A Seat At The Table

Twice a year students get the chance to quiz agribusiness leaders who have grown their ideas into successful ventures at the Agricultural Entrepreneurs Roundtable
Event.   Organizers invite a diverse group of entrepreneurs to have dinner and talk with college students.  The professionals vary by discipline, age and gender and represent new and established companies.

“The goal is to get students exposed to different forms of opportunity recognition
and to learn through the experiences different entrepreneurs had,” says Stacey Noe, Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative coordinator.

Harry Stine, president and founder of Stine Seed Co., was the keynote speaker at the spring event in 2010.  He was impressed by the group of students at the roundtable.

And while he believes the urge to develop a business is “genetic,” activities like the roundtable are helpful.

“Good coaching will not turn you from a nonathlete into an athlete, but it will enhance you and make you better. The same principle applies here.  They can be better business people than they otherwise would be by going to school and being involved in this type of thing,” Stine says.

Getting to network with business people of Stine’s caliber attracts many students Noe says.  She limits participants at each event to about 40 to allow students greater access to the visiting professionals