Adams Bank and Trust’s More For Your Business Magazine for June 2014 - page 4

JUNE 2014
Planting the Seeds
“Farming was in our blood,” says Kerry.“Our grandfather,
dad, and uncles were all farmers. Kurt and I were raised
inKersey, Colorado until 1976, whenwemoved to Imperial,
Nebraska. Our dad knew we wanted to farm since we
were young. We were both active in Future Farmers of
America (FFA) and 4-H and started out growing sugar
beets. We were never athletes. Our hearts were farmers.
It’s all we cared about and thought about, and still do.”
Kurt adds, “We went to college and afterwards, wanted
to farm. For years our dad worked on building relationships
with people in Imperial and it was these relationships
that first gave us the opportunity to get our foot in the
door. In 1983, we rented some farmland and borrowed
or rented the machinery we needed. We initially paid
for things through FHA borrowing, then went to bank
financing. In those days, we grew dry beans (such as
pinto beans) and corn. In later years, we added popcorn.
We briefly had a herd of cattle and some sheep, but got
out of that to focus on farming.”
Impressive Growth Over Three Decades
In 1990, Kerry and Kurt Bernhardt formed the partner-
ship KAK Inc. in order to qualify for some government
programs. Explains Kerry, “We buy land through KAK
Inc. Our first irrigated quarter was purchased in 1995,
followed by three more in 1997. We bought additional
land in Nebraska in 2004, 2006, and 2007. This year,
we bought a couple more irrigated quarters in Phillips
County, Colorado. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve
come.We started our farming business with two irrigated
quarters and two pivots. We now have multiple farms
of operation and own 23 pivots and rent six.”
The primary land of Bernhardt Family Farms is in
Chase County, Nebraska. Today, the operation mainly
grows irrigated corn, but also has wheat, dry beans,
and soybeans.
Notes Kurt,“Last fall, we decided to get back into custom-
fed cattle. A neighbor does the feeding for us using corn
we grow.”
Family Farms
The success story of Bernhardt Family Farms is a unique one. While brothers Kerry and Kurt Bernhardt
did grow up with parents and other relatives who farmed, they did not take over a family farm.
Instead, they started this farming operation on their own—an extremely difficult challenge due
to the financial requirements of land and machinery.
Two fiercely determined and
hardworking brothers built a
success from the ground up
L to R:
Kristi Bernhardt,
Kurt Bernhardt,
John Paisley
(AB&T President
of Ag Banking), and
Kerry Bernhardt
Photo by Pages of Time By Ann
1,2,3 5,6,7,8
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