“Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
This series highlights young professionals and their stories, because no matter our path we all have a little to share and a lot to learn. Read and learn from past feature posts HERE.
For many, my next guest in this series needs no introduction. In 2012, Greg and his brothers became overnight YouTube stars when they posted their “I’m Farming and I Grow It” parody video that highlighted agriculture and life on a farm in a fun, upbeat way. Since then, the “Peterson Farm Bros” have become spokespersons for the agriculture industry, traveling the world to share their story.
To me though, Greg was the goofy fellow K-State ag comm student who I had to practically beg to finish his design layout for the magazine we were both on staff for. I think the phrase “it was like pulling teeth” would be appropriate to use here. When their first video came out, I watched Greg and his brothers on Fox and Friends days after the video had went viral, and remember thinking, “This couldn’t be happening to a better person.” And I still believe that. Last spring we met up when Greg was in DC for a speaking engagement, and if it wasn’t for all of the world travel and experiences he had to share, you wouldn’t guess that he is someone who can actually say that he has made a difference. He is one of the kindest, most humble guys I know, and his passion for sharing both his faith and about agriculture is inspiring. It was refreshing though, even after all of that, to sit and chat about the struggles and things that we have learned as young professionals. Needless to say, I am excited to share his story with you.
Name: Greg Peterson
Hometown: Assaria, KS
College: Kansas State University
Degree(s): Agricultural Communications and Journalism
Current Location: Assaria, KS
Current Job: Farmer, YouTube Video Producer, Public Speaker
Background Story: I grew up and still work on a 5th generation family farm near Assaria, KS. I graduated from Kansas State University in 2013. In 2012, my brothers and I started creating YouTube videos about farming. These videos have received over 40 million views and we have used the platform to advocate for agriculture through social media content, farm tours, and speaking presentations.
I went ahead and chose to share my favorite Peterson Farm Bros video. You can see the rest of the their parody videos, as well as other educational videos about agriculture on YouTube HERE. And be sure to check out their website where they have even more educational resources at www.petersonfarmbros.com.
How did you choose your college and your major?
I grew up as a big K-State fan so it was always my number one choice for college, but I definitely checked out some other schools as well. I ended up choosing K-State because of the location, the strength of the ag program, and the chance to go to K-State athletic events for four years.
What were your biggest challenges or obstacles in college? Anything you would change?
I had trouble waking up for class! But really, I’m not a morning person and it was hard sometimes. I think the biggest challenges were those weeks late in Junior/Senior year when all the tests/projects/papers came all at once. You just had to push through and get everything done. It takes a lot of motivation to make it through college. I spent much of my first 2 years wasting a lot of time just because as a younger college student I could. I wish I could’ve been more efficient with my time during those years.
What one piece of advice would you give a student during their senior year?
I think most people would say to enjoy it, and I would agree with that. Do your best, but don’t take grades too seriously. Five to ten years later you won’t have regrets about grades, but you’ll think back to that last year and the people you met and the experiences you went through.
Tell us about your career so far?
I was unsure of what I was going to do for a career during most of my time in college. I wanted to farm but wanted to find something I could do along with it. I began to pick up speaking engagements related to our YouTube videos during my senior year of school and decided to pursue that once I graduated. One thing led to another and I now do about 90 speaking engagements per year. I’ve been to 49 states and 8 countries because of this and it has given me a great opportunity to see the world and make lots of connections. I spend about a third of my year on the road but I get to farm when I’m home and live a somewhat normal life. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep speaking and traveling, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts!
How have your experiences and involvement in college set you up for success in your career and life post grad?
Being an Ag Comm major certainly helped me learn how to create, edit, and promote content. I felt like what I learned in classes was very applicable to life after graduation. However, a lot of what you learn in college isn’t taught in the classroom necessarily. You learn a lot just from the college experience. Social skills, networking, responsibility, discipline, etc. I think practicing some of those things in college helped prepare me for post graduation.
Work-life balance? How do you stay afloat and refreshed?
My work life definitely gets a little crazy sometimes so that can definitely be tough. I try to get a lot of exercise. This can be hard when you’re on the road a lot. I play basketball twice a week and run and work out whenever I have time at hotels. Also, getting enough sleep, enjoying some entertainment, and making sure to take some time to invest time and energy in “people” and not just in work related “things.”
What in your #PostGradLife are you most proud of so far?
I think just being self-employed and getting to do what I enjoy for a job. A lot of people wake up and don’t want to go to work. I enjoy farming, writing, speaking, and traveling. Especially when I can balance all of them together without too much of one thing. Also, that somehow I figured out how to mix my major (Ag Communications and Journalism) and my minor (Music Performance) together in my job.
What does life look like right now? Hobbies and interests? What outside of work are you passionate about?
Leading worship and helping with youth group at church, spending time with family, movies, music, playing sports, community events.
Just for Fun
What is essential to your morning routine to start the day off right?
Well, like I said earlier, I’m not a morning person so I’m kind of a disaster some mornings. Especially if I’ve just gotten home late from a trip and didn’t get much sleep. Coffee is an absolute must, and that’s become especially true after college.
Do you have a must-have vice like caffeine or item you can’t live without in your workspace?
My workspace can be outside, in a tractor, at a desk, in an airplane, in a hotel, etc. so it varies quite a bit. My vice would definitely be my phone. It’s what I have in all of those places. And fast internet. If the internet is slow, I get upset.
If you were to have another career, all limitations aside, what would it be?
I always wanted to be some type of musician. Not like a rock star or anything, just something where I could get paid to write, play, or sing music every day and have it positively impact other people.
Moment of truth, what do you really miss about college?
You miss a lot of things, but with two brothers still in school I can go back to visit and reminisce most of it (like K-State games). However, what you can’t revisit all at once are the people you met when you were there. You do your best to keep up with all of your college friends after you graduate, but you’ll never get to experience all of them living within a few miles of you at once again. To build up that community over 4 years and then have to leave it, that is kind of tough.
Greg, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule and sharing a bit about yourself! And more importantly, thank you for everything that you do to advocate and put a good face on the industry that we both love! Safe travels my friend!