Silent Shade Planting Company began in 1979 when Willard and Laura Lee Jack migrated from Ontario, Canada, to Silent Shade Plantation in the northeast corner of Humphreys County in Mississippi. Having both come from farming families, Willard and Laura Lee had a strong desire to continue farming and provide their children with the opportunity to farm one day. However, the area in Ontario in which they lived was changing due to urban sprawl, which decreased land acreage available to farm and grow an operation. For this reason, Willard and Laura Lee decided to move to the Mississippi delta, an area that offered good ground and opportunities to expand.
In 1979, they started farming a diversified row crop operation of approximately 1,000 acres with one additional employee just outside of Tchula, Mississippi. By 2000, the farm had grown to approximately 3,000 acres of cotton, corn, soybeans, and rice, and in 2001, Willard Jack received the award for the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. This award recognized Willard for his forward-thinking agricultural practices, including his emphasis on irrigation, conservation, and farming efficiencies.
In the next ten years, two of Willard and Laura Lee’s children, Stacie and Jeremy, returned to work on the farm. Jeremy Jack, who had recently graduated from Mississippi State University with a Masters in Agribusiness Management, came back to the farm to run the day-to-day farm operations. Stacie Koger, also a graduate of Mississippi State University, had earned her C.P.A., and after some experience off the farm, she returned to manage the farm financials. In 2013, Jeremy and Stacie were recognized as one of Progressive Farmer’s Best Young Farmer and Ranchers, and Jeremy Jack was recognized as Bayer Crop Science’s Young Sustainable Farmer.
With Stacie and Jeremy’s return, the family decided to further expand the business by increasing their farming acreage. The farm's expansion opened the door for Jeremy's wife, Elizabeth Jack, to join the farm team to handle human resources, public relations and compliance in 2013. Also, Stacie's husband, Trey Koger, joined as Senior Agronomist in 2014.
Today, the farm has grown to a total of 12,000 acres of cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, peanuts and wheat. Approximately 97% of the farm is pivot, row, or flood irrigated. Silent Shade also uses auto steer, aerial imagery, variable rate input controllers, yield monitors, grid soil sampling, and dirt moving in an effort to actively manage yield production. Agronomic scouts are employed to aid in protecting plant health by monitoring insect and disease pressures. When the crops are harvested, Silent Shade Planting Company has over 700,000 bushels of rice, soybean and corn storage.
What began as a husband and wife operation has flourished into a family business employing six family members: Willard Jack, Laura Lee Jack, Jeremy Jack, Stacie Koger, Trey Koger and Elizabeth Jack. Silent Shade also provides approximately fifteen agricultural jobs in Humphreys County. We are very proud of our history and look forward to opportunities that may come our way in the future.