Newsletter for April 1st, 2016

Wes Pitcher with Pitchco Farms

Wes Pitcher, local entrepreneur, started his own swine business at sixteen. Along with his business partner, Wes took a trip to North Carolina, the confinement swine capital, in the early 90’s that would prove to be a pivotal point in his self-driven career. The Pitcher family was one of the first in the midwest to experiment with confinement swine care. The method proved to be successful. After they built the second operation they discovered the need for a better manure handling system than what was being commonly used. Again, a first in the area to use a drag line with an airway to handle manure the Pitcher’s were contacted by several producers in the midwest and on the east coast to service their waste removal needs and thus, another business was born. Couple this with running a Canadian outpost, a swine trucking business, a short stint in fiberglass hog equipment, and a winery, and you never know where you will find this Pitcher family! Wes left us with a reminder of an old saying, “necessity breeds opportunity”. He is certainly correct, it is what we do with the opportunities that lend to our success!

Probst Auto Body

Wednesday morning found us in Dieterich visiting with Jasper CEO investor Mark Probst at Probst Auto Body. Not only did we learn more about Mark and his journey but along the way we picked up many business skills we have since discussed in class. As we reflected we learned that many of us came away with several of the same underlying concpets: working as an employee before becoming self employed, saving is critical to early success, the importance of seeking outside resources to gain knowledge and success, and the importance of structure in a growing business. Probst Auto body is a fantastic example of successful entrepreneurship and we all learned so much from our time with Mark!

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