2015 Top Producer of the Year Finalist: Stan Boshart and SJB Farms

06:01AM Jan 23, 2015
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The Bosharts’ journey in farming is not a typical one, with many side turns along the way. But that’s what makes Stan and his farming, trucking, hay press and international straw business so exceptional—perseverance has paid off.

The journey started with grass seed farming in the Willamette Valley, which Stan learned from his father and alongside his three brothers. In 1976, Boshart Farms expanded into Boshart Trucking, and with just two trucks Stan started a long haul business shipping watermelon, Christmas trees and potatoes. It eventually grew into local hauls for fertilizer, lime, wheat and grass seed.

If it has wheels, Stan has probably driven it. From farm equipment, heavy equipment and trucks, Stan likes to say he has always done his best work behind the wheel.

For example, in the beginning of the straw industry in the early 1990s, local trucking companies hauled eight blocks of straw on a set of double trailers. But because of Stan’s knowledge of trucks, and owning a truck show, he extended the frame of the truck to fit a drom behind the cab and fit one extra block of straw.

Soon he was in the business of building drop-deck trailers. This innovation has saved millions of dollars in fuel and emissions for many trucking companies over the years. Today in the Willamette Valley, an estimated 75% of straw trucks haul using Stan’s drom system.

One thing remains the same…he has always hauled agriculture.

Because of the relationships built through trucking, it was a natural progression for Stan to move into custom farming, baling, storing, pressing and shipping grass straw. This led to two new companies: a straw export business to Asia and a pressing and container loading business.

Today, the heart of the operation, SJB Farms, includes farming grass seed, wheat, hazelnuts and radish seed. Sustainability through local farming, yet development through an international straw market, are Boshart’s goals.

But there have been downfalls for Stan and his business. In 2003, he built a straw press to add value to straw acres he was custom farming. Shortly after building the press, 1,100 gallons of hydraulic oil caught on fire in the press room, burning down his new system.

As Stan says, it’s not the disaster that matters—it’s how you handle it. Within four months, Stan had rebuilt the press. Today he is working with clients around the world and building a brand new market for straw in Asian countries. He currently has more than seven Japanese customers.

International sales have their own headaches, of course. The day of our Top Producer of the Year interview, Stan had to reroute 11 container trucks due to a strike by longshoreman off the port of Portland.

His continual perseverance has paid off. Today, Stan has grown his business from 130 acres to a multi-entity operation.

But where Stan really shines is in his leadership and community service. He is involved in numerous events, charities, sports sponsorships and church activities—too many to list. Stan and his wife, Lori, have four daughters and one son, and Lori handles all financial aspects of the business while managing an eight-person staff. The Bosharts are pleased one of their daughters is now back in the family business. 

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 16th year and represents the best in the business of farming. Three finalists are chosen from a slew of applications by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry and community leadership.

To read more news and find additional information on the Top Producer Seminar or Tomorrow’s Top Producer events, visit www.TopProducerSeminar.com.


Thank you to the 2015 Top Producer Seminar sponsors:

Premier Sponsors: Advance Trading, Apache Sprayers, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Cargill, Case IH, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, ESN, Farmers Business Network, Firestone, John Deere, New Holland, Top Third Ag Marketing, Verdesian

Co-Sponsors: CliftonLarsonAllen, Conservis, The Gulke Group, K-Coe Isom, Soybean Premiums, Wyffels Hybrids

Supporting Sponsors: FarmLink