By Rebecca Susmarski
The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill.
Dusty Spurgeon never earned a business degree before becoming a partner in Spurgeon Veggies, but her overwhelming success proves that the most important training for an entrepreneur occurs on the job.
Spurgeon, 28, moved to Galesburg in 2010 to marry her husband, John, shortly after she graduated from Monmouth College.
As Spurgeon debated where she wanted to take her career next, her mother-in-law, Eloise Spurgeon, asked her to help with a community-supported agriculture business she had started on her farm in East Galesburg three years before.
“I loved working the market, and after a while I started coming out to the garden to do a little work,” Spurgeon said. “I quickly became more and more involved in her small CSA and the logistics of planting and harvesting, and found that I really liked it. So instead of finding a job, I expanded our offerings at the market and CSA, and it worked!”
Spurgeon became a partner in 2011, the same year she and Eloise registered the business and dubbed it “Spurgeon Veggies.”
Since then, the business has expanded to offer more than 70 seasonal vegetables of multiple varieties, free-range eggs and whole broiler chickens to about 100 members.