Bruce Rastetter is a lifelong Iowan committed to making a difference in the state. He is a successful entrepreneur of agriculture and energy-related companies, as well as a community leader dedicated to improving the quality and affordability of higher education in Iowa.
He learned the value of hard work and education growing up on his 300-acre family farm outside of Alden; he then attended Ellsworth Community College and the University of Iowa. After graduating he returned to his roots to start his own feed management business. The success of the business led him to additional start-ups — a building construction entity and a swine production operation — which he later merged into Heartland Pork Enterprises. He guided Heartland’s acquisition by Christensen Farms to become the 4th largest U.S. pork producer.
A true entrepreneur, Bruce co-founded Hawkeye Energy Holdings in 2003, which grew to become one of America’s largest pure-play ethanol producers. He served as CEO until 2011. Today, Bruce serves as CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, a leader in agribusiness, production agriculture, renewable energy and international development. The organization includes Summit Farms, headquartered in northern Iowa. The operation includes extensive grain and meat production while maintaining a strong environmental commitment, with thousands of acres of conservation land. Bruce, an active philanthropist and community leader, supports efforts focused on education and entrepreneurship. He is the president of the Iowa Board of Regents and serves on the board of directors for Hawkeye Energy Holdings and Cultivation Corridor.
Eric Peterson is President of Summit Agricultural Group and is responsible for overall management of the group’s enterprises, including Summit Farms and investment funds formed to make agricultural-related investments in the United States and Brazil. He has overseen Summit Farms growth from 9,600 operated acres in 2007 to over 20,000 acres in 2012, as well as almost 40,000 acres under management. He is a co-founder and manager of American Heartland Development, a wind development company started in 2009. Eric was raised on his family’s farm near Fargo, North Dakota. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business. In 2011 Governor Branstad appointed him to the Iowa Finance Authority, the state’s housing and finance agency. He currently serves on the Iowa State University College of Agriculture Advisory Board.
Justin Kirchhoff, CFA, is the investment development manager for Summit Agricultural Group, focusing on due diligence, financial analysis and structuring aspects of various funds and portfolio investments, with a particular focus on Brazil. He currently serves on the board of managers for Iowa Premium, LLC. Prior to joining Summit in 2012, he was an investment analyst with Aviva Investors North America. He grew up in southwest Iowa, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Iowa State University, where he is a member of the College of Business Finance Executive Advisory Council. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Iowa.
As land fund manager, Kirk Beaubien is responsible for management of the day-to-day activities of Summit Ag Fund and its related entities. Prior to his current role, he served as an acquisition manager at Principal Real Estate Investors, where he was responsible for acquisitions/dispositions of commercial real estate properties in the state of California. He has also worked in the Cedar Rapids branch of U.S. Bank, serving as a portfolio manager in its commercial real estate group. He is a native of Denison, Iowa, and received bachelor’s degrees in both finance and real estate from the University of Northern Iowa, and a MBA with emphasis in finance from the University of Nebraska.
The farm operations manager at Summit Agricultural Group, Robin Sampson has been with Summit since 2011. Her prior experience includes serving as director of purchasing at Hawkeye Renewables, where she oversaw the purchase of corn, chemicals and supplies for ethanol plants across Iowa. She grew up in the grain business in Temperance, Michigan, and is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in food marketing.
As the business development manager at Summit Agricultural Group, Mitch Baum’s responsibilities include land acquisitions, sales and trades; livestock facility development and contract management; internship recruiting; and operational support. Prior to joining the team at Summit in 2005, he worked with Smithfield Foods as a territory manager for Murphy-Brown, LLC in Iowa and Illinois. Mitch was raised in Henry County, Illinois, on a grain and livestock farm, and later attended Iowa State University majoring in agriculture business. He has two sons, Jake and Tom, who share his passion for agriculture and the outdoors. Mitch is a past president and trustee of the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board.