Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HyMark Consulting

Several of you have asked what HyMark Consulting is and does. That is the business my boys and I started in 1993 when they started high school and I went back to high school teaching.

When I left Extension my phone rang off the hook. All my farmers wanted to "talk to the county agent." After awhile that got old and I told them I wasn't the County Agent anymore.

The boys needed a Supervised Agricultural Experience for their FFA Projects so it was a natural fit. I would teach them what I knew while we provided services to farmers.

It started out as seed. If the farmer bought seed from the boys we would scout their fields and tell them how to improve their crop. This led into soil testing service, then tissue testing services, then it all got out of hand! We were on the verge of going full time very quickly but I only need a few years to get my retirement so I stuck to teaching agriculture and we worked after school, weekends and summers with HyMark Consulting.

Matt and I always seemed to be saying Hi Mark when we picked up his brother, my second son so the name just stuck. We chose HyMark from highmark or himark or even hymark. I always said we set high marks for farmers like hybrid corn did for open pollinated corn.

Hybrid corn nearly doubled grain production and we always tried to increase our client's production and profits. A good consultant should strive to increase the client's profits and so we did and still do.

Then the USDA Strain of bradyrhizobia inoculum was introduced and we had a whole new business of explaining and marketing soybean inoculant. At the same time, we modified our planter with the Martin System and were asked to explain it around the country.

When I married LuAnn, HyMark took on new meaning and new business. She learned to write grants for the Soil and Water District she worked for and became very successful at it. We added that to our business and she was able to do that full time while we traveled around the country. We made a very good living.

But we both wanted a larger farm to enjoy and our kids and grandkids could come to. That meant debt and change of lifestyle we still enjoy. Then our farm expanded like our consulting business did and now we find ourselves busy balancing all the balls in the air at one time!

They say you get busier when you retire and somehow we have managed to do just that. I won't be able to do all of this forever but for now it is working well and what we choose and want to do.

So if you ever need help in anything related to agriculture, think of us! If we don't have your answer, I am sure we know someone who does. We have a great network and between us, we have decades of knowledge and experience.

Ed and LuAnn Winkle
HyMark Consulting LLC
3308 Martinsville Road
Martinsville, Ohio 45146

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