Nicole and Steve JonasName:  Nicole and Steve Jonas

Title and Company:  Red Granite Farm, owners

Hometown:  We are located in rural Boone County

Major and Graduation Date:  Horticulture Steve 2001, Nicole 2002

Major Job/Position Responsibilities:  Well, where do I start?!  Steve also works full time so he does a lot of the growing and behind the scenes stuff, while I am the main salesperson.  We grow about 3 acres of vegetables for sale from the farm and at the farmers market in downtown Ames.  I grow about 5,000 perennials for sale at the farm each year.  We also have between 300-500 laying hens, depending on the time of year.  I do a fair amount of landscape consulting as well.  We can’t do it alone though, we hire 1-2 students every year for a summer internship.

What you like most about your job/position:  We enjoy the freedom of making our own schedule and the satisfaction of growing quality local food for our community.  We also can give our kids a rural farm life, while living comfortably.  The garden center fulfills a passion for me as I love working in and teaching customers through our many display gardens on the farm.

What advice would you give to current students:  Work lots of different places to find out what you really enjoy (and maybe really dislike) in horticulture.  Your on the job experience is invaluable.