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Sheller Family Farms

Family Farm Rebounds From Tragedy
Sheller Farms expands, diversifies for the future

Aaron Sheller was a junior at Purdue University with plans for law school when tragedy changed his life’s trajectory.

Aaron’s father, Dave, died unexpectedly, leaving his family devastated and the family farm near Noblesville, Indiana, without a full-time leader. At the time, Aaron’s mom, Sherry, was working as a school bus driver and his brother, Adam, was a teacher.

“We had to make some tough decisions,” Aaron says. “I was dating Lacey, who is now my wife. Her dad farms and he encouraged me to rethink my plans. Ultimately, he helped convince me that my passion was not law but farming.”

That conversation was instrumental in Aaron’s decision to return home to help his mother on the farm. After commuting back and forth from Purdue throughout the week, Aaron finished his degree in accounting, opted out of law school and joined Sherry on the farm full time.

“I helped on the farm every day and grew up in a farming family," Sherry says. "When my husband passed away, Aaron took over the farm management, while others helped us along the way.”

During that transition, family members, friends and supply partners all pitched in.

“We were a mom and a kid learning how to run a farm, and we couldn’t have succeeded without partners like Beck’s with the late Lee Rulon, who sent out an agronomist weekly to help walk the fields,” Aaron says. “Lee told me, ‘If you know the economics of how to make money, we can teach you to farm.'”

Almost 20 years later, Aaron is the seventh generation leading the family’s farm, and the farm has tripled in size. What has not changed is the family’s teamwork mentality.

Almost all family members, including Lacey and Sherry, drive the grain cart, feed livestock and help in other ways to keep the farm running. Adam, who now sells insurance, continues to assist with planting and harvest, as time allows.

“My mom was the foundation of women in agriculture,” says Aaron. “There’s nothing she can’t do on the farm, and that includes driving a semi into Indianapolis traffic to make deliveries.”

Today, Sheller Farms produces row crops, including non-GMO soybean seed and non-GMO food-grade waxy corn. The family also sells farm inputs to other farmers, raises cows and pigs and operates a direct-to-consumer meat company, Sheller Family Foods.

“We love what we do,” says Aaron. “We are very passionate about farming, and we truly care about our consumers because without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we love.”

Aaron and Lacey have three children, Hallie, Davanee and Luke. Adam, and his wife, Amy, have three children, Annie, Abby and Alayna.

In 2019, Aaron and Lacey received the Indiana Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award. In 2020 they had a top-10 finish in the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher achievement competition.

“For us, farming is about the next generation. I’ve got kids who want to be involved in agriculture and there are so many options for them, including row-crop farming, livestock, retail and more,” Aaron says. “It’s our job to make sure the ship is big enough for them to set foot on. It’s their job to build the ship as big as they’d like it to be.”

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