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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 11/15: One Entrepreneurs Journey, From Lender to Farmer

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

On today’s episode of the AmiSights podcast, I sat down with George Peichel of Pure Prairie Farms.

In addition to agriculture, George had spent a significant amount of his career in banking, followed by a senior leadership role at Christensen Farms, where he led the company’s impactful large-scale expansion and advancement efforts. Through executing robust strategies within his role, George helped to increase revenue from $30 million to one billion dollars within seventeen years.

In the episode, George takes us through his entrepreneurial journey. He explains that his organization grew from 30 employees to 1,200 and needed a corporate structure and less of an entrepreneurial system. George wasn't happy and decided to go off on his own at that point.

"I've learned a lot. If you talk about legal, if you talk about the people, if you talk about organizing groups and keeping them together. I've had an education over the last four or five years that's been unmatched by anything you could put together for a master's or a Ph.D. level degree."

The most helpful resources along the way, George says, were finding the right team and how instrumental the USDA was to their success. The USDA in rural areas provides different but similar types of loan programs that the SBA offers around the country. In addition to their USDA loan, a week ago, the USDA announced a 7 million dollar grant! “The importance of the grant is that it allows us to keep the ownership of this plant within the growers, it’s grower-owned, it’s also management owned, and a few investors - so it’s allowed us to keep it within a small circle of loan folks rather than having to sell ourselves out to Wallstreet or some private equity operation.”

Listen to George’s entrepreneurial journey here: ​ ​

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