CAFNR freshman discovered knack for business at an early age

Most first-year college students focus on their studies and possibly pick up a side job in retail or on campus. But James “Jimmy” Copher is not your typical University of Missouri freshman. He excels in academics along with holding a steady job that emphasizes his major.

Copher is currently studying agribusiness management at the University. He has already been busy this first semester becoming involved in various organizations. Copher is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Ag Econ Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau.  He is also a member of Circle K International, a collegiate service club sponsored by Kiwanis International, and has become involved with various community service events due to his affiliation there.

Raised in Hawk Point, Mo., Copher grew up around agriculture. He spent much of his time helping around his grandparents’ farm growing up and consistently applied business tactics to his way of life.  It was no surprise to Copher’s parents, Debbie and James Copher, that he chose to major in agribusiness management.

Copher’s background in agriculture stemmed from being an avid FFA member at Troy Buchanan High School. He was the top fruit salesman all four years of high school and even attempted the all-time record of sales his senior year.

“Fruit sales helped me realize my interest in business and want to take the extra steps to make even more sales,” Copher said.

Copher was also a participant on the Troy FFA sales team and competed at the state level.  His time in FFA helped shape his future decision to major in agribusiness management.

Another high school activity that led Jimmy to have a passion in business was an involvement in Future Business Leaders of America. Through the organization he was a delegate at state convention and participated in impromptu public speaking.

While Copher excelled in high school, he made even bigger strides outside of his school activities.  He began working for the local Vector Marketing branch as a sales representative selling CUTCO knives the summer after his senior year. Throughout the summer Copher strived to achieve maximum sales in between working another job for Bodine Aluminum. At the end of the summer, Copher’s hard work paid off, and he achieved senior sales adviser status.

Copher’s close friends are not surprised by his consistent success. Andy Folta, who has known Copher since preschool, described him as a trusting guy.

“He’s the kind of guy that you like so much you feel bad about not buying his stuff,” Folta said.

Copher has been able to carry on his Vector career throughout his first semester at MU.  He also works for the University as a handyman at Bradford Farm. He feels his active involvement is setting him up for achievement.

“If you want to be successful in life surround yourself with successful people,” Copher said.

With so much going on between school, activities and work, Copher finds ways to get his mind off his busy life style. He enjoys anything involving history and collecting flashlights; a hobby he began during middle school. When asked to describe Copher, one of his roommates summed him up in three words.

“Meatloaf, flashlights and tucked in T-shirts,” said Aaron Le.

Copher continuously finds ways to excel and surrounds himself with those who lead similar driven lifestyles. He is a model for his peers and continues to take steps to ensure current and future success.

By Allyson Lacy
Corner Post Staff Writer