Work hard. Play Hard.
That’s our motto. Well, maybe not officially, but just ask any of our crew. Farming takes a lot of patience, a lot of early mornings and late nights, and a lot of faith. But it also gives us the chance to play with big machinery, to take tractor rides with our children and friends, and to feed our community.
The BDFC team includes some of the best folks around. Some have worked for us for more than twenty years, some have joined us just for the season. Regardless, being a part of the crew here is a great opportunity for farmers looking to work on a top-tier farm.
Benjamin Riensche | Owner & Manager
Ben owns and manages every aspect of BDFC’s crop production, from applications to planting and harvesting, from marketing to delivery. Ben has been farming as the Blue Diamond Farming Company since 1993. Prior to this, Ben attended Jesup High School and served as Jesup FFA President from 1978-1979. He then went on to Iowa State University, where he graduated in 1984 with a degree in Ag Business. He is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Afterward, he earned his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1989. Between school and farming, he worked for Wells Fargo Bank and the United Bank of Switzerland in their Wall Street, Chicago, and Basel, Switzerland offices. In 1994, Ben was chosen for an Eisenhower Fellowship. It was then that he moved to Hungary to use his banking and farm management skills in aiding local officials in adjusting to free trade. In 2001, Ben won the Farm Journal Top Producer of the Year award. Ben continues to run BDFC today using innovative and cutting-edge technology and management practices.
Lisa Riensche | Owner & Manager
Lisa and Ben first met when they were at Jesup High School, and they’ve been together ever since. Lisa attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in Elementary Education/Special Education. She is a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She was a teacher at Phenix Elementary in West Des Moines, Iowa from 1985 until 1989. Afterward, she taught at Wescott Elementary in Northbrook, Illinois from 1990 until 1993. After moving back to Jesup, Iowa, Lisa was elected to the Jesup Community School District School Board of Directors. She has served on the school board since 1999 and is currently board president. She also helps out with the high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) program and received an Honorary Membership Award at the chapter’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2010. Lisa supports the Jesup Community School fine arts program as a member of the J-Stars. In addition, Lisa and her family are active members of the Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. There, she volunteers for Vacation Bible School and is a Confirmation guide. On top of all of her responsibilities, Lisa raises four children, one oversized puppy, and several insufferable farm cats. Lisa and Ben will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in 2019.
Lauren, Hannah, Hans, & Faith Riensche | The 6th Generation
Ben and Lisa have four children: Lauren, Hannah, Hans, and Faith.
Lauren is Lisa and Ben’s oldest. She was a two-year President of the Jesup FFA, President of the Student Council, President of the National Honor Society, a Class Officer, and active in volleyball, theater, and speech. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in June 2015 and was awarded the highest undergraduate medal, the Howell Murray Alumni Association Award. There, she wrote her thesis in Sociology, took classes from the Booth Graduate School of Business, and, like her mother, joined Alpha Omicron Pi. In 2014, Lauren gave a TEDx talk about genetically modified plants. Over the years, she has worked in Jesup, IA; Cedar Falls, IA; St. Louis, MO; San Francisco, CA; New York City, NY; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; and Atlanta, GA. Currently, Lauren helps lead marketing efforts for Indigo Ag in Boston, MA.
Hannah is the second-oldest. As a member of the Jesup Class of 2013, Hannah served as a class officer, was a four-year State track competitor, and president of the Jesup FFA. She graduated with the class of 2017 from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she majored in Agricultural Sciences with a Business Concentration and a minor in Agribusiness Management. She is a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority, and in college participated in Agriculture Future of America, Cornell University Dairy Science Club, and was an Agricultural Sciences Ambassador. Hannah has worked at Monsanto, BankIowa, GROWMARK, and Channel Seeds, and now manages a top Asgrow/DEKALB sales region as a District Sales Manager in southern Minnesota.
Hans is the third of the Riensche children. In the Class of 2017 at Jesup High School, he played trumpet in the school band and was an active member of the Jesup FFA chapter. Hans has also played at the state championship with the high school basketball team and has attended several basketball camps at Iowa State University under the mentorship of Coach Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg. He has served as both class Treasurer and FFA Treasurer and is an avid soccer player. Hans studied Environmental Sustainability at the Northwestern University high school summer program in Chicago, IL and at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. In 2018, Hans won the prestegious John Chrystal Award for his exceptional work as a Borlaug-Ruan intern based at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, China over the summer of 2017. Hans interned with BASF in North Carolina in 2018 and in Germany in 2019. Hans is currently a member of the Iowa State University Class of 2021, where he is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho.
Faith is the youngest. She is in the class of 2020 at Jesup High School. Faith is currently Vice-President of the Jesup FFA chapter, and she enjoys playing both the piano and the flute. She is an avid athlete, playing soccer with the Independence Mustangs, basketball with the Jesup J-Hawks, and competing in state-level archery tournaments. In 2018, Faith attended classes at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL and went to the FFA Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.
The Crew | BDFC’s Elite
In addition to the Riensche family, there are a great group of guys who help the Blue Diamond Farming Company to run every day. From driving grain carts, to fixing broken cultivator shanks, to putting the new crop in the ground, these guys can do it all. The crew at BDFC loves to play with the latest and most innovative technology, work at an award-winning family farming operation, and be treated to spontaneous company outings (such as baseball games, farm shows, and team meals).
Early every morning, Monday through Friday (and sometimes Saturday), the crew arrives at the farm. Employees clock in, get a to-do list from Ben, and begin the day. As farming is largely a team-oriented occupation, our guys get to know each other pretty well. Regulars at the farm include Andy Covington and Paul Martin, both of whom have worked for BDFC for over 20 years. Ben’s parents, Roland and Arlene Riensche, also are common sights, as they still work on the farm just about every single day.
Of course, behind BDFC’s outstanding group of employees are their spouses and children. These wonderful people are the ones who understand why the guys won’t always be home for dinner at 6pm during planting and harvest and why eight-hour days can sometimes morph into ten- or twelve-hour days. Working in the agricultural industry takes a lot of patience and passion for your occupation, and no one knows that better than the families of our employees.
At BDFC, our employees and their families are respected. From your first day on the job, you’ll be expected to learn, contribute, and expand your skills to meet the demands of a modern agricultural world. We believe there is nothing nobler than growing the food necessary to feed the world. As such, we strive to take care of our business, our land, our community, and our team.