Drees Farming Association is a family-owned and -operated agribusiness in Merrifield, ND, just south of Grand Forks. Our team includes Robert Drees (general manager), Rodney Drees (assistant general manager) and Lyle Drees (skilled operator) – and we aren’t just brothers, we’re fourth-generation farmers who have a reputation for progressive farming methods and a commitment to outstanding land stewardship. We took our knowledge of meticulous attention to detail practiced while raising certified seed potatoes and have applied it to the crops we currently produce – sugar beets, wheat, edible beans (small red, navy, black, and pinto), soy beans and corn across more than 4,000 acres. In the past, we also have produced barley and sunflowers.
Drees Farming Association is currently working with American Crystal and General Mills on a Sustainability Project. We keep and provide meticulous records on all facets of our operation to determine our carbon footprint and our BTU’s per ton of beets delivered. 2018 was the fiftth year of the project, so we are able to track our progress over time compared to other participants in the American Crystal group. The goal of General Mills is to show that they source their ingredients from operations that use sustainable agricultural practices and a continuous improvement process.
Drees Farming Association prides itself on building long-term partnerships with landowners. Through open communication, on-time payments, shared values and a solid plan for the future, we have become a reliable and responsible partner that landowners can count on. We work hard, and we operate as efficiently as possible – which means that we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty. In fact, we use well-maintained older equipment and storage facilities that we repair and rebuild ourselves. We take advantage of technology when it is beneficial, but never at the expense of your land.
A Family History Rich In Farming
Family is a strong part of our business, as is evident by our history – and our future. Drees Farming Association was started in 1968 by our grandfather and four uncles. Today, the ownership has changed but we still farm much of the same land we did back then. We still value family involvement too, as much of the day-to-day operations of our farm are handled by family members. We are in the process of planning a transition to the next generation. Kirsten has been with the company since mid-2011 as the accountant/office manager and started doing field work in the spring of 2017. Brandon joined the operation in fall 2016, just in time for harvest.