Lon R. Frahm - Chief Executive Officer
Lon Frahm is the sixth generation in his family to lead Frahm Farmland, which has grown to 40,000 acres under his direction. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in both business administration and agricultural economics, and an M.A.B (Masters in Agribusiness) from Kansas State University. Frahm has also completed several continuing education programs including Kansas Ag and Rural Leadership, Leadership Kansas, The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers through Texas A&M University and a Harvard Agribusiness seminar.
In 2009, he was named Farm Journal’s Top Producer of the Year, which has since led to myriad speaking opportunities at educational and business venues. He’s also served on such committees as High Plains Public Radio, Thomas County Historical Society, Groundwater Management District #4 and Citizens Medical Center.
His hobbies include cars, boats, motorcycles, landscaping, architecture, aviation, reading, music and travel both abroad and domestically.
David Denneler - Chief Operations Officer
As a high school student on a work-mentoring program, David Denneler began mowing lawns for Frahm’s in 1980. In 1982, the young incumbent was hired as one of two full-time employees who shared the responsibilities of farming FFI’s then 6,000 acres.
Denneler’s path has been evolutionary, leading him through the ranks to Chief Operations Officer via a promotion from his previous role as Crop Production Manager. Throughout his tenure, his increasing involvement in the business has played a pivotal role in the expansion of FFI’s land-holdings now exceeding 40,000 acres. While his daily activities used to entail participation in every aspect of the farm, he now focuses primarily on managing the business, which includes HR duties for a fluctuating staff of 10 to 15 and overseeing grain sales and purchases of seed and chemical. However, he still assists in other areas when needed, especially with regard to crop-scouting, bin maintenance and unloading trucks at harvest.
Denneler completed the The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) at Texas A&M University, Austin, and the Management and Strategic Thinking (MAST) program through Kansas State University.
An avid car enthusiast, Denneler has restored a bevy of antiques including two 1953 Ford pickups, and several 1960- and ‘70-model Mustangs. He also enjoys carpentry, golf, hunting, camping and traveling with his wife, Jaton. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Chuck Moore - Chief Financial Officer/Consultant
A native of Scott City, Chuck Moore joined FFI in 2011 after a lengthy accounting career in both the public and private sectors. Moore’s education began at Colby Community College where he earned an Associates Degree. He then graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration. In 1981, Moore earned his CPA license and has since completed the requisite 80 hours of continuing education to ensure his continued licensure every 2 years. Included in his array of responsibilities at FFI is payroll, human resources, general accounting and tax guidance.
Moore believes in the importance of community involvement and advancing his own education having served on the boards of Midwest Energy, Kiwanis, Pioneer Memorial Library and Colby Community College. He also completed The Executive Program for Agriculture Producers through Texas A&M University, Austin.
An avid cook and fan of ethnic foods, Moore aspires to visit both Italy and Spain to both partake of the local cuisine and experience first-hand, a MotoGP motorcycle race on the European circuit.
Dewey Augustine - Mechanic (Retired)
As the longest standing member of the team, Dewey Augustine retired in December 2020 after 44 years of dedicated service. But, he still remains an integral part of the crew and plans to occasionally drive truck and assist in other areas when needed.
His new full-time job consists of golfing and hunting. He also enjoys spending time with his family as well as riding his motorcycle and involvement with his church. Augustine is a community volunteer, a past school board member and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is married to Pam and has a son and daughter as well as five grandchildren.
Robert Bell - Electrical Operations Manager/Safety Director
Garnering inspiration from his father who is both a farmer and electrical engineer, Robert Bell has an established career based on these two trades. Hired at FFI in 2019, Bell has been integral in the execution of several major projects, which include wiring the 3.8 million-bushel storage bins, several new buildings and the main office. As the resident safety expert, Bell educates existing employees and new hires on equipment, electrical and chemical safety. He also provides a pre-harvest safety class for the entire group, including custom cutters. Bell is OSHA-certified and has completed the Certified Employee Training Program.
An ardent inventor, he patented a specialized corn header called the CleanSweep Header System. In December 2020, Bell earned his private pilot’s license with aspirations to restore and fly his father’s plane—a 1976 Cessna 206.
He attended Barton County Community College and has taken electrical engineering classes at Kansas State University. A history and architecture enthusiast, he studies these topics in his spare time while also enjoying motorcycle riding and flying. He has two daughters and is married to Mindy.
Mike Brockelhurst - Logistics
Arriving from Harare, Zimbabwe, in May 2004, Mike Brockelhurst began his long-term FFI career as an intern. Within only 16 months, he was promoted to a full-time employee and has since established a permanent residence in Colby. His responsibilities run the gamut from bin maintenance, loading trucks and driving a truck at harvest to operating the planter; but, his primary role is to oversee scale house operations.
Having been raised on a 20,000 acre ranch that boasted the oldest established Hereford herd in Southern Africa, Brockelhurst adapted quickly to Kansas farm life. Topographically, the differences are considerably different from the rivers and mountains of Zimbabwe as is the wildlife given that elephants were prevalent on his family’s ranch.
Brockelhurst earned a gemology degree from the Gemological Institute of America in 2000; and though he no longer practices professionally, he does assesses the occasional stone for friends. His ideal past-time is spending time with his daughter; but, he also enjoys reading, hunting and shooting skeet.
Baker Bugbee - Irrigation Manager
Aside from a few memories of riding in his grandfather’s combine as a young boy, Baker Bugbee had no concrete affiliation with farming until he was offered a job as grain cart driver for the 2014 harvest at FFI. His interest piqued, Bugbee proved himself a quick study with a proclivity for farming and was hired as a full-time employee within the year. In his role as Irrigation Manager, he oversees (both physically and electronically) the operation of 74 sprinklers across the farm—a number that rises consistently in conjunction with FFI’s expansion. Other duties inherent in Bugbee’s role include driving truck, spraying, building maintenance, operating a combine and planting.
A highlight of Bugbee’s career was speaking at the 2020 Top Producer conference in Chicago. His presentation (in collaboration with other FFI employees) was with regard to FFI’s excellent retention record.
Bugbee lives on a farm with his girlfriend Jess and their two dogs Pedro and Raey. In his spare time, Bugbee partakes of spontaneous road trips, the most notable of which landed him at a luxury hunting lodge in Texas. As well, he is a self-purported foodie (sushi being a favorite) and also enjoys camping, hunting and playing guitar.
Isaac Evans - Field Agronomist
Starting as an apprentice in 2017, Isaac Evans maintained a part-time position at FFI throughout his college tenure at both Colby Community College, where he also coached tennis, and Kansas State University. After graduating from K-State with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Ag Economics (with a specialty in Agronomy) in 2021, he transitioned to a full-time position. In his evolving role, Evans contributes to all aspects of the farm’s enterprises, including bin maintenance, driving truck and operating equipment as needed. But, his expertise lies in the agronomic aspects of farming, which involves assessing soil class and fertility as well as nutrient and weed science. Evans also contributes to the the financial assessments of chemical and seed purchases.
Evans earned two associate degrees from CCC in Science and Agribusiness and General Studies, and continues to study agriculture through continuing education programs offered to farm employees. A Scott City native, Evans spends much of his time off traveling with his family. He also golfs, skis, and enjoys the thrill of riding 4x4s in the mountains as well as mountain biking.
Keith Graham - Setup/Mechanic
At the age of six, Keith Graham began helping his Dad change brakes on trucks in addition to polishing wheels, washing rigs and assisting with general maintenance. This experiential mechanics and technical education continued throughout his life, and in 2017 he became the primary mechanic for his family’s trucking company in Denver.
Graham joined FFI in 2019 after having been recruited from a local tire company in Colby, KS. His primary responsibility at the farm is to ensure the mechanical functionality of FFI’s trucking fleet, but he also assists in other areas when needed, including combine operator, sprayer and grain cart operator.
In 2019, he was married to his wife Laura and has one son, Liam. His hobbies include hunting, shooting trap, touring museums and spending time with family. In addition to local relatives, Graham periodically visits family in New Zealand and during his Oceania travels has also visited both Australia and Fiji.
Samuel McKinney - Comptroller
Jason Schielke - Information Technology
Born into a farming family, Jason Schielke’s experience began in childhood driving tractor, building fence and caring for a cattle herd. Two years out of high school, Schielke began working for FFI in 1995 as one of three employees who shared the farm’s workload.
Schielke’s current role in IT stemmed from his self-taught acumen of the newest technological advances in communications and farming practices. An avid reader and researcher, he’s managed a variety of notable projects, including the installation of fiber optic Internet for the entire farm, networks in all the buildings and assessing new technology with regard to chemicals, seeds and farm operations software (mapping, auto-steer, computers, etc.) Other endeavors with which he’s been involved include dirt work for new buildings, plumbing, designing a tender truck loading system and installing a heated floor system. As well, Schielke operates a combine during harvest.
He and his wife, Suzanne, live on a farm outside of Colby with their two children, Alizah and Ames. On days off, Schielke enjoys spending time with his kids, tinkering with his sports car, home construction projects and fishing.
Brian Weis - Construction/Maintenance
Though he was hired full time in 2013, Brian Weis’ affiliation with FFI began in 2001 when he began driving grain cart and eventually, a truck, for harvest. Carpentry and electrical work are his specialties, but his contributions at the farm run the gamut from plumbing and running concrete to dirt work, painting, welding and tile work. Notable projects he’s completed at the farm include the Scale House Basement renovation, building a two-story room within the new Spray Building and creating from scratch both kitchens at Headquarters. He still drives truck during harvest, but he’s officially retired from the grain cart.
Some of Weis’ hobbies and personal projects include building a 5-bedroom home for his family, motorcycle riding, restoring a 1970 Fastback Mustang and a 1964 Ford Falcon, which he also drag races. Weis is married to Josie and has two children. As well, he earned a degree in Electronics from Goodland Vocational Technical College in 1985.
Christian Wilson - Field Operations/Agronomy
In the summer of 2014, Christian Wilson began working part-time at Frahm’s under the aegis of Pioneer Seed as an intern and crop scout. He transitioned to a full-time FFI employee in 2015 after completing his Agribusiness undergraduate degree at Fort Hays State University. While Wilson’s initial responsibilities were expansive, including spraying, aerial crop-scouting, sampling soil, operating a combine at harvest and helping out wherever needed, they’ve since evolved giving him the opportunity to work primarily with the farm’s business endeavors. Among his present responsibilities are assessing the economics of chemical and seed pricing and participating in a grain-marketing committee.
Wilson enrolled in Kansas State University’s MAB program (an agribusiness platform based on an MBA) in 2019 with his 2021 graduation contingent upon the completion of his thesis on modeling regional corn basis and how the effects of historical supply and demand factors have impacted Western Kansas producers.
His spare time is spent training his bird-dog, Ruby; fishing; hunting and golfing. He and his wife Sarah also enjoy traveling and visiting friends in Colorado and Montana.
Wolf, Ph.D - Sr. VP of Pest Control and Ecology
When Wolf wandered into Lon's front yard in 2013, he was but a feral kitten oblivious to the fruitful career at FFI that would soon emerge. Wolf was savvy and accomplished beyond his four months, possessing keen leadership skills, innate talents and a bite that rivaled a crocodile. Dedicating himself to the ongoing cultivation of Wolf's unlimited potential, Lon immediately catapulted the young feline through the corporate ranks to Manager of Rodent Annihilation—a role created specifically for FFI's newest preeminent member.
Wolf's attention to detail and loyalty to FFI's evolution earned him a promotion in 2019 to Sr. VP of Pest Control and Ecology, which has allowed him to delegate the department's day-to-day operations to his team. "I've always enjoyed the hunt," said Wolf, "but, the taste of mus musculus has never appealed to me. In spite of what humans think, said creatures really don't taste like chicken, they just taste like mice."
In his new role, he'll be performing revolutionary studies critical to his burgeoning ecology role on the potential for harmonious relationships between rodents and human farm workers. A former Rhodes Scholar and MENSA member, Wolf graduated in 2016 from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Mind Control and a Doctorate in Stalking from Feline Polytechnical Institute in 2020. His spare time is scant, but upon those rare occasions, he enjoys hypnotizing the less intelligent, studying philosophy and partaking of fine French wines.
Steeped in history dating back to the 1800s, today’s Frahm Farmland is the product of six generations of farmers dedicated to its success.
In the 1930s, Lon Frahm’s great grandfather moved from Nebraska to Thomas County to work as a school teacher. When the school could no longer afford to pay him, he began farming full-time for his father-in-law. Progressive for the time, he owned the first combine in the area, was the first to incorporate summer fallow practices and formed joint ventures with outside investors.
In the midst of the devastating Dust Bowl, the family’s farm suffered additional hardship when a fire incinerated its state-of-the-art machine shop and all of the equipment in it. Yet, the Frahm farm continued to survive even through a bankruptcy that never resulted in foreclosure. By the 1950s, the farm had accumulated several thousand acres dedicated to dryland wheat, which was a significant portion at the time.
When the Frahm family (Lon’s parents) moved to the farm in 1971, his father drilled the first of several irrigation wells throughout 25 quarters and planted the farm’s first corn crop. It was also the year that Frahm Farmland became incorporated.
By 1986, Lon had graduated from Kansas State University and was working for the family farm at the time of his father’s sudden passing. From that point he was cast into the role of manager for the 6,000-acre operation.
Since that time, Frahm Farmland has consistently grown in size and evolved with the times, including the implementation of no-till practices in 1999 and the consistent adoption of the newest technologies. With present land-holdings at 40,000 acres, Frahm Farmland has become one of the most successful farming organizations in Northwestern Kansas.