Heartland Farms honored as 2018 Top Producer of the Year finalist

Wisconsin State Farmer
Top Producer Editor Sara Schafer congratulates Jeremie Pavelski of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wis., for being named a 2018 Top Producer of the Year finalist.

MEXICO, MO – Jeremie Pavelski, president of Heartland Farms in Hancock, Wis., has been honored as a 2018 finalist for Farm Journal’s annual Top Producer of the Year Award. He received recognition in front of more than 700 of his peers in Chicago, Ill., in late January.

Sponsored by Crop Science, A Division Of Bayer, and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 19th year and represents the best in the business of farming. Pavelski was among three finalists chosen by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry and community leadership.

For Pavelski, serving as president of Heartland Farms combines two passions: agriculture and technology. This innovative young farmer is leading his family’s operation, which began in 1873, to new levels of success.

Heartland Farms is a partnership between Jeremie; his father, Richard; Dave Knights; and TJ Kennedy. Spanning 24,000 acres, the top crop on this Wisconsin-based farm is potatoes, though they also grow sweet corn, canning peas, green beans and soybeans.

Annually 8,000 acres are dedicated to potatoes, most of which end up as potato chips.
After attending college, Jeremie joined the farm as IT director. As a data junkie, he started incorporating new field, agronomic, office and financial technologies to improve efficiency. Not only does the farm collect more data than ever, it also analyzes and makes decisions on it at rapid speed. This information is shared with every team member for cost-effective decision-making.

Heartland Farms includes 120 full-time and 150 part-time employees. The success of the operation depends on its team. The farm’s leaders conduct tri-annual employee reviews and offer regular training, as well as mentoring opportunities. They provide catered meals to every employee at harvest and offer bonuses based on good attendance.

Beyond being a large employer for the area, Heartland Farms is committed to its community.

Pavelksi holds numerous roles in leadership and community organizations. The operation and the Pavelksi family have committed to donating $450,000, to support their local school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. They’ve also committed $500,000 to help start a Breast Care Center in Stevens Point, Wis.

In being named a 2018 Top Producer of the Year finalist, Pavelski receives in-person and phone consultations with a CEO coach and a trip to the 2018 Commodity Classic, courtesy of Bayer, in addition to a trip to 2018 Chicago for the Top Producer Seminar. 

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