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Alum’s business growing

Central Lakes College alumnus Tom Smude and the family business, Smude Enterprises at Pierz, were the subjects of a Business section profile in the Sept. 10, 2012 Star Tribune newspaper. The firm sells sunflower oil, and Tom also raises black Angus beef, works at a John Deere dealership, and owns a gravel pit and a company that builds steel grain bins. Tom, company president and CEO, has a Sales and Marketing degree as well as Farm Business Management, and over the past 15 years has been adding to acreage and production, all while diversifying. The compnay has 14 employees and Janelle Smude serves as vice president and chief financial officer while she and Tom raise their two children. Smude’s Sunflower Oil last year had sales of $250,000. The products are available at Lund’s, Byerly’s, and Coburn’s as well as online. More retail outlets are expected to be offering the award-winning, healthy oil. The Small Business Development Center at CLC has worked with Tom and Janelle to establish and sustain a business plan. This year’s sales could approach $450,000. For information, go to http://smudeoil.com/

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