Meet Arizona Agriculture’s Nelson Family
Kristen and John Nelson are your typical busy family raising kids and living the farm life in La Paz County. Their farm, EN Farms, started out small but has grown. Their agriculture is a mix of crops and cattle.
Both have careers outside the farm operation. John works for the Metropolitan Water District. Kristen is Territory Manager for Corteva Agriscience, a job that takes her all over.
A graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kristen serves as vice president of La Paz County Farm Bureau and serves on the Arizona Farm Bureau board.
If not busy on the farm or in their careers, you’ll see the Nelsons doing 4-H and youth sports with their four children. They’re living life to the fullest and loving every minute.
A farm profile of John and Kristen Nelson, owners of EN Farms in La Paz County.
An ongoing series of our farm and ranch families.
Tell us about your farm and cattle herd? My husband, John, and I started EN Farms in 2007 with one 35-acre field. We now farm around 500 acres of alfalfa, wheat, and Bermuda grass. We also have a small cattle herd, show goats, and a little of everything else. In addition to farming, I am the Territory Manager for Corteva Agriscience. I manage the crop protection business as well as PhytoGen Cottonseed for much of Arizona.
Why did you choose to go into agriculture? I’ve always loved agriculture. My parents owned an aerial application business in the Parker Valley. I grew up around it. I also participated in 4-H and FFA growing up, as did my husband. I didn’t start my career path towards agriculture, I actually graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, but I found my way back to it and love what I do!
What changes have you seen in your life as it relates to farming, ranching, or agribusiness? There have been many changes in agriculture in my career. On the manufacturing side, we’ve seen major consolidation and mergers, supply issues, and price increases. But we have also seen advancements in new technologies, new selective chemistries, cool new biologicals, improved traits and genetics, and the use of unconventional tools implemented, such as drones.
One of the biggest and most impactful changes that affect everyone is the drought and water issues. Water issues are not new, but there are a lot of changes happening around water and this will continue to be a major influencer on everyone’s business.
Will anyone in your family – the younger generation - pursue farming, ranching, or agribusiness? I really hope so. If not, at least I can guarantee that our children will have a strong connection and understanding of where and how our food and fiber are produced.
Would you ever consider changing your business model? I think in this business you must be open to anything. The industry is changing and to be successful sometimes you must change too.
What are your community activities? We are active in 4-H, youth sports, and Farm Bureau.
Why are you involved? To make a difference you must be involved. In today’s world, people are disconnected from agriculture and if we don’t stand up for our industry who will?
What do you enjoy doing, and what is one fact that nobody knows about you? I enjoy leatherwork, watching my kids’ sports, hunting, and most outdoor activities. I’m kind of an open book, I can’t think of any fun secret fact.
Why are you a farm bureau member? To make a positive difference for our industry and have a voice when it comes to policy that impacts agriculture.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given and/or experienced? Never stop growing or learning.