Where are they now: Rob BodtkeBy Joe Stowell on June 6, 2017
Kingdom work comes in a variety of ways. And our graduates creatively engage in their every day work to influence this world for Jesus Christ. The President's Office recently connected with Rob Bodtke, an environmental biology major and 2012 President's Award recipient. He shared about his young family, the importance of Creation care and his position at Cornerstone Ag Enterprises LLC. Everyday he incorporates multiple aspects of the liberal arts education and Christ-centered teaching that he received at CU.
Where are you currently employed? And what are your responsibilities?
I work for Cornerstone Ag Enterprises. It is my family's company that specializes in the production of blueberries, grains, excavating and landscaping. I am currently transitioning away from my position as horticulture supervisor where I was in charge of irrigation and fertilization of the blueberries. I will be working as harvest supervisor to assist in day-to-day machine and hand harvesting of the blueberry crop. I also work as timber manager in charge of the care and use of the wooded lots around our farms.
You majored in environmental biology at CU. How do you use your CU education in your daily career?
My education helps me be a better manager on a daily basis, respecting and caring for others as part of my Christian worldview. I use classes like botany and chemistry while working with horticulture, but in addition to my major, I took classes in management that assist me in daily operations.
How did CU prepare you to influence the world for Jesus Christ?
The personal impact my professors had on me and the relationships I built with them showed me the influence one generation can have on the next. That inspires me to focus on spending time with my wife, Lindsay, raising our two young daughters, Hazel and Charlotte, teaching them to love the Lord. I believe that the biggest impact I can have is on the next generation.
What was your favorite class at CU and why?
The ecology trips I took with Professor Ray Gates (Gator) and Dr. Keys to the Grand Canyon and Northern Ireland. On campus, I enjoyed studying botany. I have always had a personal affinity for plants and trees, and Gator was a great professor.
Was there a particular experience you had during your time at CU that shaped your calling?
I enrolled at Cornerstone as a business major, but I realized that wasn't my calling. As part of the liberal arts degree, I was required to take Biology 101 with Gator. Through that class, I realized how much I actually enjoyed science over business. That experience awakened a passion and led me to switch my major to environmental biology.
I was also greatly impacted by the community CU provided. Some of the guys I met and lived with throughout the years are still my closest friends today. The community was contagious and made me search for that same kind of community after I graduated by getting involved at my local church through small groups and volunteering.
How does your faith impact your daily business?
Being a farmer and a Christian, I am told by God's Word that we need to be caretakers. It is important not to take the land for granted. We've been blessed by the land that we've been given, and we can actively take care of it.
It's also about the care and management of our employees. Our employees are very important to us. That's part of our biblical worldview. Everyone is important. It is in the everyday treatment of employees when things get tough or stressful that I hope my faith shines with patience and love. Jesus calls us to be servants of others, and I do my best to mirror that everyday.