Who Are We?
We are a highly innovative, efficient, family-oriented farming operation, creating a growing and prosperous enterprise for owners, investors, and future generations. We believe in giving back to our local community, supporting global missions, and fostering a family-friendly farm environment.
Jon and Heather Oden
Kenny Tucker Larry Smith
Agronomy & Production Technology Seed Sales & Operations
Jeremy Lewis Steven Fankhauser Operations Operations
What is Our Vision?
Growing Innovation and Nurturing Stewardship with everything entrusted to us.
What is Our Mission?
Sterling Heritage Farms is dedicated to Servant Leadership.
What Sets Us Apart?
- A proven track record of yields higher than the county average using no-till practices, GPS, RTK, and other technology standards at our operation .
- A highly qualified staff including a certified crop consultant on staff with over 20 years of experience.
- A full line of modern equipment which allows us to take the best care of your land possible, increasing productivity and reducing down-time.
- One of the only farms in the county with on-farm storage for 100% of production, allowing for efficiency, cost savings, timeliness, and many more marketing options.
- A history of financial stability using standardized accounting practices and professional financial advisors who review our finances quarterly to create a solid financial base.
- Belief in good stewardship backed by conservation practices. Over fifteen years of conservation tillage experience aids in limiting soil erosion and leaching, maximizing yield, protecting the environment, and ensuring that your land maintains and builds nutrient value for generations to come.
- Currently in the process of becoming environmentally certified by Validus, an independent 3rd-party auditor.
Our Commitment to You…
Competitive rent and crop share options with on-time rent payments (monthly or bi-annually) and formal written lease contracts.
Grain Marketing Assistance:
Truly Competitive Input Pricing:
Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability:
Clear, Consistent Communication:
Personal attention because we are thankful for your trust & business!
Achievements and Advanced Training:
Both Jon and Heather have deep agricultural roots with their families’ rich history in farming.
Heather’s great-great-great grandfather was a Cherokee Indian chief, Archibald "Achilla" Scraper, who owned and farmed over one thousand acres, including a peach tree orchard in Georgia in the 1800’s. He was forced on the Trail of Tears as a teenager. He was Captain of the 2nd Regiment, Indian Home Guard, a Delegate to Washington multiple years- meeting with Lincoln regarding Cherokee affairs, was President of the Cherokee Nation Senate, and was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation in 1877. He also served as the foreman during the trial of Zeke Proctor during the "Goingsnake Massacre". Heather’s maternal grandfather was a 3rd generation farmer in northeastern Kansas.
Archibald Scraper Heather's Great Grandfather, Herbert Lehmann, on a Thresher Circa 1940
Today, Jon and Heather are proud to be 5th generation producers in Jon’s family. The original Oden farmstead was exactly two miles east of the current location. Great-great Grandpa Jon Jacob Oden gifted an 80-acre tract of land to each of his nine children. His son Arthur received the tract where the current farmstead remains.
The Original Farmstead and Home Prior to 1935 Dora and Arthur Oden's Family- Wilmer (Top Center)
In 1934, Wilmer Oden returned from Pittsburg State University and, after managing a gas station for a year, he and his wife Anita joined his parents on the family farming operation. In 1935, the original home burned to the ground while Anita was expecting their first son Arthur (“Buddy”). She and Wilmer lived in a small stone outbuilding while the currently-standing home was built; it was completed in 1936 which, as Anita was always quick to remind everyone, was "the hottest summer on record."
The Oden Farmstead Circa 1940 Buddy and Jan's Wedding
Buddy graduated from Emporia State University in 1959 with a degree in Secondary Education. While pursuing a degree in engineering at Kansas State University, Buddy decided to return to the family farm with his wife, Jan. Buddy and Jan liquidated the dairy cow and chicken operations and focused on crops and cattle. During the 1970’s and 80’s, they ran 1,000 head of feeder cattle, added four irrigation systems, and in 1985 began construction of their grain bins, the first phase of their on-farm grain storage facility.
In 1994, Jon, Buddy and Jan’s son, graduated from Kansas State University with an Agribusiness degree and married Heather that August. They moved back to Jon’s hometown of Sterling, Kansas to farm with Jon’s parents. Heather transferred from Kansas State and finished her degree in Elementary Education at Sterling College. She began teaching 2nd grade while still maintaining an active role in the farming operation. Four years later, in August of 1998, ten days after Jon’s father passed away following a long battle with cancer, Jon and Heather welcomed their first child. At that time Jon assumed managerial responsibility for the farming operation, naming it Oden Land and Livestock. Heather resigned her teaching position to stay home, raise their growing family, and help with the operation.
Herd Bull- Thunderhoof Two Herd Cows from Bluestem Buffalo Ranch
From 1996 to the present the operation has seen many changes. Oden Land and Livestock went from conventional tillage to a no-till operation that incorporates the use of precision planting, GPS harvesting, zone management and RTK. The operation more than doubled. For a period of eleven years, Jon and Heather also started and operated Bluestem Buffalo Ranch. They raised and marketed their own buffalo meat across south central and southeast Kansas. They also shipped their buffalo meat across the United States using their e-commerce web site. Although they no longer sell buffalo meat, they do continue to offer occasional guided buffalo hunts.
The Construction of the Pit, Leg, and Bin System
Two more grain bins were added in 1991 and 1999. Then in 2008, Jon and Heather built a grain leg, scale, pit and three overhead bins in addition to a 90,000-bushel bin.
Sterling Heritage Farms
In 2012, Oden Land and Livestock became Sterling Heritage Farms. Currently Sterling Heritage Farms is mainly a crop and cattle operation that grows wheat, corn, milo, soybeans and alfalfa.