Co-star of GAC’s “Farm Kings” Joe King taught students how to obtain a natural and sustainable business in the Eisenberg Classroom Building (ECB) Monday night.
“Farm Kings” is a television show that features a family of 11. The show is filmed in Butler, PA. The family created a business, Freedom Farms, which grew and became very popular. The show first aired on Sept. 27, 2013. Season two recently premiered on April 13, 2013.
“The show is not reality. It’s based on reality. It was really more of a risk. My family didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into,” King said.
He reflected on how the show got its start and what the main purpose of the show was to audiences.
“We mainly just wanted to show people that farming is cool,” he joked. “When my family was approached about filming a television show, we were surprised. Then again, we are very opinionated about what happens in this country, so we wanted our show to lead by example.
King explained that his family really had faith in who they were and they weren’t afraid to show it on camera.
“Hopefully people like us. Inspiring young people is what we really love to do.”
With being an entrepreneur, King admits that he has changed a lot.
“I’m more consistent than I was before,” he said. “I pay attention to every detail because I know how I want things done. It can be really fun and exciting being your own boss sometimes, but it could also be difficult at times too.”
Although fun at times, King said there were many challenges when it came to obtaining a sustainable business. Not only was it important for the business to grow but it was also important for the business to interact with its customers as much as possible.
“Community Supported Agriculture is our unique program that gives our customers the freedom to choose what they want, when they want it,” he said. “We sell official CSA packages that include member-only discounts, first access to our products and information about our upcoming events. We’re trying to involve our customers so they feel like they’re a part of what we do. Our goal in our mission statement is to provide the best customer service possible.”
The King family not only owns a farm but they also own a bakery and a café as well. King said that expanding their business beyond farming has been one of the most exciting parts about being an entrepreneur. He loves experimenting new things because you never know when something could be a big hit, he said.
“We never knew that the bakery and café were going to be as popular as it is. We were just experimenting here and there. I’m glad it worked out though because that made us experiment even more. We started making bouquets of flowers for weddings and proms.”
He went on to joke, “By doing that, we can provide the flowers and cater the food for most weddings, which means more money for us.”
King expressed how thankful he was that his business partners were his family. He has a hard time trusting a person when it comes to running a business. That being said, it would have been hard to find a partner to start a business with.
“Choosing who you work with is important. You can’t trust everybody. Invest time in the right people.”
As his presentation came to an end, King touched on how this generation is more important than ever to agriculture. He said that college students will be the ones to determine the future of this country.
Before leaving, King gave students advice on how to create sustainability.
“Be stubborn. It sounds funny right? Creating and maintaining a sustainable business can be intimidating. Look at the whole picture. If you only look at a few things, it will only get complicated as you go. Get the ball rolling,” he said. “Make sure to simplify everything. If there is an easier way to mop the floor, do it that way. Have energy, be passionate about what you’re doing and go out every day and start your daily grind.”