LADD — Lyle Eiten is finding out you can go home again, and be successful.
The 2012 St. Bede Academy has recently been hired as a new Channel Seedsman, serving the needs of Bureau County farmers.
Eiten studied agronomy at the University of Nebraska and put that education into practice for the last six years assisting farmers in Bureau, LaSalle and Putnam counties in selecting seed for their fields, assessing crops and reviewing yields.
The Peru native is living in Ladd with his wife, Casey, and dog, Stetson.
Eaten said he often is asked why he moved back to his home area considering the current economic state of Illinois. He credits a message from a speaker he had in the entrepreneurship program he was involved at the University of Nebraska.
“I was lucky to get to listen to a lot of different speakers but many carried the same message, which was go wherever you find a career you enjoy and can make a lot of money at, and do big things and then you can donate generously, etc.,” he said.
He also learned that if you don’t go back to your hometown and be successful, no one else will.
“In high school there was no shortage of classmates who couldn't wait to leave for bigger and better things, as some have,” Eiten said. “But my point and the speaker's point is that small towns are suffering and no one is coming to save them besides the people that grew up in them, for the most part.
“More profitable growers are more generous and spend more money in the small towns where they live. I have been very lucky to have worked with great people so far in my career and look forward to meeting more in the future.”
Eiten said his job with Channel will consist of many different aspects of farming, the most important of which is placing the right product (seed) on the right acre to maximize the growers return on investment.”
“I am also involved in every step beyond that, not only getting it ordered, but treating soybean seed, delivery, helping in anyway I can during planting, scouting at different growth stages from before emergence to harvest, weighing plots, helping to calibrate combines and grain carts with a weigh wagon during harvest, and then evaluating how the crop performed through analyzing yield data, satellite and drone imagery, etc. and seeing how we can improve upon that in the upcoming season,” he said.
“If you asked any of the growers I work with what sets me apart I expect they would say the service that I offer and new technology that I bring to the table. Farmers are spending a huge amount of money on inputs, like seed, to grow a crop and there is no room for error. I spend a lot of hours in my customers' fields doing my best to make sure nothing is missed and learning as much as I can about their acres.”
The Eitens started Eiten Feed LLC, which is a subdealer of Hueber Feed, LLC in November of 2018, which they are still running, along with selling Channel Seed.
Casey is an equine and companion animal specialist for Hueber Feed and originally from Lincoln, Neb.
In its press release, Channel said it looks forward to partnering with Eiten to continue to serve farmers in the area where he grew up.