Iowa soybean grower on his farm

Member Feature: Brent Wells

July 19, 2022 | Jeff Hutton

Farming is more than a career for Fonda farmer Brent Wells; it’s an avocation.

A farm kid growing up, Wells took off for Iowa State University to study agriculture. He followed graduation with a stint at a seed and chemical company in Minneapolis.

But the desire to dig into the rich black soil of Pocahontas County called him home.

“I moved back to work on the family farm,” he says. “I love growing crops and taking care of what you plant; harvesting is my favorite.”

While he shares responsibility with his father, two uncles and cousins on the entire Wells farming operation, he specifically oversees 900 acres of soybeans and corn.

Seeing is Believing

In 2020, Wells participated in the Iowa Soybean Association’s Experience Class, which offers participants insight on a variety of issues, networking opportunities and more.

“I think the biggest thing that I took away from the class was just how involved the Iowa Soybean Association is with trade and policy, working with legislators and helping with infrastructure,” he says.

That knowledge base and his desire to succeed solidified Wells’ decision to stay on the farm.

A Way of Life

For him, farming is not about turning over the soil and working the land to produce a good crop.

“It’s a way of life,” he says. “It teaches my three kids about hard work, responsibility and accountability.”

And farming is a good primer for life’s unexpected challenges.

“It teaches you about being prepared for anything; what obstacles there are and getting through adversity,” he says.

When working in Minneapolis, Wells observed a co-worker who viewed his career as “just a job.”

“I couldn’t imagine having a job without a connection to agriculture. Right then, that was my ‘ah-ha’ moment.”

Being back on the farm for the past eight years, Wells is thankful he can spend time with his family.

“I’m grateful that I can raise my kids on the farm. They can see me riding on the tractor or the combine and spend time with me,” he says.

And as to the challenging work and the “number of hats” a farmer must wear, Wells says he cannot imagine life any differently.

“From selling crops and watching those markets, buying chemicals and fertilizer, being a mechanic or understanding the science, there’s no other industry like farming,” he adds.