HTF - Valley Ag Supply

HTF - Valley Ag Supply

There was something different at Valley Ag Supply in Gayville, South Dakota in early May.

There was too much equipment, sitting idle.


"It should not be sitting today," said Greg Pirak.

Mother Nature just wasn't cooperating.

"Normally we shouldn't have time to do this interview this time of year," said Greg. "But it rained a little bit this week."

The wet weather gave Greg and his wife Tara, co-owner, a chance to talk about their business.

"We work very hard to do what's economically and environmentally right for those customers," said Greg.

The two started Valley Ag Supply in the year 2000.

It was pretty hands-on back then.

"When it was just Greg and I, him in a sprayer, me in a truck, those were long and hard days," said Tara. "He'd get out of a sprayer and fix and I'd get out of a truck and do the bookwork."

Now, the business has grown to 50 full-time employees in season.

A big focus is using big equipment and computer technology for precision application.

Especially when it comes to fertilizer.

"Once we started doing it, and then that hilltop in the northeast corner started producing like the rest of the field, or once we put lime and gypsum on, and the water infiltration gets better, the PH gets better, the crops start getting better, and then yeah," said Greg, describing a typical situation with a customer in the early days. "They say, 'this makes sense.'"

"We're carrying fertilizer in big trucks and it seems like we're using so much, but the reality is, most of the time, we use, per square foot, less fertilizer out in the field to grow a corn crop than a homeowner is using to grow their grass." said Greg.

Greg and Tara have a sense of knowing about their customers and their needs you can only get from a family-owned business.

"These people don't change fields year after year, they have the same piece of dirt, so we take care of it, like they're going to have it for generations," said Tara. "We care for it like it's going to be around for generations."

The two have really put down roots into the Gayville community.

They even host a field day for school kids that they call "Farm to Table."

"So that they can learn what it takes to grow," said Greg. "What those products are used for and they don't just come wrapped in cellophane."

The day teaches kids about a business where the learning, and the changing, never stops.

"We're using much less today per bushel grown than we did 20 years ago," said Greg. "We're growing more bushels and we're using less fertilizer because we're doing it way more precisely."

If you're in Gayville and you're looking for Valley Ag Supply, it's the building with a big smiley face on the roof!

You can find out more about the business here:

Or here:

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at:

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