Kelsey McCullough (Foster)
What is your story?
I grew up in central Nebraska with my three sisters and parents. Ever since I was eight, I knew that I wanted to be a farmer when I grew up. Right away Dad put me to work to start learning the ropes - driving stick shift, laying out pipe and fetching tools. My parents and mentors pushed me to challenge myself in the pursuit of my dream. Academics, faith, music, and 4-H all played a large role in my childhood. In college, I was a participant in the Honors’ Program, teaching assistant for David Lambe and Dr. Donald Lee and member of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, Outdoor Education Club and Horticulture Club. I also earned my Master Naturalist Certification. After having a very rewarding college experience, I now feel prepared to take on the family business expansion, including a grass-fed livestock system, year-round agrotourism elements and hoop-house native wildflower production. Also, incorporating more acres of currently grown native grass seed species of different varieties will help lead the business towards having marketing opportunities such as seed cleaning and distribution. Conservation practices including cover crops, crop rotation and no-till are very important parts of my management plans. Overall, I am grateful for all the opportunities I had growing up and am looking forward to a life long career of learning.
What is your business?
Foster Grasslands is a family farm/ranch that specializes in the seed production of native grasses and forbs. Our goal is to utilize sustainable, holistic practices in our agricultural work.
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
My entrepreneurial inspiration and biggest hero is my dad, Kirk Foster. He started the transformation of our family farm from a commodity-focused business to an innovative enterprise. He is a hard worker and is humble in his endeavors. I hope to follow in his footsteps and continue to expand operations.
If your story were made into a movie, what actor/actress would portray you and why?
If my story were made into a movie, Scarlett Johansson would be the actress to portray me. She is a strong, hard working person who has demonstrated the dedication to her acting career through her role as the Black Widow in the Marvel movies. She also has a certain charisma and spunk in her personality that I think would translate well into my on-screen characteristics.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that will fit in your schedule. You never know whom you will meet and what you will learn.