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International adventurer shares the summit of success

Charlie Wittmack had a goal.  In 2010, the American adventurer became the first person to
complete The World Triathlon—a staggering 8,000-mile journey from the frigid
waters of the River Thames to the snow-capped summit of Mt. Everest.  The feat was described by the BBC as “the
toughest human endurance event ever conceived.”  To a group of 50 young people at the New Century Farmers
(NCF) conference, Wittmack, 34, asked, “What’s your Everest?”

Wittmack encouraged the NCF participants to challenge
themselves in the fear of uncertainty, where competitive advantage grows. 

But how does this apply to farmers?

After escaping death on an expedition and flunking out of
college, Wittmack found himself on his family farm in Boone, Iowa, desperate to
keep climbing. So, he froze the side of a corn silo, and taught himself to
climb a 90-degree slope.

“You guys are the best farmers in the country; you know bad
things are going to happen, so you’ll have to learn how to overcome them,”
Wittmack said.

While no NCF participants admitted to wanting to climb any
mountains soon, Logan Skeen (Nyssa, OR), said he can take Wittmack’s
inspiration back to the farm: “He put his life at risk for his dream.  Sometimes the biggest risk is when you’ll
get the biggest payoff,” he said.

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