Though starting your own business can be a scary endeavor for many, Ben Pederson was ready. Having developed entrepreneurship characteristics early while growing up on the family farm, Pederson formed an entrepreneurial foundation that prepared this business owner for the challenges that come with being your own boss. Dubbed “Sprout” by family and friends in his childhood years, Ben has taken the nickname and turned it into Sprout Ag Enterprises, a profitable business dedicated to helping farmers become more efficient and effective in their operations.
Sprout Ag Enterprises began selling, installing, and servicing Precision Planting products; three years later, they added 360 Yield Center products to their purchasing options, offering custom application of Nitrogen fertilizer through 360 Yield Center’s YDrops and fungicides through their Undercover products. The company, which was incorporated in 2012, is run from the Pederson family farm northwest of Lake Mills.
“I was looking for a way to branch out in business,” Pederson said. “When an opportunity to become a Precision Planting dealer presented itself, I had to take that leap.”
In response to a question on how he became an entrepreneur, Pederson stated “It was just in my DNA.” He went on to say he learned very quickly that success is not something he was entitled to, and that being your own boss requires a lot of dedication and hard work.
“It requires hard work, difficult decisions, and the assumption of risk. Once I figured out a formula to make the whole thing work, it became addictive, and continues to become increasingly more so,” he said. Before starting Sprout Ag Enterprises, Pederson had never sold anything to anyone who had not posted a bid. “Having to approach customers to sell was very intimidating at first, but it has been a wonderful experience. I've gotten to know so many more people in our industry than I would have otherwise and I can communicate with them better as well because I learned step out of my comfort zone.”
Being a farmer who buys equipment and services while also being a dealer who sells equipment and services has helped Pederson to appreciate his customers even more. “I am proud of our continued growth in our business and solid relationships with customers. We've worked hard to make it so that when we sell a good or service, it returns that investment back to the customer and then some,” said Pederson. “I never want those who I have done business with to feel like they did not get a fair value. That's very important to me.”
Sprout Ag Enterprises strives to do what they can to help their customers become better operations. They even host an annual Yield Conference, where their goal is to be the most educational and interesting meeting growers attend all year.
“We try to be of service to our local farmers by providing information and technology that they can use to grow their bottom lines,” Pederson said.
Ben Pederson was interviewed several times as one of four farmers featured on The Progressive Farmer online during their Innovations in the Field publication project in 2015 (Put Tradition to the Test and Don’t Cut the Muscle.) He has also been featured on the Corn and Soybean Digest and Strip Till Farmer websites.
Sprout Ag Enterprises is located at 20690 460th Street, Lake Mills, Iowa, and can be contacted at 641-592-2305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.