A local Greeley, Colo., business growing from seed
February 16, 2018
Colorado natives John and Jenny Fabian roamed around a bit before realizing their roots were deeply planted in the soils of home. John grew up on the family farm in Pueblo, Colo., where he early-on discovered a life-long passion for agriculture.
He fell in love with the seed business while in sixth grade and, around the same time, he and his father became seed dealers for Northup King (now a retired seed company).
"That is when my world became focused on seed, and I have remained focused on it every day since," Fabian said.
Jenny was raised in Denver but, with family ties to agriculture in Central Kansas, she spent many days as a kid traveling back and forth to visit relatives.
Following high school, John received agronomy and agribusiness degrees with a concentration in precision agriculture from Colorado State University in 2008. He then worked corporately for various seed brands within the Monsanto Company in northern Colorado and around the Nebraska panhandle. Initially starting out as a district sales manager within the Fontanelle Hybrid brand, he later transitioned into the Channel Brand where he served as a district sales manager and later a distribution manager. Throughout his time in the corporate world, the Fabians maintained a part-time crop consulting business.
In December 2015, the opportunity presented itself for the couple to both resign from their corporate jobs. They tackled an exciting new venture based out of their home in Greeley, Colo.: Double J Ag and Seed. (Although it first appears the company was named for the "J" beginning each of the Fabian's first names, it's actually dubbed for a childhood nickname of John's.) Within the next two years, they're hoping to build a brick and mortar location in the Greeley area.
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"I had no hesitation launching into this business," John said. "I love working with growers to enhance the productivity of their acres and bringing new techniques and ideas to their operations, along with the journey of working together. I spend a lot of time researching the newest and latest production techniques. I think my continual focus on education also allows me to be a great agronomist."
Throughout John's corporate time and hours spent in the fields directly with growers in the consulting business, the couple had recognized a growing need/opportunity to bring independent agronomic advice, service and elite genetics to growers' acres. They are dedicated to understanding customers' long-term goals and assisting them throughout all seasons to achieve set goals.
Like their marriage, Double J is a working partnership. John handles the bulk of field work while Jenny serves as business manager for invoicing, ordering, graphic design and marketing.
The company's primary strategic advantage is exclusively carrying, promoting and selling Channel corn seed and alfalfa. This dedicated focus on one brand of seed allows the Fabians to intensely learn about each variety it markets and thereby match it to growers' acres more effectively than their competitors. They have access to a full range of small grain seed including, but not limited to, wheat, triticale and many forage grass blends.
The Fabians invest much of their time building relationships with growers while working to understand specific goals and production challenges they find within customers' farms. They assist with production planning, seed placement, irrigation strategies and fertility/chemistry planning based on soil test results.
Over the past 2½ years, Double J has grown significantly. The Fabians have also become sales representatives for the Climate Corp., which is also affiliated with Monsanto. Climate is a digital platform that helps Double J and its growers centralize data collected throughout the growing season. This information includes soil maps, planting maps, NDVI Satellite imagery, spray applications and yield maps.
"This tool is awesome for data visualization which aids us in learning valuable field insights/trends ultimately allowing us to further optimize our inputs through prescriptive agricultural initiatives with an end result of maximization of yield on a per acre basis," Jenny said.
Seed and data are the foundation of Double J's consulting business. The Fabians are available to scout or be your crop consultant even if you don't purchase Channel or Climate from them; however, they've seen greater returns to growers who work with them to combine seed, data and agronomic advice as an elite, all-inclusive service.
Double J doesn't have defined operational hours because John prefers to be available to customers at any time of day. During the busy seasons (planting and harvest), the couple is frequently out before sun-up and conclude well after sun-down. Hours of availability tend to align with the growing season and are tailored to fit customer needs.
"Our mission statement is 'Providing Solutions. Growing Together.' This easily summarizes our position," Jenny said, "Our logo is a series of puzzle pieces. I think this is how we approach our acres: Puzzle Piece 1 – Agronomics; Puzzle Piece 2 – Genetics; Puzzle Piece 3 – Data Management; Puzzle Piece 4 – Advice. The red ring around us is a symbol of our continual efforts to assist helping growers bring the pieces together."
The Fabians have two children, daughter Kylie, age 2, and 4-month-old son Kaleb. They are also still connected to John's Pueblo family farm, where they return a couple times a month throughout the busy summer season to help.
For more information or to set up an appointment, visit Double J Ag and Seed at http://www.doublejagandseed.com. ❖