Meet the team behind Frahm Farmland.
As the driving force behind Frahm Farmland, Inc., Lon Frahm’s role is one that is complex and far-reaching. The 6th generation in his family to farm in Thomas County, Lon has been at the helm of Frahm Farmland, Inc. since 1986 when his father’s sudden death launched the then-28-year-old into the farm’s lead role. Since then, Lon has grown the operation from 5,000 acres to more than 30,000 and continues to look for opportunities to enhance the business.
Lon completed his bachelor degrees in business administration and agricultural economics and later his masters of agribusiness, all from Kansas State University. A strong believer in the value of continuing education, Lon has also taken part in numerous professional educational programs, including Kansas Ag and Rural Leadership, Leadership Kansas and The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers with Texas A&M University, and Harvard Agribusiness Seminar. A particular high point in Lon’s career came in 2009 when he was named Farm Journal’s Top Producer of the Year. He has since been invited to a variety of educational and business venues to speak on farm management and other areas of expertise.
While the vast majority of Lon’s time and energy is spent managing the business and marketing aspects of the farm, he does find time to pursue his other passions, including landscaping, music, cars, boats, motorcycles, architecture, books and reading, international travel and aviation. Lon also places great importance on local community development and he has served on a variety of boards and committees, including High Plains Public Radio, the Thomas County Historical Society, Groundwater Management District #4 and the Citizens Medical Center, among others.
Chuck Moore is one of the newer members of the FFI team. He started as the farm’s CFO in 2011 after a long career in both public and private accounting. Originally from Scott City, Kan., Chuck has lived in Colby since 1981 and holds a degree in accounting from Kansas State University in addition to being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). On the farm, he is responsible for various aspects of the operation’s finances, including day-to-day expenditures, entity organization, payroll, insurance, tax returns and human resources/employee benefits.
Outside of the farm, Chuck has served on several boards including Midwest Energy Inc., Kiwanis, Pioneer Memorial Library and the Colby Community College. He is has completed The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers through Texas A&M University and was a member of the 1990 Leadership Kansas class. Chuck is particularly passionate about the 80-year-old house that he is owner of and spends much of his spare time on maintenance and renovation. He also loves to cook and grow his own herbs.
Crop Production Manager
A native of Colby, Kan., Dave Denneler is one of the longest running employees at FFI. Dave’s 30+-year career with the farm started in 1980 when he was employed over the summer to take care of yard work around the facility. Through the years, Dave has been a part of nearly every aspect of the operation, including machinery operation, planting, spraying, crop scouting and many others.
As the crop production manager, Dave’s primary responsibilities now include grain and bin management, grain marketing, seed purchases and crop scouting. Additionally, he has attended The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers with Texas A&M University and Management and Strategic Thinking with Kansas State University.
In his free time, Dave loves restoring antique cars and is currently working on a 1967 Ford Mustang. He also enjoys woodworking and building furniture, as well as golfing, pheasant hunting and going camping at Wilson Lake in his camper. Dave has been married to his wife, Jaton, since 1982. The pair has two children – Casey and Ashley – and three grandchildren.
Jason Schielke started with FFI in 1995. He grew up in Colby, Kan. and has spent his entire life in agriculture. On the farm, Jason handles a variety of duties, including planting, spraying and harvesting. He also serves as the operation’s informational technology specialist and is responsible for the various IT needs on the farm including computer maintenance, mapping and record keeping.
Keeping continuing education a priority, Jason has attended The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers with Texas A&M University and Management and Strategic Thinking with Kansas State University.
Jason is married and the pair has a son and a daughter. Jason likes to spend his free time hunting, working around the house and enjoying his family. Most recently, the Schielkes have become horse owners, which is sure to provide Jason with plenty of projects to keep him busy.
Few employees at FFI know the farm like Dewey Augustine, who has been part of the operation’s team since 1976. The resident mechanic, Dewey has been working with machines his entire life. He completed training in farm and diesel mechanic at a vocational school following high school before going on to work for John Deere in Colby, Kan. It didn’t take long for FFI to recognize Dewey’s talents and hire him to make sure all of the farm’s equipment is running smoothly.
In addition to being passionate about figuring out how things work, Dewey also loves to golf and hunt. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as road biking, being active in his church and keeping his lawn in pristine condition. Dewey is a community volunteer, a past school board member, past Booster Club President and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is married to Pam and has a son and daughter as well as three grandchildren – Heath, Hailey and Hallie.
Machinery & Logistics
Mike Brocklehurst joined FFI in 2004 when he came to Kansas from his native Zimbabwe through an internship with Ohio State University. A trained gemologist, Mike had grown up on a 20,000+-acre cattle ranch which made him feel right at home on the endless plains of Western Kansas. As a result, Mike chose to stay on with the operation following the end of his internship and has continued with FFI ever since. He wears a number of hats on the farm, including maintenance on the grain systems, driving trucks, operating machinery, planting corn and anything else he is needed for.
When not on the farm, Mike enjoys reading historical fiction, science fiction and Stephen King novels. He also likes to golf, hunt and fish. Mike has a daughter, Lorelei, born in 2013.
Dean Schielke isn’t far from home at FFI. In fact, he grew up only a mile and half away from the farm’s headquarters. Dean went to school at Pittsburg State University where he studied electrical engineering and received his B.S. in Industrial Technology. From there, he went on to spend 24 years working for Western Sprinklers, traveling throughout the Midwest as a part of his work responsibilities. However, when FFI presented Dean with the opportunity for a career shift, he enthusiastically joined the farm as its resident electrician. Dean is responsible for various aspects of the operation, including sprinklers, electrical systems on the grain bins and any other electrical needs throughout the farm’s several shops and buildings.
When not running wires, Dean’s second passion is for woodworking. He has undertaken a variety of different projects including cabinet work, cedar chests, quilt closets and many others. Dean has a large family that includes his wife, Bettie, as well as seven children, 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Machinery & Mechanic
Shannon Hopson joined the FFI team in 2011 after a lifetime of farming. Having grown up on a farm near Gem, Kansas. Throughout high school and into college, Shannon worked with farmers and went on harvest run several times. He left the Colby area to pursue engineering at Pittsburg State University, but realized he loved the operation side of farming, and would rather be farming. He loves new technology and gives valuable feedback when running experimental equipment. His roles at FFI are diverse as he still uses his knowledge about the workings of machinery to keep the equipment running. While those moments in the shop are necessary, his true passion is in the field where he runs the equipment that is necessary for the successful operation of the farm. He doesn’t shy away from new technology, but embraces it for its efficiency.
Shannon has attended The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers with Texas A&M University and Management and Strategic Thinking with Kansas State University.
Outside of the farm, Shannon lives nearby with his wife and 2 children. He serves his township by attending meetings and giving input. He serves at his church as well as the lead sound technician. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys hunting locally for pheasant and deer. He also enjoys archery and target shooting with friends.
Construction & Maintenance
Brian Weis joined FFI in early 2013. Responsible for the various aspects of maintenance of the farm’s facilities, Weis can regularly be seen completing any variety of tasks from construction to finish work. Brian also assists with any other farm-related jobs that he may be needed for.
Originally from the Hoxie area, Brian grew up on a farm, where he developed a passion for carpentry. However, Brian spent much of his career working in electronics, regularly undertaking custom cabinetry jobs on the side in his spare time. He is excited to be able to utilize those skills as part of his job responsibilities with FFI.
In addition to carpentry, Weis also has a passion for drag racing antique cars and is owner to a 1964 Ford Falcon. He shares his love for cars with his wife and two children. In addition to drag racing, Weis also enjoys hunting and taking his motorcycle out for a spin.
Baker Bugbee was born and raised in the Northwest Kansas area. He grew up in the small towns surrounding Colby. After graduating from Colby High School in 2013, Baker worked construction before starting at the farm in 2014 as a seasonal grain cart driver. At the end of harvest, he was given the opportunity for the fulltime position of Irrigation Maintenance.
Baker is in charge of irrigation maintenance. His main responsibilities include servicing, monitoring, troubleshooting, and fixing center pivots year round. That doesn’t stop him, however, from getting in a tractor or truck, or lending a hand to anyone else on the farm when needed.
Outside of work, Baker spends his time with his friends and family. He loves playing with his nieces and nephew, who also live in Colby. You can usually find him on the golf course, at the lake, playing guitar, or hunting.
Crop & Machinery
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