Chad Harms

Chad Harms

Iowa farmer ready to work for agriculture at state board level

Farming his family ground for the past 26 years and serving on various agricultural boards, Chad Harms is excited to be able to serve his fellow Iowa corn growers.

Previously serving at the county level for the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Harms was elected this summer to represent northwestern Iowa’s District 1 on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.

He likes being involved in the agricultural community and helping guide the path the industry is on, he said.

“I really enjoy serving on boards and being around like-minded people that are passionate about farming and where we’re going and what we’re doing,” he said.

Harms and his wife, Jill, live in Milford, Iowa, and he travels 27 miles to the family farm near Hartley, Iowa where he grows corn and soybeans.

At the University of South Dakota he earned a degree in business administration. Chad knew he had a fit on the family farm, but he wasn’t sure he’d be busy enough to be on the payroll full time.

He became a seed dealer for Asgrow/Dekalb and started CJ Harms trucking, hauling grain and feed ingredients and seed. While he was around to help with planting and harvest at the farm, the seed and trucking business kept him busy in the winter months. Harms had six trucks on the road and covered a five-state area at the peak of his trucking enterprise.

Things changed in 2005 when his dad had a heart attack from which he didn’t recover.

“I realized I was going to need to be around the farm more than I was,” Harms said.

The Harms’ kids were getting older and busier, and he decided it was best to stay close to home. He stopped selling seed and eventually sold his trucks.

“I started peeling back some of those layers,” he said.

Harms has long been involved in the community, volunteering with youth sports, the booster club and at his church. He serves on the Alceco Board, Ag Partners Board and is a past Ethanol Plant Board member. As a member of his local corn board, last fall he and his wife had the honor of guarding the Cy-Hawk Trophy at the Iowa-Iowa State football game.

“We had a blast doing that,” he said.

Jill Harms owns Blink Marketing in Milford and is president of the board of directors for Historic Arnold's Park. They have two kids. Alli, 20, is in her sophomore year at Iowa State University. Austin, 17, will be a junior at Okoboji High School. The family enjoys the lakes area, taking advantage of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing and riding bikes.

Harms began a three-year term on the Iowa Corn Promotion board Sept. 1.

The promotion board is the checkoff side of Iowa Corn. Members oversee investment of funds to promote Iowa corn through research, education and market development.

Harms is looking forward to keeping up with the research side of the work they do, learning about the technologies on the horizon.

“I’ve always been interested in the new technology that is coming from my days selling seed,” he said.

Election results were announced in July with Derek Taylor re-elected in District 3 and Pete Brecht in District 2. Harms replaces Kelly Nieuwenhuis as District 1 representative after Nieuwenhuis moved into the vice president position.

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor