Reposted from Torch, Volume 51, Number 2
By University of Minnesota Crookston
Kubista sees a great future for hemp.
When Paul Kubista 1999 and 2001 neared graduation, he was already on the fast track toward a future in agriculture. Paul’s father, Ron, also a University of Minnesota alumnus, worked for Pioneer for 30 years, and Paul found himself learning a great deal and wanting to emulate Ron. After several summer internships working in agronomy, he felt ready for a career following in his father’s footsteps. But, life throws in the occasional speedbump, and for Kubista, working with Pioneer, where he had interned during college, became unlikely, and he found himself needing to reassess.
The University of Minnesota Crookston began offering a degree in turf management while Paul was a student there, and it provided him an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. “I love golf and combining my agronomy degree with a degree in golf and turf management seemed the perfect solution,” Kubista says. “I stayed on campus to complete my second bachelor’s degree.”
Prior to his graduation, Kubista took his spring break and traveled from Minnesota to Michigan to visit golf courses and apply for internships. It led to a shared internship with two golf courses in Michigan where he learned a great deal about the industry.
His first job after college was as assistant superintendent at the prestigious Woodhill Country Club in Wayzata, Minn., where he worked for four years. Over that time, Kubista built valuable relationships and enjoyed the golf world. “I knew I would always enjoy golf, but after four years, I was curious about my other interest—agronomy.”
Kubista took a job with a seed company, but after a few months, the company changed hands, and he was once again wondering what would be next. A call from a recruiter landed him a job with Twin City Seed in Edina, Minn. “To this day, I do not know how the recruiter got my name or how it all came together but working at Twin City Seed was perfect for me,” he says.
The seed company, which sells everything but corn and soybeans, was a great fit. “They were heavily into turfgrass sales and perfectly incorporated all my agronomic experience,” he explains. In February 2016, Kubista took over as owner of Twin City Seed, the company which proudly supplies seed to the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, St. Paul Saints, and Minnesota United Professional Soccer.
Always on the lookout for what’s new in the field, Kubista has recently been licensed to sell industrial hemp seed and took advantage of several Farm Journal-sponsored “hemp colleges” to learn more. “The strong fibers in hemp make it a great building material, and it could be a game-changer for farmers,” Kubista reflects.
“I chose to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston because I could play basketball,” he says. “It was the right choice because I did get to play basketball and I played golf, but my choice of Crookston set the course for a future where I combined what I loved into the perfect career.”
Paul Kubista 1999 and 2001, Orono, Minn., is the owner and president of Twin City Seed Company in Edina, Minn. In his free time, Paul proudly serves as a member of the Long Lake Fire Department. He and his wife, Amy, have lived in the Orono area for the past 12 years and are looking forward to many more with their three daughters, Maggie (9), Molly (7), and Meredith (2).