April 15, 2024

Iowa Secretary of Ag visits AgHub

AgHub Midwest owners Titan and Lauren Immel sat down and shared the latest chapters of their story with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig when he visited their business Friday, Jan. 27.

The Immels desire that their business, located at 1089 Pinewood Ave, just off the interstate south of Menlo, be a place to where producers can do business no matter their need.

One of the biggest challenges AgHub has encountered is finding sales professionals, Titan Immel said. Because of the shifts that have gone on in the work force and a shortage of people to fill positions, wages are also affected for all.

Immel said hiring H-2A workers would help. It is a program that allows employers or agents in the United States who meet specific requirements to bring foreign nationals here to fill temporary jobs. AgHub doesn’t qualify for that program. Because one of the things AgHub does is soybean cleaning, he feels they should qualify, because they’re helping to grow a crop.

Another result of these workforce problems is that if you develop an employee and advance them within your business, you experience trouble replacing their previous position.

“The stair step is either you do what you do or they move on,” Immel said. “It’s a balancing act.”

The Immels started AgHub knowing that seed would be a core piece to their overall portfolio, but now he would describe fertilizer as even more of a core piece because there are less places to find that. The second is chemical.

Naig praised the Immels during their sit-down conversation for their careful investments they’ve made into different sectors of their business. AGHub Midwest offers seed, chemical, fertilizer, application and seed treatment services for clients, and they carry short line equipment.

“You really have to be aware of the markets, when to get in the market and when to get out,” Immel said. “Lauren and I each come from family farms. Those are insurable and you protect your loss through insurance, but there’s none of that here. This has become a commodity and everybody’s treated it like a commodity the last three years. I don’t foresee that changing after we get through this cycle.”

The Immels have a desire for AgHub Midwest, which covers over 17 acres, to continue to grow, both in physical size and in the products and services they offer their customers. One of the latest endeavors they’ve begun is offering is a line of products that are for online-order and delivery only.

“We’ve never been scared of the risk,” Immel said. “We have the best team around to get done what needs to get done. That’s one of the biggest pieces to what we’re doing.”

Naig stated that uncertainties that come with inflation, higher interest rates, events in Russia and Ukraine, as well as COVID-19 and what is going on in China are some of the concerns he’s hearing from those in the agriculture world as he travels the state.

“I love checking in on AgHub here with Titan and his team. They have a really impressive business here. They’ve been growing tremendously. It’s always interesting to hear how they view the marketplace and what they’re hearing from their customers,” Naig said. “Every farm relies on a good input supplier, and especially in the last few years when there has been a lot of supply chain disruptions. It’s been challenging for ag retailers to source all that we need but I’ve been impressed with the resiliency of that network to get it done.”

Naig was re-elected to his post in November. His stop locally was part of his 2023 99-county tour. Also Friday, Naig stopped at HTS AG in Harlan, a business that focuses on offering solutions within precision agriculture.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.