ALUM OF THE MONTH NICOLE AND STEVE JONASJanuary 12, 2017
Name: 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.