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Mike & Kim Wilkens
Grain Producers
Gibbon, NE
Customers Since 2005

Why we chose agriculture

Mike: I’ve always wanted to be a farmer. I’m a fifth-generation farmer. I’ve never wanted to do anything else – I feel like I’m really living my dream.

Kim: I grew up on a farm in Texas, went to Texas A&M and moved to Nebraska to work for a grain elevator. I now work in ag equipment manufacturing and help on the farm. Agriculture is in our blood. It’s a great way to raise a family.

How we keep up to speed with modern agriculture

We teach our daughters how important it is to study, and we try to lead by example. We’re always reading farm magazines and watching ag programs on TV. (Mike) I still have my Certified Crop Adviser license so I stay informed on crop inputs, diseases, the latest technologies, etc.

We study the markets and subscribe to several newsletters that provide daily updates and let us know what’s happening in the world. A bad report from China or Brazil can impact our markets, so it’s important we understand what’s going on. We have little control over our prices, so we have to study and be on top of it. We also have to know what our cost of production is so we sell above it in order to make a profit.

Our greatest challenge

Crop prices can be a challenge and weather is a constant battle. We can go from too wet to no rain at all; luckily, we have irrigation.

In 2014, 90 percent of our crops were hailed out. We had damage to our house and it was so frustrating to have no crops that summer. The day after the storm, our financial officer brought us water while we were cleaning up. Having crop insurance was a huge relief. FCSAmerica got adjusters out right away and walked us through everything. They keep great records, so the process was smooth.

Our business approach

Our business approach is very family-oriented. We want to grow, but we want to be able to handle our acres ourselves. We try to balance a long-term vision while keeping our eyes on what’s happening now. We started with little to nothing and have always made purchases based on efficiency.

How we know we’re heading in the right direction

It starts with the numbers. We watch our financial ratios closely and we’ve steadily grown in acres. We get compliments on the way our crops look, and people have come to us to rent their land. If you do things right, it pays off.

Why we work with FCSAmerica

We’ve enjoyed their people. Our financial officer is a big part of why we came to FCSAmerica and why we stay. He’s a valued partner in our business. He’s not a crop insurance expert, but he has someone right there in the office he can use as a resource.

We appreciate being a customer-owner and receiving a cash-back dividend check at the end of the year. We have a voice in the organization and can vote on the board of directors.

FCSAmerica has been there for us throughout the last 10 years – through some struggles but also through good times. Having their support and knowing they’re backing us up is a good feeling.

The Future Of Our Farm

Mike and Kim Wilkens, Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producers, talk about their plans for expansion and transitioning their operation to their children.

Wilkens - future of agricultureThe Future Of Agriculture

Kim Wilkens, Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producer, talks about working in the cycles of agriculture and her outlook for producing food in the future.

 

Wilkens AgFCSAmerica Is Focused On Agriculture

Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producers Mike and Kim Wilkens talk about how they got started with FCSAmerica and how they benefit from working with a lender focused on agriculture.

Wilkens - Crop LossManaging Through A Complete Crop Loss

A storm system wiped out the vast majority of Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producers Mike and Kim Wilkens’ crops and home. Farm Credit Services of America helped them through the process of getting back on their feet.

Wilkens - Valued PartnerFCSAmerica Is A Valued Partner

Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producer Kim Wilkens talks about her family’s plans for the future and how FCSAmerica is helping them work toward those goals.

Wilkens - Digital ToolsFCSAmerica Online Tools Save Us Time

Farm Credit Services of America online tools help Gibbon, Nebraska, grain producers Mike and Kim Wilkens get more efficient and save time in managing their farm business.