To Brooks Robison, working in agriculture is second nature. He was born and raised on a farm in southeast Idaho, where his family grew alfalfa and wheat as well as raised cattle.
“Growing up on a farm prepared me for the job I have now, but on a whole different scale,” Brooks explained. “General industry knowledge was certainly a plus, though the (farm) work ethic is what I find to be essential,” he said.
Brooks joined Calagri in 2016 after running his own business for 10 years. “I received a job offer from Kerry Calaway—he’s someone I knew to have integrity, and I liked him as an individual,” Brooks said.
Brooks is now the farm manager of the operation and also oversees grower relations in the region. “I’m responsible for the farms that we lease and grow crops on,” he said. That includes decisions around budgeting, planting and harvesting. “I’m also responsible for straw harvesting for the region, and the scale of that operation has increased dramatically with the acquisition of Calagri by PacificAg,” he explained.
“I enjoy working for PacificAg because we’re always on the forefront of what’s new in the industry,” Brooks said. “We’re a proactive company, not a reactive one.” He also enjoys the people he works with. “The greatest factor in being successful is being able to work with people effectively,” he said.
Being an effective manager is critical to success as well. “Industrywide, everything is getting bigger. It’s all about growth and volume,” he said. “Margins are thinner so you have to be a good manager (to succeed). PacificAg has many good managers who I try very hard to learn from and to emulate.”
During harvest season (April to November), Brooks logs 300-500 miles each day on the road. During the winter, he also travels to recruit college students for internships and jobs. “It’s always hard to get quality employees,” he said, “but the colleges have been a good source for us.”
Brooks makes his home in Moses Lake, Washington, and has four children ranging from 10 to 18 years of age. He holds an associate’s degree in agribusiness, and spends his free time reading and working out.