Wyebrook Dispatch

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FORMER BOND TRADER BRINGS BUSINESS ACUMEN TO SUSTAINABLE FARMING

Like many bright young college graduates, Dean Carlson gravitated toward a career in finance. He spent 15 years as a successful bond trader for Philadelphia-based Susquehanna International Group but eventually decided to pursue an interest in farming. And so, in 2009, Carlson left his firm and the comfort of the familiar. “I was just going to take some time off,” he says. “I had no real exposure to agriculture, but I’d been thinking of buying a farm for an investment.” Carlson traveled to Iowa, where he anticipated growing corn and soybeans. But in the process of conducting research on the agricultural system, the Pennsylvania native began reading up on sustainable farming. Eventually, he says he became convinced that, as energy prices continue to rise, the current model of industrial agriculture “is not going to be a viable long-term business.”