Who We Are



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
Owners

                                                           

                                 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:

  • Access to our on-farm storage means more grain marketing options.
  • Optional grain marketing assistance to capture price advantages.
  • Access to periodic marketing tools to help you better understand price trends if you are interested.
  • Headache-free FSA and NCRS assistance- we can take care of it for you if you choose!

Truly Competitive Input Pricing:

  • Competitive input pricing saves you up to 40% off of local market prices on inputs such as chemical and fertilizer.
  • Volume discount seed pricing.
  • Variable rate chemical application saves you money as well as placing nutrients where they are best utilized.

Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability:

  • No-Till practices maximize mineral retention and yield while minimizing fuel & machinery cost, compaction, and pollution.
  • Access to economical sources of natural fertilizer, providing organic matter, humus, and micronutrients to the soil that commercial fertilizers either don’t provide or aren’t cost effective.
  • Voluntarily participating in environmental certification with 3rd party audits, ahead of governmental requirements.

Clear, Consistent Communication:

  • Twenty-four hour access to important information on www.sterlingheritagefarms.com as well as posted updates on Facebook
  • Monthly status calls to update you on important information.
  • One person (Landowner Relations Specialist) dedicated to your needs.
  • Quarterly newsletter- The Sterling Exchange

Personal attention because we are thankful for your trust & business!


Additional Information:

Achievements and Advanced Training:

  • Named one of the Top Ten Best Managed Farms in the nation by Kansas Farmer Magazine
  • Outstanding Operational Achievement Award- Family Farms Group
  • Kansas Bankers Association Soil Conservation Award
  • Kansas State University MAST program graduate
  • Founding member of KARA (Kansas Agricultural Research Association) precision farming group
  • Attend four to six agricultural conferences and training programs annually

Professional Organizations:

  • FamilyFarms Group
  • Kansas Farm Management (Farm Accounting Software and Services)
  • Kansas Farm Bureau
  • SC Kats- South Central Kansas Agricultural Tax Service (Kansas Agricultural Benchmarking Group)

 

 

 


 

 


 

Operation History

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.