Darrel Mertens bought Benson Aviation Inc from Russ Benson in the spring of 1984. At that time the business consisted of one hanger, two outbuildings and the runway as real property. In 1984 there were four spray planes, two field pickups and two delivery trucks that were used to run the business along with two full time and two part time employees.

In the 1980’s aerial application of crop protection products was quite simple from the amount of products, to regulations and overall work schedules. The inventory consisted of only 13 products versus over 100 on the company’s product list today. Aerial Applicators had to comply with far less regulation from agencies such as FAA and EPA to name a couple, and the work schedule was also greatly reduced with a typical work year in the 1980’s that would span only eight months compared to a 12-month schedule today.

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