If precision agriculture is the process of placing the exact amount of crop inputs needed at the precise time and place that they are needed most, then what is precision marketing? Precision marketing would mean using technology to provide potential customers with timely information most useful to them. One rural Kansas company is on the leading edge of such technology.
During the past two weeks, we have learned about the Mertz family. Today in the conclusion of this three-part series, we’ll meet the younger generation: Abram Mertz. Abram and brother Lincoln are founders and co-owners of LivestockDirect in Manhattan, a printing and marketing company which is essentially using precision marketing to benefit its customers – seed stock cattle producers across the country. Abram and his siblings grew up on the family farm and went to high school at the nearby rural community of Wamego, population 4,372 people. Now, that’s rural.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and two U.S. senators enter the room. That sounds like a description of a Washington, D.C. hearing room, but in this case, it refers to what happened recently in the stone barn of a leading farm family in rural Kansas.
Last week we learned about longtime agricultural leaders Jeanne and Harold Mertz of River Creek Farms near Manhattan. Today, River Creek Farms is owned by two of their sons, Joe and Bob, and their wives Kim and Mary, respectively. The Mertz farm recently hosted the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for a meeting with Kansas farm leaders.
“1 Kansas farmer feeds more than 155 people + You!” Signs proclaiming this message are frequently seen along the highways and byways of Kansas. These signs demonstrate the passionate advocacy for agriculture which is found in an innovative farm family in rural Kansas.
Jeanne and Harold Mertz were the farm couple who initiated this farm sign project and other projects to benefit agriculture. Harold grew up on a farm southeast of Manhattan. He was a charter member of the Zeandale 4-H Club. During his last year in 4-H, he showed the grand champion steer at the American Royal.
Harold attended K-State where he met Jeanne, who was born in Kansas City, Kansas and had grown up in Oskaloosa. They married and moved back to his family farm, which was named River Creek Farms because it was situated in the Kaw River valley between the Kansas River and Deep Creek.
The Mertzs were grain farmers and producers of cattle and sheep. Harold would feed thousands of lambs in a typical winter. The Mertzs also raised five children: Joe, Tom, Bob, Jane, and Jon.
Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University writes Kansas Profile. The weekly posts highlight individuals or companies in rural Kansas who are making a difference to their community and state.
The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is a public / private partnership between Kansas State University and the Huck Boyd Foundation. The mission of the institute is to help rural people help themselves. Learn more at www.huckboydinstitute.org.