SCORE has room to grow ag mentorships

The Small Business Administration’s free nationwide mentorship program has the potential to support more agricultural entrepreneurs.

Iowa ag banker Don Frazer tells Brownfield he’s been volunteering with SCORE since retiring a few years ago.

“I was blessed in my banking career to have some great mentors,” he shares. “I just kind of realized that they truly were a mentor after the fact looking back at my relationships with them. To me, this is just a way to pay it forward.”

Frazer says he’s the only mentor in his region with agricultural experience and often is paired with beginning farmers or ag start-ups.

“Preparing people to request a bank loan, it’s probably something that I do as much as anything, we also ask them to do a business plan,” he says.

Frazer says the network creates a structured environment for passing along generational knowledge which he says is increasingly important as an aging agricultural workforce moves toward retirement.

More than 10,000 volunteers in the program last year helped start more than 31,000 new businesses in the U.S.

AUDIO: Don Frazer, SCORE mentor

  • Great content! Thank you for helping build awareness of the free resources and mentoring available to rural small businesses and farmers. Check out SCORE’s resources for rural entrepreneurs, including a hub specifically geared towards business owners in rural communities. Other resources include legacy planning for farmers, articles about licenses and permits for farming and ag businesses, and more.

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