Five brothers on business lessons from their dairy farmer dad

Business On Purpose Conversations
Business On Purpose Conversations
Five brothers on business lessons from their dairy farmer dad


Five brothers (Cal, Del, Fenton, Keith & Warren), four of whom currently own and/or lead businesses, reflect on the biblical wisdom for business that they learned from their father, Klaas Groen, who was a small businessman dairy farmer.

These men, all in their 60’s or 70’s look back on their lives and how their success in business was shaped by the biblical worldview of their father.  Whether you learned wisdom for business from your parents or not, these lessons transcend time, place and apply to any business owner.

Conversation Highlights:

-Honesty & trust: if your business dealings are conducted with honesty you will gain the trust of your employees, customers and vendors.

-Stewardship: sometimes this requires getting out of your personal comfort zone to make sure your business and your people are taken care of.  Wise stewards make long-term investments that are good for the health of these businesses and their communities.

-Release your people:  “Go be creative.” Give your employees the space to act within their gifting: for instance, buying a welder for a 10-year-old to teach himself how to weld.  It’s risky, but it encourages people to grow, which in turn creates value for the enterprise.

-Faithfulness: Starting with your family, faithfulness means doing what is necessary to keep promises and set an example of the values you want to see emulated throughout your business and household.  This also encompasses serving your neighbors, paying your taxes and simply meeting your obligations.  Aside: your family and/or your business will be a legacy of your level of faithfulness in life.

-Determination & hard-work: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your strength.”  (Ecclesiastes 9:10) Are the things you are building, built to last?  Are you working hard towards the things God has called you to do? Are you planning and building for the future?

-These men are five of Klaas Groen’s children.  Klaas Groen ran a successful dairy farm for decades in southwest MN in the mid-20th century.  He was married to Alice Groen for 66 years, together they had 15 children and nearly than 60 grandchildren.  Klaas passed away in 2005.