A Peterson Profile – Carl Peterson

It would be impossible to look at the growth, success, and reputation of Peterson Farms Seed and not find the impact of Carl Peterson at every point. From his expansive knowledge to his good-natured humor, Carl keeps his company moving forward in growth, but always with the same mission: Helping growers succeed.

Sven and Ole varieties

1995 – Carl Peterson with the Sven and Ole varieties.

Even before founding the company with his wife, Julie, in 1995, Carl has been deeply involved in agriculture and the Red River Valley. He grew up exactly where he planted his roots and started his business.

Carl Peterson MBA

2005 – Carl Peterson earns his master’s degree from Purdue and an MBA from Indiana University.

While you may know that Carl has a talent for making things work (and making people laugh), you may not know that if he weren’t working in ag, he would love to find himself playing in a jazz combo. We grabbed a bit of Carl’s free time (even though he claims to not know what ‘free-time’ is) and had him give us 12 facts about himself. Take it away, Carl:

  1. I grew up on the family farm near Prosper. Same house I live in now!  And I am a proud Central Cass Squirrel!
  2. When I’m not going around causing trouble, messing stuff up and generally being a pain, I’m busy helping our customers and team members succeed. As one of two members of this company who have been here since the beginning, I’ve immensely enjoyed helping others and watching things grow.
  3. The thing I’m most proud of, besides my kids, is how my wife Julie, and I have built a business that operates with, above all else, integrity.
  4. Speaking of! The most awe-inspiring sight I’ve seen is Julie Kay Lichty walking down the aisle of South Waterloo Church of the Bretheren. November 14, 1981!
  5. Along with my wife and business partner, my family consists of my oldest son, Eric, his wife Michaela, and their brand new baby boy, Everett (who happens to be tied for the World’s Most Adorable grandkid). After that comes my son, Kyle, his wife Lizzy, and their little boy Theo (see above for current ‘World’s Most Adorable Title’). Finally, my youngest child and ‘World’s Best Daughter’ winner, Josie.
  6. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a ‘job’. Yes, I helped on the family farm growing up, started farming after college, started Peterson Farms Seed. I’ve always had plenty of work, but no ‘job’.
  7. To me, at the end of the day, farming is still about growing food for a hungry world. There is a lot of new cool stuff to keep track of, but at the base, it is about feeding people.
  8. The best part of my work is getting to help a lot of different people on a lot of different projects. I like knowing that what we are doing can help our customers be more successful.
  9. I am a voracious reader so it’s hard to list a favorite author as I just generally love books. You can learn about all kinds of things or escape into a spy story. On the other hand, my favorite movie is easy: Princess Bride.
  10. The most famous person I’ve met is Mike Larson – you know he’s kind of a big deal, right?
  11. My favorite piece of technology? Simply put, I love my iPad. I’ve got email, the internet, news, hundreds of hours of music, a couple hundred books. What is not to like!
  12. When I think about those that I admire three names come to mind right away:
    1. Sonny Beck of Beck’s Hybrids—the Beck family has built a great company in Indiana that puts the success of their customers and team members as their highest priority.
    2. Thomas Sowell is an economist and writer who is a clear and honest thinker on a variety of subjects.
    3. There is a young man in St Louis, Lucas Rouggly, who moved his young family into a terrible neighborhood in St Louis to begin a ministry to bring Christ to the people in that area. His ministry includes things like planting inner city gardens, helping with housing, feeding people and such. He humbles me with his willingness to serve.


There you have it! We hope after reading a little bit more about Carl Peterson, you’ll see why we stand behind our quality and excellence in everything we do. Every member of our team holds themselves to the highest of standard (starting with Carl), which projects our products into excellence as well.

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