CORNING, Iowa — About a year ago, Jason and Jamie McManis took a chance and started their own business.
“It was absolutely a leap of faith,” Jason says. “I had a good job working for great people, but this idea had been nagging at me for a while, to go out and do something like this. After a lot of talking and planning, we decided to go for it.”
Jamie also quit her job and the couple started Edge Ag Solutions, located just east of Corning, Iowa, in Adams County.
The McManises demonstrate the balancing act many farm families perform to do it all — every-day farm work, off-farm jobs, school and community activities.
The couple also farm, growing corn and beans alongside a commercial cow herd.
“We are first-generation farmers,” Jamie says. “We had farmers in both of our families, and we started cash renting our own ground about nine years ago.”
This year marks their third calf crop from the commercial herd.
They have five children — Aaron Armstrong, 18; Halle, 7; Madison and Aspen, 5; and Alexa, 3.
In addition to farming and the new business, Jamie also sells real estate and crop insurance.
Jason says the idea for the business goes back several years.
“About five years ago, our banker asked where we eventually wanted to be,” he says.
“We had just bought Jamie’s grandfather’s farm, and we wanted to be more involved in agriculture and to be able to generate jobs and help farmers with their operations. This was something we thought would help us with those goals.”
Through the business, the couple advise farmers with input decisions, specifically seed, chemicals and fertilizer.
“We have a team behind us that allows us to work with them and make the best economic decisions,” Jason says.
The couple purchased the old county home and have renovated the building to give them plenty of storage space for what the business needs.
They are active members of the Adams County Farm Bureau, where Jason serves on the board and is part of Farm Bureau’s ag leader program. They are also members of the Adams County Cattlemen.
While Jason grew up around a farm, Jamie did not spend much time around agriculture, other than her grandfather’s farm.
“I just love the atmosphere we have for raising our kids,” she says. “The girls love it out in the country, and they love being around the baby calves in the spring.
“I always saw how much Jason loved being on the farm, and how much he wants to be able to help other farmers. I can stand behind that all day long.”
Jamie says Aaron is planning to get his pilot’s license, and could eventually be part of the family business.
“He loves this community and wants to be a part of it,” she says.
Jason says he encourages other to take advantage of opportunities in agriculture and other fields.
“If someone has a passion to do something, then they should do it,” he says. “There are resources out there, and you can find a way to get things done.”
The couple says support from the community has been outstanding.
“This is just the start for what we want to do,” Jason says. “We believe the opportunities are endless, and we want to bring people into our business who share our passion for agriculture.”