James Pieper grew up in a suburb located outside of Fargo, North Dakota. Although his extended family owned a farm, James was a five-hour drive from the land and was not involved as a young kid. It wasn’t until he experienced research trials and got hands-on involvement at the agronomy department at North Dakota State University that his interest in farming grew.
After graduating, James moved to South Central Minnesota for a career in agriculture finance. This happened to put him very close to the family’s farm and the proximity allowed him to start his farming adventure.
James started his social media journey by sharing captivating drone photos. Today, his platforms revolve around showcasing his farm experience. We connected with James to hear his Pioneer story firsthand and see how the brand has made an impact on his life.
I was always fascinated with the farming operation when I was little. I enjoyed watching my grandparents farm, and it was that interest that led me to pursue a degree in agronomy at North Dakota State University. I started working on farms during the summer and got my start in small grains. When my career got me closer to my family's land, I decided to act. My grandparents retired from farming about 10 years ago. Although the shops and bins are next to the land, I've had to learn a lot about equipment and starting up an operation.
Obtaining equipment. Combines, tractors, and planters are an investment, and since this is my part-time job, I had to get creative. I've crossed paths with some great people who allowed me the opportunity to farm. The local Pioneer dealer in the area has rented me his combine the past few years so I could harvest my fields. I've become close friends with the dealer's family, and they've offered valuable knowledge and advice.
I was personally anonymous behind my social media accounts when I shared my drone photography. Then, when I started farming and was more involved in the day-to-day operations, sharing my experience became fun.
I have built great friendships and connections through social media. I met one of my closest friends, Farmer Dan from Texas, thanks to social media. Him and I talk frequently on the phone and not just about farming. We are facing the same questions and obstacles as we navigate life, and it's great to have someone to connect with.
When I'm gathering content on the farm, I'm not thinking of how it's going to perform on social media. I always ask myself the question, "What would 17-year-old me want to see?" I'm looking to share my experience and hopefully entertain along the way.