It’s the taste that keeps them coming back,” says Dustin Stanton of the farm-fresh eggs he produces with his brother, Austin, in Centralia, Mo. The quiet 17-year-old has become an expert on what egg consumers want. Stanton talks with customers at local grocery stores and the farmers market and with students in the dining halls at the nearby University of Missouri (MU), a buyer of his eggs. His attention to detail helped Stanton win a 2010 National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award and $1,000 during the National FFA Convention in October. His business, Stanton Brothers, was hatched when his first-grade class incubated 12 chicks. One student had the chance to take the chicks home, but Stanton was not the lucky seven-year-old. The next day, Stanton’s uncle bought him his first six chicks. Today, Stanton raises more than 6,000 chickens and sells 1,000 dozen eggs per week to the Columbia Farmers Market, eight restaurants, three bakers, two health food stores and seven grocery stores. Stanton Brothers’ goal is to provide a safe, reliable and nutritious source of eggs. “I even help raise the grain that I feed to the chickens,” Stanton says. “I control the quality of the product from start to finish.” Stanton plans to major in agribusiness management at MU and continue marketing his eggs.
> Dustin Stanton, age 17, is on the right path to becoming a top producer. Stanton is one of 10 students to receive a National Agri-Entrepreneurship Award and $1,000 during the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Stanton focuses on connecting with local consumers through personal sales and attention to freshness.
Top Producer, December 2010