Deering, North Dakota
When torrential downpours kept the Mogard family from even putting crops in the ground, crop insurance ensured their operation would have another chance to plant and prosper.
In the spring of 2011, there was a dark cloud hanging above the Mogard family farm. As he watched the rain come down and the season’s planting window close, Jason Mogard faced the realization no farmer wants: he wouldn’t be harvesting a crop this season.
The land Jason watched turn to mud had been purchased by his grandfather in 1941, shortly before heading off to fight in World War II. Jason’s father had grown up in a house that still stands on that farmstead three miles north of Deering, North Dakota. After his grandparents moved to Minot, Jason had made his life there with his wife, Donelle, and their three daughters.
As everything he had ever worked for on the farm grew soggy and saturated outside, Jason’s spirits never got bogged down. “Running my own operation is something I’ve always wanted to do. I just enjoy it, even the hard times,” says Jason. “It’s hard not to enjoy life in the country.” And it’s much easier to enjoy life when you’ve planned for those hard times.
The moment he realized he would be prevented from working his fields, Jason set Farm Credit Services of North Dakota (FCS) to work for him.
“In 2011, there was no crop. We just got a few acres seeded and it was nonstop rain. Everything was pretty much prevent plant that year. I had multi-peril with FCS, so I let them know I had prevent plant and they just knew what to do. It was real easy for me. They did all the work.”
Growing up on a farm, Jason has always known and appreciated the challenges that come with farming, the risks and rewards. He has also always known that he was meant to be a farmer and knows what is needed to take on those risks and reap those rewards.
Fresh out of high school, Jason worked for his dad, picking up the experience and insights that would inform his operation for years to come. In 1993, he married Donelle. A few years later, he started farming on his own.
Renting land from one neighbor at first, and additional land as other neighbors approached him, Jason expanded his operation, first teaming up with FCS for multi-peril insurance to protect his investments. When the opportunity arose to purchase his first quarter of land, he knew just where to look for advice and a real estate loan. With help from Farm Credit Services, he became a landowner, and it wasn’t too long before another 160 acres came up for sale. To Jason’s surprise, FCS advised him to “go ahead” and buy the second quarter, advice he’s glad he took.
Today, Jason raises wheat, canola and soybeans on 2,600 acres of owned and rented land. While they farm their own acreages, he still works side by side with his dad, sharing the cost and benefits of multiple four-wheel drive tractors, combines, air seeders and a self-propelled sprayer, as well as each other’s expertise and company. In the spring and around harvest time, his two brothers come to help, all together in the fields like when they were boys.
When the rain finally stopped in 2011, the land slowly absorbed the water and things went back to normal. The peace and quiet that Jason enjoys on the farm returned. His peace of mind, knowing that Farm Credit Services was there with him every step of the way, had only strengthened.
“I’d just like to thank Farm Credit for what they do for the small farmer and the community,” says Jason.
This article originally ran in Farm Credit Services of North Dakota's customer magazine, Inside Farm Credit Services.