In 30 plus years of business, Fehner and Son has grown into one of the largest ag companies in Gonzales County. With an emphasis on small town pride, friendliness and devotion to family, Fehner and Son is one of the area’s top businesses.
“We bring customers to Gonzales from as far as 300 miles away,” Betty Fehner told the
Gonzales Inquirer. “We have evolved from a trucking company to a feed and grain operation, delivery business, and now, even an amazing gun store.”
Founded in 1986 by James Fehner and his son Jimmy, the company originally started out primarily as a trucking company to haul grain. In 1990, Jimmy’s wife Betty came on board to take over doing the books and accounting before the company began its expansion in 1994.
In 1994, James parlayed his experience in managing a feed mill into a purchase of the old Boothe Feed Mill on St. Andrews Street. James had worked at Boothe starting in the 1960s, so he and Jimmy decided to start mixing feed. James handled the feed and mixing part of the business, while Jimmy concentrated on hauling the grain and delivering the feed.
By the early 2000s, Fehner and Son had invested over $2 million in the business. Fourteen employees were working for Fehner, many of them family members. But bigger things were in store for the business.
“We looked to expand in the early 2003 and 2004 years, so we approached our local banks about providing capital for our expansion plans out here on 97,” Betty explained. “We worked with Sage and South Star, and both banks were so wonderful then and they’ve been very good to us ever since.”
In 2005, Fehner and Son opened its new facility across from J.B. Wells, expanding the feed and grain business capability and adding to the hauling operation.
“We couldn’t have done it without all the awesome employees we have here,’’ Betty said. “We’re just like a big family and that’s the way we like to treat our employees and customers—whether they are big or small, it doesn’t matter.” There are currently 20 employees working at Fehner and Son.
In 2007, the company added its first robot for handling packaged feed (see photo on this page), then expanded with two more robots in 2015.
“When we expanded in 2015 at a cost of $4 million, we added a new loading building for big trucks to drive into, added onto our feed and grain capabilities, and then opened up the gun shop in October when my son Brandon and his wife Stephanie brought the idea to us,” Betty said. “Brandon is great at finding unique guns and unique knives. We are one of the biggest sellers of Case knives, but Brandon has a great eye and knack for finding the unique products that people can’t find everywhere else.”
Over time, Betty and Jimmy’s daughter Christen came back from Corpus Christi to join the family accounting operation, and her husband Michael Ince also started in the hauling division. Their other son Bradley is in the oil business.
“This is a true family operation,” Betty said. “Jimmy oversees the operation, I manage the accounting along with Christen, Brandon and Stephanie run the gun shop, and Michael is involved in the hauling. Our grandkids are here, and we are just so blessed to meet so many nice people and have such great employees.”
A new edition to the Fehner and Son operation is a new 18-wheeler from Tennessee that Jimmy recently purchased. On Monday, Jimmy made his first delivery in the new rig, and smiled broadly when he said: “This even has air conditioning. I’ve been driving for years without it and I am excited to have it finally.”
Jimmy and Betty have three children: Brandon (married to Stephanie with children Barrett and Kimmer); Christen (married to Michael Ince with son Phinn Ridley) and son Bradley. Fehner and Son will be closed on Labor Day weekend.