Young farmer to share story at ALEAP event
Published 9:26 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016
What’s your story? by Cole Pestorious
Cole Pestorious of Frontier Family Farms will be the featured speaker at the monthly ALEAP meeting that starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at 137 S. Broadway.
The following is some information about Pestorious:
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1.What do you do?
“I am a sixth-generation farmer. Our family farm raises corn and soybeans. I am responsible for crop production planning and input purchasing, grain marketing, daily operations and financial management. The best way to summarize my role is a general manager.”
2. How does someone become a brand warrior?
“In ag, I think being a brand warrior is being an advocate (agvocate) and supporting our industry. There is a growing disconnect from the farms that raise the food, feed, fuel and fiber that the world needs. We have a small amount of the population, so telling our story and connecting with the consumers is a challenge. To be a brand warrior, will dedicate the time to promote what we do and that the consumers today have the most abundant, safest and largest selection of food that has ever existed.”
3. What were you like as a kid? What did you want to do then and how does it relate to your life now?
“I was always passionate about farming. When I was young, I spent numerous hours riding with my father in the sprayer or combine. And if the hours spent out in the field weren’t enough, I spent hours in the off season playing tractors on the floor. It was time well spent watching how everything happens, listening to him coordinate the operation and listening to stories. As I grew older, I started helping out with simple tasks and over time getting to operate farm equipment. Farming gets into your blood and you just know that is what you want to do. It becomes a passion.”
4. Who has been important to you in your success as an entrepreneur?
“My parents, for allowing me the opportunity to continually take on more responsibilities and not holding me back from changes that I thought would make us more successful. Also, our employees, I spent a lot of time working alongside them, which taught me a lot about equipment and operating it. Also they help implement the changes.”
5. What are two or three traits you have that you think makes you a successful entrepreneur?
“The desire to keeping learning and looking for what is next. Analytical, looking at the data to justify changes.”
6. What led you on the path to become an entrepreneur/open your own business?
“The opportunity from my parents to take on more and more responsibilities.”
7. What were you doing before you became an entrepreneur?
“I started working on the farm, operating equipment, driving trucks, doing maintenance and anything else that needed to be done on the farm.”
8. What is it like being your own boss?
“Rewarding, challenging and frustrating. It is so rewarding to raise a crop to provide food, feed and fuel. Challenging to raise the bar against yourself, watching the crop develop and thinking about how to do it better next year. But also frustrating that there is so much outside of our control, like weather.”
9. How do you develop your knowledge and skills?
“I attend numerous training events around the country, and am involved in several peer groups where we all learn from each other.”
10. What are a couple traits that you think lead to being successful in running your own business?
“Determination and being open-minded. To be successful you need the determination to rise above the challenges that exist. Open-minded to recognize that there is always something new that can make you more efficient.”
11. What do you think the correlation between being an entrepreneur and taking risks is?
“I don’t know if you can be an entrepreneur without taking risks. They are always competing to do something better or new, and with both of those comes risk.”
12. What has been the key to your success as an entrepreneur?
“The desire to keep changing, and continual learning.”
13. What advice would you give to your younger self five years ago, or to somebody that’s just starting in the business today as a young adult?
“Read, and broaden your perspective. We are in a global economy and everything is interconnected. Other countries’ policies impact what happens here. Study business. There are a lot of different industries, but most have the same challenges, so what can we incorporate from theirs into ours. Be curious. How can new technologies, things we don’t even pay attention to, affect what we do?”
17. What do you see as being your keys to success?
“Continual learning and networking.”
18. What is the best piece of advice that you have been given that you would like to pass on to others?
“Bad decisions are made during good times, and good decisions are made during bad times. When there is a challenge is when you need to challenge yourself to find solutions.”