Growing up on a farm, Bob Funk learned the value in hard work from a young age. An active FFA member, he was taught discipline and to set goals, and later seized an opportunity to begin his own business.
Through his persistence, Funk’s success has grown substantially, and today, he owns livestock company Express Ranches and Express Employment Professionals in Oklahoma. He is very active with the Oklahoma FFA Association, noting that he owes his success to FFA.
Q. How have your experiences influenced you over the years? What have you learned about hard work?
A. Working on a farm, I learned that hard work never hurts. Even if you aren’t the brightest, hard work will always always pay off. I started setting goals when I was 14, and have learned to set them ever since to advance myself. Integrity and hard work are the keys to anyone’s future. FFA helped me realize this because it teaches discipline, which students today need very badly. My FFA teacher was one of the best I ever had and helped lead me to my success.
Q. What advice would you give to FFA members who are looking to start their own business, especially in the livestock industry?
A. Where we are now economically is one of the best times for members to start their own business. There is a worldwide demand for farm products, and it’s only going to get stronger. The number of people furnishing food is declining. I think the future is very bright for all FFA entrepreneurs, but you definitely need to be willing to take risks because there are plenty.
Q. What is your involvement with the Oklahoma FFA Association? Why is it important for you to be involved?
A. We’ve been supporting the Oklahoma FFA, their convention and the national convention and expo for a number of years. We sponsor a $10,000 scholarship to help support and encourage rural youth because our rural youth are some of the best in the country. As an employer, I look for students who know hard work, have good values and can relate well to people. FFA does an amazing job of instilling these qualities into today’s youth. It’s one of the finest training centers for young people in the U.S., and maybe the world. I’m extremely proud to be involved.
– Rachel Bertone