HARRISTOWN — The red equipment found on various farms around Central Illinois represent a strong relationship between the farmer and Jenner Ag, the company that sells the products.
Jenner Ag is a franchise for Case IH products.
“In the ag world it’s either red, green or other,” said Clint Hohenstein, Jenner Ag chief financial officer. “Red represents the Case IH.”
Gorden Jenner founded the business in 1961 and settled in its Harristown building more than 40 years ago.
The relationship between Jenner Ag and the farmers has grown in recent years. The company has three divisions, including an application business in Harristown and the precision business in Fairbury, as well as the most recent agriculture business in Taylorville. The company expanded to include the ag store five years ago.
“In other words, we sell tractors and combines,” Hohenstein said.
The Fairbury staff helps farmers modify combines, tractors or planters. “They add more technology to it, to make it more accurate, more efficient,” Hohenstein said. “That may be auto-steer, where the tractor drives itself through the field using global positioning.”
The Taylorville and Fairbury staff work directly with the farmers.
They start with the sale of the equipment or machinery, then service the product and provide the parts.
“We want to get the customers what they need,” said Jessica Armentrout, parts director in Taylorville.
The relationship between the farmer and Jenner Ag representatives is tight. “It depends on how they want to be treated,” said account manager Wyatt Hohenstein, Clint's brother. “Some I check in with weekly, monthly, quarterly. Some require more attention, some do not. No two are the same.”
Farmer Bryon Coffman, 47, is farming the Moweaqua land his family has owned since 1951. His son, Nathan, will be a fourth generation farmer. “Hopefully he will,” Coffman said. The family farms 2,000 acres, working closely with the Jenner Ag group.
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“I can’t say anything bad about Jessica and Wyatt,” Coffman said.
Coffman’s work is aided by the knowledgeable company and their assistance. “They go above and beyond,” he said. “The busy time of year they will bring whatever you need to you.”
Coffman recently had difficulties with a piece of equipment. He notified Jenner Ag, which was able to provide the part immediately. “They drove the 30-miles from Taylorville to Moweaqua,” he said. “We didn’t lose any time.”
Along with the traditional farmer, Jenner Ag also works with the retail agronomy customers, or the people who need fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. The Harristown staff serve these customers.
“However, we greatly impact those farmers by distributing a very sound product and service to the retailer,” Clint Hohenstein said. “We are considered a distributor. They (Taylorville and Fairbury staff) are considered a dealer.”
Christian, Sangamon and Macon counties are represented at the Taylorville business. Harristown services Illinois and Indiana. Fairbury works with farmers in Livingston and surrounding counties.
“We basically know all the same people,” Hohenstein said. “But we have a diversified business, not just the tractors and combines; manufacturers are also all-encompassing.”
According to Hohenstein, the Illinois and Indiana land is one of the best areas in the country for farming. “It’s a fight every year between Christian, Macon, McLean and Sangamon of who is going to have the best corn,” he said.
The late planting season was a challenge to area farmers, but Hohenstein has witnessed the fields producing healthy crops.
“That is a testament to the soil and the condition that we are blessed to operate in,” Hohenstein said. “It is very forgiving.”
The farmer’s trust is important for the company. “We work on the relationship to keep it going when they are down,” Armentrout said. “We want to keep them moving and being productive.”
“We are just here to help them along,” Wyatt Hohenstein said.