Colt Kokel ’14 received the highest AGEC 425 honor in 2013 when he was recognized as the AGEC 425 Rural Entrepreneur of the Year during that year’s symposium. His business project when he was a student in the class was a real estate company. Today, Colt is working in the finance sector helping his clients acquire land and other capital needed to grow their dreams. He also supports the Dianne and M. Edward Rister ’74 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program by mentoring students and participating as a mentor-judge in its end-of-program business competitions.
Colt is a loan officer at MetLife Agricultural Finance where he finances large farms and ranches from the Rio Grande Valley to North Texas. “I have the opportunity to cover a diverse territory, which has allowed me to network and partner with salt-of-the-earth farmers, ranchers, investors, and real estate professionals from across the state,” he said.
He added that developing meaningful relationships takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. Yet, Colt shared that is one of the most rewarding aspects of his career.
When asked how AGEC 424-AGEC 425 prepared him for success in his career, Colt responded that the poster and business presentations during the symposium prepared him for all forms of public speaking. He added, “Every loan committee seems like a cakewalk due to my experiences in AGEC 425.”
What advice would Colt give to emerging entrepreneurs?
- Be open minded on how you can create value for yourself and others.
- Follow a vision and be patient.
Colt gives back his time as a mentor to students in AGEC 424-AGEC 425. He and his wife, Haley, also provide an annual scholarship award to AGEC 425 students.
Colt (left) is pictured with Ryan Schronk ’23, who received the Kokels’ scholarship in 2023. Incidentally, Schronk also earned AGEC 425’s highest honor of being named the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year, nine years after Kokel received the same recognition.
Colt graduated from Texas A&M Unversity with a B.S., in Agricultural Economics. He went on to complete a graduate degree in Real Estate.