President and CEO
Taylor Kirkpatrick comes from solid entrepreneurial stock.
Raised on optimism, perspective and focus, Kirkpatrick has continued to cultivate Babson Farms, Inc., a family office overseeing operating businesses in agriculture and insurance, diverse real estate investments, mineral interests and public and private equity investments. Now President and CEO, Kirkpatrick has kept the story and the lineage of Babson Farms growing and thriving, since its inception in 1939.
The family legacy began in 1893 when Kirkpatrick's great-grandfather attended the Chicago World’s Fair and met Thomas Edison. He began successfully selling phonographs for Edison and eventually went on to start a mail order company with his brothers called Babson Bros. Co. He then went on to breed a group of horses known as the Babson Egyptian Arabians. He purchased farmland and began the family's operating company, Babson Farms. In 2010, Kirkpatrick started working alongside his uncle, and in 2013, he became President and CEO of the family business. Kirkpatrick admits that joining the family business is not always as easy as it seems.
“People may think it’s a shoe-in scenario but it comes with a lot of emotion that doesn’t typically happen in taking other jobs,” he said. “You are going from growing up with your brothers and cousin riding bikes and wrestling, to making business and investment decisions for the entire family. Earning each other's respect and trust to make those decisions is a big shift.”
Having made the company and processes more technologically advanced and transparent, Kirkpatrick has made transformational improvements to the benefit of the family members and operating companies. Since his leadership, the farm company has added two highly successful subsidiaries, HB Crop insurance and HB Farm Services. And it is because of Taylor's commitment to succession planning and being a good steward of the land that the farm company and subsidiaries will continue to run seamlessly and withstand political and environmental challenges.
Built on simple yet forward thinking strategies, Kirkpatrick has his sights set high on the continued cultivation of Babson Farms, Inc.
“Each year the farm company and family office conduct a strategy session to set goals for the short term, medium term and long term,” Kirkpatrick said. “We brainstorm innovative ways to expand or improve the family office, farm company or its subsidiaries.”
Always willing to roll up his sleeves, it is nearly impossible to capture all of Kirkpatrick’s involvement in making a difference in his community. Some of his dedicated time is spent as: President of FORT (Family Office Round Table); President on the Board of the Rocky Mountain Children's Health Foundation; President of the Advisory Board at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology, and President of the Good Wood Club. He serves on the Public Artwork Selection Council at Children's Hospital Colorado and as Founder/President of the 2221 Society at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
It is with continued dedication to his family, family businesses, community and Babson Farms, Inc., that Kirkpatrick has shown to be a true leader. Kirkpatrick explains that he is a lifelong learner who desires more knowledge and self-improvement.
“Because of this, I am willing to accept change and uncertainty as the status quo for our business, and continually recalibrate the organization’s vision for the future.” He added, “Let the goal and the journey fill you with hope. Let it draw you forward.”
For continuing the legacy of leadership in the industry of environmentally responsible farming, Taylor has earned a spot as a Titan 100.
Greatest Leadership Lesson Learned
When you find yourself against the odds in a leadership role, look beyond the odds. Seek perspective. Have faith in your team. Be a good listener. Set your eyes on the elevated goal toward which you are striving. Let the goal and the journey fill you with hope. Let it draw you forward.
Taylor creates a annual bucket list and has accomplished some amazing things such as:
Has performed two comedy sets in front of a live audience.
He is a certified, skilled and experienced auctioneer and used these skills for a fundraising event for Rocky Mountain Children' s Health Foundation, and raised $135,000 in 15 minutes.
He has authored an award-winning children's book, Worthwhile. The story involves a boy and his grandmother that promotes giving and kindness.
Taylor still travels to schools and special events to share his story and meet with children about how they can make a worthwhile difference in the world.
He has been on Shark Week, he has completed a Zamboni camp, he is a Level 1 Sommelier, he is an artist with a scheduled exhibit in 2020, and an avid book collector.