Josh and Hannah Kiser

If you’re driving down County Road 69 in Gibsonburg, a small village in Sandusky County, you’ll find a gravel lane and a red barn surrounded by acres of farmland.

To the typical passerby, it may not seem like much, but for Farm Bureau members Josh and Hannah Kiser, they hope it plays a pivotal role in their growth and future — Kiser Seed.

The Kisers farm 150 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa. They also raise cattle and goats. And, like many young farmers, they wanted to see their farming operation expand and grow, but with  the price of farmland, adding acreage wasn’t an option.

“We wanted to expand the farm and land prices weren’t in our budget, so we had to expand it in a different way,” Josh said.

Rob-See-CoThe couple started Kiser Seed in the fall of 2017. Kiser Seed transitioned from a Rupp Seed dealer to a Rob-See-Co dealer in the summer of 2022. With that change came additional opportunities, including selling chemicals through Streamline Ag, a company owned by Rob-See-Co.

“When we started the seed business we wanted to be with a family-owned company and we were able to keep that the same with Rob-See-Co,” Hannah said. “We always knew we wanted to start a seed business, but we didn’t know we’d start it so young. An opportunity came, so we took it.”

On top of the seed business, Josh works full-time as a lead at Alkon Corporation Inc. where they produce valves and fittings for DOT heavy transportation. Hannah, who has a degree in agricultural business and agronomy, left her full-time job in fall of 2022 to run Kiser Seed and raise their two children, Eve, 3, and Levi, 2.

Hannah, who originally went to school for cattle production, said she quickly realized she didn’t want to move out West and credits her ag teacher at the time for pointing her toward agronomy.

“I didn’t come from a farming background. I lived in town,” Hannah said. “I was in 4-H and had animals that way, but I didn’t really get into farming until I started dating Josh.”

Last year the Kisers sold 3,000 bags of soybeans and 600 bags of corn.

“We are still small, but we are growing every year,” said Josh.

To help get their name out in the community, while also being involved in the community, the Kisers got involved with Farm Bureau on the county level.

In 2019, Hannah, who is originally from Ottawa County, chose to get involved on its county Farm Bureau board.

“I think it’s important, especially because we are younger farmers just starting out,” Hannah said of joining the board. “Farm Bureau has a lot of good opportunities and resources to help us grow in the future.”

It wasn’t long after Hannah joined the board that the Kisers were helping work a booth at the Sandusky County Fair on behalf of Kiser Seed that a couple of board members suggested Josh join their board.

“Farm Bureau is doing important things to help the farming business succeed,” Josh said. “You’re not having all these politicians throw regulation on you. At least you have someone there to fight for you. That’s basically why we joined the boards, to help support the Farm Bureau and all it does.”

Growth through Farm Bureau advertising

The Kisers also decided to make Kiser Seed a Farm Bureau group member and, in turn, Farm Bureau is helping them promote their business through advertising opportunities.
The company’s logo was included on the back of T-shirts provided for the North Coast Sheep and Goat Jackpot Show and on T-shirts that go out to all of the 4-H kids in the county.

“Ottawa County Farm Bureau does a Jackpot Show, and that’s how we really got started with advertising,” Josh said. “I think it helped get our name out there. Between the Jackpot Show and shirts handed out at the Ottawa and Sandusky county fairs, hundreds of people get the shirts with our logo on them.”

In addition to the advertising they were provided through group membership, the Kisers also sponsor a sprint car and purchase animals at the fair.

“We tend to gear our advertising more to the fairs,” Josh said. “And we hope to continue to expand our reach and get out in the community more as we continue to grow.”

Growth in opportunity

In 2022, the Kisers took another opportunity for growth in a new business venture. They opened The Bear’s Den Embroidery and Apparel, a custom embroidery and printing company, in August 2022.

Josh Kiser
Eve Kiser helps her dad, Josh, at Kiser Seed.

“We’ve had a lot of struggles along the way,” Josh said. “But we’re starting to see success in that as well.”

The Bear’s Den currently sells apparel to companies but hopes to eventually open a retail store and sell school apparel in Gibsonburg — a location that will allow Hannah to manage both businesses.

While the Kisers are certainly busy, they believe the hard work they put in now will last for generations to come.

“It shows our kids that we are willing to work hard and work those late hours,” said Hannah. “Our family has been so helpful throughout everything for both businesses. At the drop of a hat they’re willing to watch the kids or deliver seed or maybe pick up something so that’s been a huge help to us.”

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
Kevin Holy's avatar
Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
David Thomas's avatar
David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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