Jim Brabeck is the man most strive to be. The mere mention of his name in conversation often garners heartfelt responses of love and appreciation for a man who has truly given so much, shared his passion, and has lived up to what so many strive for.

The former Citizen of the Year, Agriculturalist of the Year, Champion of Youth, we could continue but in consideration of time we won’t, has spent the past five decades at Farm Supply Company guiding the local farmer-owned co-op from 14 employees at 675 Tank Farm Road to roughly 110 employees in five stores.

Brabeck is gearing up to slow it down in retirement this spring, so before that happens we caught up with him, and in his grateful way, he smiled, laughed and talked about living his dream, his future plans, and what he learned in the past 50 years.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I was living a nomadic childhood, I would dream that someday I would grow up and be married to a beautiful woman, have two beautiful children, wonderful grandchildren, live in a nice home in a beautiful community near the ocean, be a businessman employed by a fantastic company, that I would LOVE going to work for each day, surrounded by wonderful people that I truly enjoyed working with and for! Then one day I woke up and I realized that it wasn’t a DREAM after all, I was living IT!

What tops your bucket list?
Spending more time with my family, completing projects around my home, and continuing to serve our community and giving back to it for all that it has given to me over these many years!

Which historical figure would you like to take to coffee?
Charles Lindberg. He was a very intelligent, complex man that personified vision, integrity, dedication, passion, courage, patriotism, and humility in all that he did!

What is your most marked characteristic?
My integrity.

What do you most admire in other people?
What I admire most in others is honesty, integrity, kindness, humility and lack of duplicity!

Where would you rather be right now?
I don’t want to be anywhere other than where I am right now! We live in the “Middle Kingdom East of Eden,” and people come from all over the world to vacation here. And I know how LUCKY I am, and we all are, to call it our home!

You’ve been with Farm Supply for more than 50 years, and in that time, you have seen high cotton and lean years, what is the biggest lesson that you have learned over that time?
That if you surround yourself with quality people and develop a culture which is predicated on communication, transparency, unity, integrity and trust, you can and will be able to overcome any challenges that present themselves, be able to build a successful business and that you will not fail!

What’s next?
First, I will still continue to be a part of Farm Supply Company, but in a different leadership role as an appointed Outside Board of Director for a three-year term! In addition to that, the next chapter of my life is being created as we speak, and I am TRULY excited for what the future has in store for me!