Harvest Heritage: Kelsy Reynolds

Agriculture

MANSFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Kelsy Reynolds is a farm girl with some of the most diverse talents anyone will ever find.

“Born and raised in Mansfield, small town of 900 people,” Reynolds said of her roots. “I’ve always lived out in the country. I’ve always been out in the farm, ag, my whole life.”

Reynolds’ dad taught her many of the talents she practices today.

“Everything you can imagine,” she said. “Anything work-related I learned from him.”

Reynolds does a tremendous number of things, including pouring concrete. She’s currently working on a patio for Marsha Colclasure, who is impressed with Reynolds.

“Her work ethic is wonderful,” Colclasure said. “She runs circles around all of us and she is hard working, she is honest, she is in the moment with it and she is like the Energizer Bunny. She really is.

Come summertime, Reynolds climbs into her helicopter and sprays crops.

“We do fungicide and insecticide by air, so aerial application is what we do, seasonal, about three and a half or four months out of the year,” Reynolds explained.

Her business – RAS Aviation – began with her dad.

“My dad flew in the military, flew Cobras, and he had a bunch of farmer friends and they knew he could fly. And they told him ‘Why are you not spraying?’ so he started spraying,” Reynolds said. “There’s a nurse truck, the helicopter lands on the truck and I was the nurse truck driver for my dad and eventually I was like, ‘I don’t want to drive a truck my whole life. Teach me how to fly.’ Dad taught me how to run a business and not be scared of starting and running your own business,” Reynolds said. “And when he did pass in 2014, I had enough confidence and knowledge to continue.”

And what can people learn from her?

“Just know that any female or anyone who wants to go out and do something, learn a new skill, that skill is always going to be there,” Reynolds said. “Nobody can take that skill away from you. And if you have that mindset and keep learning, you can just keep growing. And that’s kind of how I live my life.

Kelsy Reynolds is a very strong thread in the fabric of central Illinois agriculture.

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