Fifteen years ago, when Kurt started helping his dad on the family farm in Stanford, Montana, he did a little bit of everything. “I ran equipment and just did what needed to be done, or what dad told me to do.”
As he’s gained experience, Kurt has grown into a managerial role on the farm, transforming into the brains of the operation. “I do a lot of research and reading on the changes we’re going to make. It’s not something we just go into and just do it on a whim,” Kurt said. “Intellectual curiosity about what we want to do is my style.”
Together, Kurt and his dad grow a variety of crops, though they primarily produce wheat, both hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat. Additionally, Kurt and his wife PJ rent rangeland from the family farm corporation to run a cow/calf operation.
Kurt’s detailed preparation and thorough understanding of his business has helped him to build a strong relationship with SharLa Lalum, the Myllymaki’s relationship manager at Northwest Farm Credit Services. “What I really like about working with Kurt is that he’s always prepared. I know that when he comes into the office he has a great plan and he’s spent time researching and finding out the impacts and implications to the operation, not only from an operational standpoint, but also from a financial standpoint,” SharLa said.
“We first started working with Farm Credit about 13 years ago and we’ve always worked with SharLa. It’s been a great relationship as far as the trust that we feel with her,” Kurt added.
True to his “style” of curiosity, Kurt is motivated to continue working day-in and day-out to improve the operations of his farm and his business. “If we keep continuing to better our soil health and our financials, it’ll help us keep excited about what we’re doing and that, I think, leads to a strong quality of life, when you’re excited to come to work every day.”