Young Professionals Spotlight: Dave Christensen

30 Apr 2014


We have some very exciting news on the YP front! Okoboji Classic Cars will be hosting our group on Friday, May 16th at 6:30. Toby Shine is thrilled to have some youngsters in the building in order to get to know the next generation residing in the Corridor region. If you’re not part of the group and would like some more information, please feel free to email me ( with any questions you may have!


Today’s spotlight focuses on an Albert City native who returned to his hometown after completing college at Iowa State University. Dave Christensen, a 25 year old Ranco Engineer, always aspired to be in the engineering profession growing up and saw his dream come true in 2011.

“I had an idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up, and that was engineering. I actually wanted to be a farmer, but that’s not really how it works in today’s world.”

dave machines

Growing up on a farm molded Dave and ultimately lead to his decision to come back to the Corridor region upon graduation. He explains his desire to live close to both his parents andRanco.

“Living just south of Marathon has been great for me. I’m 8 miles from my family and 15 from work. It’s great being able to help my dad on the farm, especially since I’d like to eventually take that over at some point.”

In each of these interviews, I try to get a feel for the housing options recent grads and younger professionals have. Dave really lucked out in this area.

“My grandparents moved up to the lakes in 2000 and have been renting out their acreage ever since, holding onto it in case any of us grand kids decided to come back to farm. Luckily, I was that special someone and am now able to live there.”

dave college

Sounds like a pretty sweet gig, huh?

Dave and I were able to talk about the various aspects of living in a smaller town vs. a larger city, him coming from ‘the boonies,’ as I call it, and me from Des Moines. Our upbringings differed quite a bit.

“This location is ideal. I have an easy drive from home to work and to the fields when necessary. It’s a great area to farm, live and raise a family. If you’re into small town morals, this is definitely the place for you; the people here are so incredibly nice.”

dave fam

Traffic came up during our discussion..imagine that. :)

“I’ve always been used to driving 30 minutes to get anywhere; that’s just how I was raised. So, time spent driving has never really been an issue for me. Not to mention I sit in a combine for 12 hours on end.. Ames was manageable to some extent, but Des Moines or Omaha would be way too big and way too much traffic.”

A little fun fact about me: I never knew what a combine was until I moved to Storm Lake. It’s funny how your environment growing up molds your views on life.

dave socks

Next on the docket: how Dave landed such a sweet job right out of college.

“A headhunter actually recruited me while I was interning at Harvest International after college. I liked Harvest, but wasn’t doing what I ultimately wanted to do. Ranco offered me exactly the job I went to school for, so it was a no-brainer.”

Dave explained how shocked he was by the number of career opportunities in northwest Iowa.

“I had no idea of the availability of jobs in this area, especially in engineering. I definitely thought I’d have to go to a larger, more populated area but that wasn’t the case at all. People need to know that; there are great jobs here.”

dave tractor

Dave is involved in many organizations and has delved into some great opportunities for only being 25 years of age.

Are you ready..?

“I am a member and on the finance committee for Zion Lutheran Church, a board member and Young Farmer chairman of the Buena Vista County Farm Bureau chapter, a member of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and a member of Iowa Corn Growers Association.”

I didn’t even know what half of those things meant when he was rattling them off but pretended anyway. :) I thought that would round out his list…I was wrong.

“I would like to get my Professional Engineer license here pretty soon. I also have a patent out in my name. Harvest International owns the patent, and I am listed under ‘inventor.’”

Well, I looked that bad boy up because I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. His Conveyor hood assembly was designed in such a way that it was easy to clean and maintain, having a pivoting hood infeed. It’s used for corn, soybeans and other free flowing grain. Check it out here!

dave patent

Just when you think you’re stressed, think again. This guy does it all. Free time, you ask? Let’s see.

“I hunt and fish, like most people around here. I’m a big Cyclone fan, so I watch them whenever I can. I also play church league basketball and sometimes get to travel. Oh, and farming; don’t forget about that..”

dave hunting

Goodness. What a cool dude. I didn’t even mention all the activities Dave was involved in while in school, but trust me, there’s quite a list. Busy, busy.

Hope to see you all on the 16th for a fun night out at Classic Cars! We’re really excited. :)

Check out the rest of our blog here!

- Alexa Guessford