We often don’t realize it is more about what we do than what we say that influences future generations. That has been the case for Bryan Manzer.
“I lived on a farm as a child, where I watched my father and grandfather work the land and also operate a farm equipment dealership,” he says. “I watched as they made challenging decisions about their work both on the farm and in the dealership, which made an impression on me.”
Bryan is third generation, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps at Manzer Equipment in Osmond, Neb., which has been serving local farmers for more than four decades. While the dealership—and working there—runs in his blood, he is currently at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, studying for his Bachelor’s degree in applied agriculture/food studies and business administration.
Charting Out a Future
Now in his junior year of school, he’s taking several business classes that are ag-related that he says will help him not only professionally, but personally, as he hopes to have a farm of his own one day. School is also preparing him for the real world, with a class that helps students find internships as well as jobs once they’ve graduated.
For his career, Bryan is already looking at the short-, mid- and far-term. Currently he works part-time as a bank teller, which he says he enjoys and has helped him immensely with his customer service skills. In the medium term, his hope is to return next summer to help at the family dealership and then head to an “externship” for his senior year.
After school, his goal is to work at the corporate headquarters of an equipment manufacturer, and then longer-term return to Manzer Equipment and work alongside his father. “I’ve always enjoyed working with my dad,” says Bryan. “There’s pride behind our name. When you say it, everyone knows what you’re talking about. Someday I want to come back and help people—help them get back into the field and have better farm businesses. I take joy in that.”
To help him with his educational and career goals, he has received a scholarship this year from the Equipment Dealers Foundation, which is matched by Manzer Equipment. “I appreciate the scholarship and being able to go to Morningside College. I love everything about the ag program there,” he says. “And I value my education because I know that I’ll be able to compete in a highly competitive and demanding industry.”
A Wide Open Field
The technology side of the business interests Bryan. He says it’s an issue that divides the industry, given that many farmers have been farming since before technology was so integral to what they do. Some of them have accepted it and are excited about what technology can do for their business, while others feel they want to stick with what’s “true and proven.” But the growth of technology in ag business “is a big opportunity,” says Bryan, “there is a huge demand for people that work just with technology on the machinery.”
This links back to why Bryan is focused on his education. “Agriculture is always changing, and I’m ready to meet the demands of the industry,” he says. “I want to gain experience by working in the industry for a while and then return to my family’s business. It’s my hope that I’ll be the third generation to help our business prosper and grow.”
About the Scholarship
The EDF was established in 1988 to provide scholarship funding to help meet the industry’s needs for trained individuals. EDF also provides temporary assistance for dealerships and its employees affected by natural disasters. Learn more about EDF here.