale that they're on is great to work with,” Taylor said.
Similarly, 21st Century Equipment is thankful to be Kiesel Farm’s dealer of choice. Cody affirms, "We've always just been John Deere. They've always taken care of us. I can call 21st Century Equipment, and they're out in 20 or 30 minutes most of the time. Those guys definitely take care of us."