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Success Stories

Bruce Carselowey raised hogs and other livestock in the 1980’s and 90’s while being employed at Boeing Military Airplane Company. At Boeing, Bruce worked in configuration management and wrote proposals for various engineering functions at the company. When wholesale hog prices bottomed out in 1998, the only way Bruce could make his livestock side-business worthwhile was to sell his hog product directly to consumers.  “I found a processor for my hogs in McPherson that could package and label my product for retail, and I began selling to customers at the downtown Wichita farmer’s market on Saturdays,” said Carselowey. The demand for his local, fresh meats was strong, and his customer base grew.

Pivot to Full Time Entrepreneur

In November 2004, Walnut Valley Packing, LLC was born when Bruce Carselowey and partner bought the El Dorado Meat Processors facility from a family that was processing about six cattle a week and six hogs every other week – a level far below the... Read More

Adrian and Kris Polansky speaking with Rick Rawlings of SCKEDD

Polansky Seed Expands, While Increasing Quality

Have you ever wondered how new oats, soybeans, or wheat seed for planting gets from the field into the clean bags at the store?  Well, the most complex part of the cleaning and sorting of quality (certified) seed is handled by companies like Polansky Seed, Inc. of Belleville, Kansas.

Polansky Seed, was originally founded in 1941 by Adrian Polansky's father, John, in a small wood granary on his homestead farm in Republic County (Kansas). John’s original operations included growing, cleaning, processing and bagging certified seed on the farm. Adrian acquired control of the business in 1972 and incorporated it in 2010.

Adrian continued to operate the business on the farm until 1991 when he purchased a seed facility in Belleville, Kansas, and moved the business operations to the new site. The new facility had a larger cleaning, processing and bulk storage facility than what he had on the homestead, which allowed... Read More

21 Century Bean Processing product

In 1997 a group of over 70 investors and bean growers in Northwest Kansas organized into an agricultural cooperative to improve their bottom line. What became Twenty First Century Bean Processing, LLC a few years later, now supplies over two-thirds of all the # 2 grade dry pintos, black-eyed peas, kidney, lentils, and northern white beans the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributes to food banks throughout the country.

“We have come a long way since the beginning,” said Ron Meyers, one of the original founders and current Director of Operations. “In 2001, the cooperative tried to tap into the retail sector by purchasing a bean packaging company in Amarillo, Texas.  The growers would truck their beans down there for sorting and packaging, however the market entry obstacles were more significant than anticipated,” recalled Meyers.       

Processing Closer to Home

The grower’s turning point came when they started selling their beans to the USDA’s... Read More

Sleeptopia

Kevin Kunz started Sleeptopia in January 2013 after three years of researching the growing sleep studies industry. Kunz had been a driver for a durable medical equipment sales company making $9.75 an hour, and worked his way up to being a sales representative for the company that sold oxygen service, CPAP machines and other medical devices. Kunz noted that home sleep studies was a concept that was gaining validity and market traction on the East and West coasts, and knew he could capture this new market here in Wichita.

Sleeptopia was the first business Kunz ever tried to start.  The home sleep study concept first struck Kunz when both his brother and mother paid for an expensive sleep study done in a sleep lab. They had to show up to the lab early, get several wires connected to them, and then were told when to go to sleep. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy for them to fall asleep on-demand in a strange place. In the end, they paid $2,000 dollars to be told nothing was wrong... Read More

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