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Heinen Brothers Aerial Application Dreams Take Flight

Heinen Brothers Aerial Application Dreams Take Flight
Heinen Brothers Aerial Application Dreams Take Flight

Who actually feeds America? Farmers certainly do, but does it end there? How does that food actually end up on our plate or on our grocers’ shelves? The food supply chain of the United States is one of the most revolutionized in the world with thousands of dedicated and innovative people working every day to deliver food to your table.

Heinen Brothers Agra Services
Kelly, Kansas

“We do all we can to use the right products to provide safe and abundant food to the nation and the world."
Scott Heinen, Owner
Heinen Brothers Agra Services
Kelly, Kansas

From starting with just one airplane in 1994 at the ages of 22 and 15, respectively, Scott and Glen Heinen have built an aerial ag input application empire out of Kelly, Kansas, now offering airplane maintenance, trucking and precision agriculture services.

The two brothers run a full-service agronomy business- anything from custom application of plant food, nitrogen, seed, cover crops and crop protection products, primarily through aerial application.

“Scott, at the age of 22 was like most 22-year-olds, just trying to find his way, pretty care-free, but he really enjoyed flying,” Glen says. “You could tell it was the reason he got up in the morning.”

“I just remember the first time I got into an airplane and got to fly over the farmland– looking at all the fields and seeing how everything laid together like puzzles,” says Scott. “I’ve never forgot that first flight because I was so in awe of how everything tied together.”

Scott may have begun this business as a young man due, in part, to the adrenaline rush, but now he puts in the long hours for his family and the agriculture industry because he feels it is a noble profession.

“I don’t think the general public understands the amount of thought, safety and process that goes into aerial application,” Scott says. “I’ve seen a lot of things in my career–there’s a lot of things that go into making it safer. But the biggest thing is, if it doesn’t look and feel right, don’t go in the field."

Like Glen says, “There’s old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots."

The job of aerial application as an important link in the food chain provides a service to protect the food supply by covering many acres quickly and efficiently.

“We do all we can to use the right products to provide safe and abundant food to the nation and the world," Scott says.

To get the whole story, watch the full episode of Road to the Plate on to the plate.

About Road to the Plate

Created to bring greater understanding about what it takes to get food from the farmer's field to the consumer's table, Road to the Plate is a platform for telling the stories of individuals involved in the farming, transportation, processing and retail sales of Midwestern food products. Road to the Plate is backed by the more than 600 corn farmers that own Lifeline Foods, a world-class corn milling cooperative in St. Joseph, Missouri. For more information, visit or

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