Back story

In 1987 one year after graduating from high school, Chad began milking sixteen cows in his parents’ barn. From day one Chad has been an aggressive entrepreneur. To this day he believes in working hard and playing hard. Investing in these sixteen cows led to a herd of forty-eight by 1990. Needing a larger dairy facility, Chad remodeled a barn in the fall of 1990 located on the farm site that he had purchased. Before the barn got dirty, he even hosted a barn dance for friends and those who helped remodel the barn.

On the early morning of December 19, 1990, a fire broke out in the barn. Chad’s barn, his cattle with their calves, 3500 bales of hay and all the other contents of the barn along with Chad’s first big dream were destroyed. After all was said and done, Chad lost over $100,000 which was a lot to a 22-year-old guy that was starting out on his own.

Chad worked hard to get out of that financial hole, and he did it the old-fashioned way. He worked part time driving truck, hauling golf carts, and driving bus. He shortly began farming 160 acres and then he rented another two thousand acres in the spring of 1992. He farmed this land for two years. Both years the crops froze and he had nothing to harvest. Time to give up? Not just yet.

In the fall of 1993, Chad started custom combining around home to try to make ends meet with help from local farmers and friends. Over the next ten plus years, he built his fleet up to twenty-one combines and supporting equipment. In 1997 at Polish Days in Ivanhoe, Chad and Pam met and in 1999, they were married and continued his adventure together adding five children to the crew.

Returning home from a trip out to Wyoming in September of 2004 Chad and Pam had only been home minutes when an explosion sent his crew scattering. Another fire destroyed his shop and office. More devastating, two members of his crew were severely burned and had to be flown to Sioux Falls to the burn unit. Both guys recovered and are still in contact with Chad and his family.

Chad kept pushing through and there have been many changes and advancements that have been made over the years. Olsen Custom Farms went from Chad sharing one small office with one financial person to a shop filled with offices and people that make things work smoothly. Always continuing to “go ahead.”

That is one of Chad’s simple mottos. Go ahead. Learn from past experiences but go ahead. Chad entered farming simply because he liked running the equipment. His goal was to be able to farm five thousand acres which has been surpassed. Those twenty-one combines have now become ninety combines in the fleet. One of his main goals now is to ensure fairness to his crew and the people he works with on his farm and along the road on the harvest run. If his crew is on board and giving 100% to him, then his goal of running efficiently and being profitable has been achieved. Olsen Custom Farms has been blessed with amazing people to work with over the years. Whether they are from Hendricks or surrounding towns or all the way from South Africa, they make the equipment and shop run smoothly and work as a team. Every day the Olsen Custom Farms crew strives to be better than yesterday.