Kellie Blair

Kellie Blair – Webster County

It’s been said that life is about choices and the decisions we make. Some big, some small. Some historically epic and others that we’d just assume forget about altogether. It’s just human nature. For some people, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best decision they’ve ever made, but not for Kellie Blair. Kellie, whose choices in life have taught her a lot and provided many experiences, knows that her best decision was returning to the farm.

The decision to return to the farm was not necessarily one she saw coming, either. For a lot of farmers, it’s pretty typical that the long-term goal would be to end up back at the farm. But, Kellie is certainly not typical and neither was the journey that led her to where she is today as a mother, business woman, leader, caretaker and full-time farmer.

As a child on her parents’ farm, Kellie preferred to spend her time outside with her father as he attended to chores rather than assisting her mother with housework. Inspired by those experiences of her childhood, Kellie took that passion for agriculture and the outdoors along with her to Iowa State University, where she majored in forestry and agronomy, with a focus on conservation. As she studied, the memories of watching her father take such pride and care in what he did remained top of mind. She knew that she, too, could leave the land around her better than she found it and she made it her mission to do just that. It’s important to note that Kellie also found time while attending ISU to meet a kindred spirit, a young man named AJ who would eventually become her husband and partner for life. 

After graduating from college, Kellie immediately went to work to pursue her passion in agriculture. First, as a nutrient planning agronomist for The Maschhoffs, the fourth largest hog production company in North America, learning equally about conservation as well as the best way to navigate the different personalities and situations she encountered along the way. As the seasons of life continued to change for Kellie, she soon found herself as not only a career driven woman whose focus had always largely been on agriculture, but now as a young mother of two beautiful children, Wyatt and Charlotte, who had a new found focus on what it meant to help lead a family. Becoming a mother gave Kellie the opportunity to take a part-time role with The Maschhoffs and spend more time at home raising her children, allowing her to experience the best of both worlds. As the children grew, Kellie, always looking forward, was ready for her next step. Having already accomplished so much, Kellie continued pushing forward, next taking a contract position based around the Boone River Watershed, pulling data from surrounding farms and advising her fellow farmers on how they could benefit from different conservation methods, which as a young woman, may have not always been easy. But, Kellie did as she had always done, and she kept going, only now she was ready to put all of the knowledge and experiences to work for her as she returned to the farm, finally, and a bit unexpectedly, adding full-time farmer to her resume.  

Though she reflects fondly on all of her past experiences and the journey that brought her here, Kellie is confident she made the best decision in returning to the farm. The passion she has carried within her since she was a little girl helping her father with the chores still burns within her as she navigates her day to day on her very own operation, managing their corn, soybeans, and small grains. Kellie also still has that passion for conservation and it shows on their farm, where they have implemented a number of conservation methods such as cover crops and no till, with the purpose of preventing soil erosion of the land. As if that wasn’t enough already, the Blair’s also custom feed pigs for Smithfield Foods and run both a feed lot operation as well as a cow/calf operation, where a portion of the corn they grow goes as feed, ensuring their livestock are being fed a nutritious diet. Kellie knows not all of this could be done without the strong partnership she has with her husband, AJ, and he would say the same. If a list of power couples in Iowa agriculture really exists, these two would be at the top of it. With a foundation built on similar interests and a promise made to stick together no matter what, Kellie and AJ continue to evolve as a solid unit, only growing stronger as each season progresses. They focus on their shared mantra of continual improvement and be sure to exercise it in every aspect of their lives, be it family, faith or farming, and it seems to be working.

On any given day, Kellie Blair is an excellent example of a modern day business woman, a working mom, a stay at home mom, a teacher, a partner, an Iowan and a farmer. But one thing is for sure, she’s certainly not typical.