Bob & Marilyn Heilman
Grain & Beef Producers
Customer since 1962
Why I chose agriculture
It’s what I know how to do. I started milking cows at age six. It’s been my only profession. I started farming in 1959 on the family farm that was bought in 1892 for $15 per acre by my grandpa. I had a dream of owning my own land and having a family. I got married in 1959 and had one son, John, with whom I now farm.
How I prepared myself for agricultural business
My preparation was probably done before I was 10 years old. I’ve learned by doing at the school of hard knocks. I learn from my mistakes.
Our greatest challenge
Weather – there have been years it’s been dry and we’ve wondered if it was ever going to rain, and there have been years it rained and we wondered if it was ever going to quit.
My business approach
I am very cautious. There have been times it has been a struggle to make ends meet. We struggled our first 10 years to pay for the first farm, for which I borrowed money from my dad at 4% interest. After our first farm was paid for we bought the second farm. It’s all worked out.
I try to look ahead to what’s going to happen in the future and capitalize on it. When John graduated from high school, the government had a $10-per-acre program for no-tilling soybeans. I bought a no-till drill and put John to work. That’s when he got his start farming. We try to jump on opportunities when they are there.
What I enjoy most about farming
I enjoy the little things. Yesterday morning we fetched a tractor that had broken down in the field. It was no big deal, but it’s fun even doing that. My wife has asked me why I don’t retire. I tell her it’s my hobby. It’s not work, just fun.
Interests outside of farming
My wife and I have done a lot of traveling. We’ve been in 49 states and 15 countries.
Why we work with FCSAmerica
I started with FCSAmerica in 1962 because my brother went to work there. It’s always been very enjoyable. It is easy to work with our financial officer.