Jim Perrin grew up on a small farm in central Wisconsin and also spent the summers on his grandparent’s small dairy farm in southwest Wisconsin. After graduating high school in 1986, Jim joined the U.S. Army as a crew chief on UH-60A Blackhawk helicopters. After serving four years in the Army Jim realized that aviation was in his blood. It became apparent that aviation and agriculture could be melded together with a career in agricultural aviation.
In the spring of 1992 Jim attended Harold Millers agricultural aviation training program in Illinois. That summer Harold hired Jim to fly an A-9 Callair that he flew in Missouri and Kentucky. In 1993 Jim got a job in his home state flying S2C and S2D airplanes for Jim Stutesman. In 1995 Jim was given an opportunity to buy his first operation in Illinois that operated a 450 Ag-Cat. After flying that season in Illinois as a pilot and manager, Jim and his wife Julie closed the deal on their first operation. Over the next couple years Jim and Julie purchased two more operations. During that time the fleet changed a bit to operate Cessnas, 450 and 600 Ag-Cats and a piston Thrush. In 2000 Jim and Julie sold their operation in Aledo, Illinois. Then in 2001 they sold their operation in Morrison, Illinois, so they could capitalize on an opportunity to buy an operation close to home in central Wisconsin with a partner, Tim Rourke. Back in Wisconsin Jim operated an Ag-Cat and then eventually a couple Air Tractors, both piston and turbine, a Cessna, a Weatherly, and finally several turbine Thrush aircraft.
Currently Jim and Julie operate three turbine Thrushes applying fungicide, insecticide, herbicide, and fertilizer as well as cover crop seeding to a wide range of crops, but predominantly vegetable crops, both conventional and organic. Two of these aircraft are equipped for night operations using night vision goggles (NVG). All three aircraft are equipped with GPS and flow control as well as being equipped with four valve booms so either left or right booms can be shut off as well as vortice shutoff valves.
Jim and his wife Julie were married in 1987 and had their first child Anna in 1995. Anna worked for the family business as a mixer/loader all through high school and college. They had a son in 2000 that also mixed and loaded all through high school and when available in college. Jon stayed in aviation and is now a CFII. Anna is dating one of Jim’s pilots, Cory.
Jim has been involved with several state agricultural aviation associations holding offices in both Illinois and Wisconsin. Jim has served as Treasurer, Vice President and was elected to be the 2022 President of NAAA. Jim started presenting PAASS in 2020.
In Jim’s off time his primary hobby is bow hunting and habitat management for whitetail and turkeys. He also hunts with rifle, shotgun and muzzle loader in a couple Midwest states as tags allow. Snowmobiling also occupies Jim’s free time as does recreational flying in the families Cessna 180 and A-1 Husky.