• alignagro

37 Year's Old, Afraid of Change and Intimidated by a New Industry

Intimidation, Change, Learning and Accountability;

I used to be intimidated by the fact that an industry I was passionate about was new to me. I was intimidated of taking a chance, being humble and willing to learn. I had always been relatively successful with anything I tried, but at 37, a complete change of direction into an industry I was ultimately unfamiliar with took a major change in my thinking. I always thought focusing on WHAT could make me money, as opposed to what I was passionate about and good at was a solid plan for my future. Years of management positions, business development, owning and running small businesses that were tied to a corporate structure or a vision that was not in line with my belief system wreaked havoc on my ability to have confidence in myself. Once I made a conscious decision to do better in all aspects of my life, is when my journey, or at least the path I find myself on now, started. The way in which I started to change my thinking came soon after the birth of my first born, baby boy. I had just finished police academy (Yes, you would be right at questioning this as ALL my previous jobs and experiences revolved around management and business development but it goes to show how I was grasping, searching for anything to cling on to as my “calling”.) I thought challenging myself to do something most people were unwilling to do, or at least might be scared to do, would somehow give me peace or a semblance of happiness in a professional career. What I didn’t realize at the time, was this was not completely misguided, just rather, focused in the wrong industry. 

A newer industry in its infancy, at least to my understanding, of hemp had a dramatic effect on me. Growing up on the family farm and always having a love of agriculture, at its most basic understanding, always seemed to call to me. I picked up numerous books and started reading. These included works by Doug Fine, Rowan Robinson, Jen Hobbs, articles on hemp construction by Wolf Jordan, Steve Allin and countless websites, white papers, peer reviewed papers, engineering and processing techniques and literally anything hemp related that I could find. I also committed myself to talking with people in person, shaking hands, going to expos, roundtables and getting myself in front of anyone that could share with me their wisdom and business acumen when it came to hemp. I could go on and on about the many aspects of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the Improvement Act of 2018 and then individual states and their decisions at it related specifically to hemp in 2019. For me, Governor Whitmer of Michigan and her passage in April 2019 of the Ag Pilot Program, drove me to delve even deeper into my research, building my network of industry professionals, traveling throughout the U.S. and asking for HELP in order to learn and build my knowledge base as much as I could as it related to industrial hemp. Soon I registered my LLC and articles of incorporation, applied for a growing license through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and here I am today.

This is a start, a beginning for me to stay accountable at learning something new each day and to put that out there to whomever it may reach. Will anyone be interested, or read it? I really have no idea and that really is not the goal nonetheless. It will keep me engaged and if it engages others along the way, that is a bonus and blessing. In business, in life, making a conscious decision to commit to something and following through speaks to dedication and a passion to continually learn. I wish to not be complacent. I hope to maybe read this back one day and realize this was an integral step in getting me above and beyond those successes I wanted to reach for myself. I will be making an effort to put out information relating to the hemp industry and it might be stuff many of you know, may not know, but either way, the visiting of the information as a daily reminder will keep myself grounded and having a fresh mind in the industry. I appreciate the time vested in reading this and simply, thank you.

Here’s to many more conversations, the sharing of information and helping each other out to have a positive effect on this industry.

Much Love and Always Forward,

Rusty Peterson

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