Productivity and Purpose, Life Lessons Learned On a Pig Farm

By: Ben Peterson, PT – Chief Operations Officer, Partner

Ben Peterson and daughter on farm

My wife, kids, and I were fortunate to travel recently over the holidays and enjoy some time off with my family in Clay Center, Kansas. I don’t make it home very often anymore due to work and family demands, but when I do make it back, it’s great to catch up with everyone, and reflect on the past.

Though my family’s farm has changed much since I left home, I still remember it the way it was 30 years ago. As in most occupations, being a farmer-rancher 30 years ago was much less automated than it is today. For the most part, the technology a modern farm employs today is a wonderful thing, leading to many efficiencies and luxuries I never would have imaged back then. I often tell my kids how hard it was back then and how good they have it now. Bet none of you can relate to me on that. But it was tougher back then, right? Of course, the life lessons learned through the toil of labor are invaluable.

Growing up on the pig and cattle farm in the 80’s taught me many things.

First, it taught me that I most definitely did not want to be a pig farmer for the rest of my life! 

Secondly, it taught me a great sense of responsibility, that when a task is given to you, you better get it done and get it done right.

cattle farm kansas

For every task, there was a lot at stake, and generally more than one stakeholder who could be affected. For instance, if I didn’t feed the cows on a given morning or evening, each cow could lose up to 20 pounds of weight in a single day. My failure to

feed the cows the correct mixture of silage and grain on a given morning would not only result in a pen full of hungry cattle, but also a more gristly steak at the restaurant, and most crucial to me at the time – a lot less money in my dad’s pocket.

Throughout my upbringing, my dad instilled in me that I must produce something of quality to be valuable to society. Since I was pretty sure that my life’s calling was NOT in beef or pork produce, I had to choose something else to be productive in. Through school, playing sports, and every job I’ve had since then, the desire to produce quality work has remained prevalent within me. It has led me to seek out other people and places where there is a similar mindset and common goal.

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to work with a multitude of outstanding people in my life.

In March of this year, I will celebrate my 15th anniversary at ARC Physical Therapy+. Over these 15 years, I have been blessed to work alongside the finest therapists and professionals in the area. In my opinion, there is not a more responsible, ethical, and harder working group of people than the group of folks we have at ARC Physical Therapy+. There have been so many great people here from the start.

My history with ARC Physical Therapy+ goes back even further than my 15 years of employment. I was actually ARCPT+’s first student 16 years ago, on my final clinical rotation prior to graduating from PT school. At that point, ARC had only been in existence a few months, as a single clinic in an industrial park off Front Street in North Kansas City, Missouri.

If memory serves me correctly, during my 6-week rotation at ARC, we saw 9 patients. No, not 9 patients per day, but 9 patients TOTAL in the 6-week period. When I first started that rotation, I wasn’t sure if this company called ARC was going to make it. However, I quickly learned a lot.

I still remember treating a hard-working KCFD firefighter, a hilarious Roberts Dairy milk truck driver who loved to tell stories, and a no-nonsense nurse assistant. There were also a few high school athletes who received the finest training possible in the industrial parking lot behind the warehouse-like clinic.

Though I was not able to evaluate how I would handle seeing a full load of patients in a day, I was able to evaluate that Matt, Brian, and Ryan were definitely my kind of people, and I instantly believed in their vision. A group of people who shared a common work ethic, vision, and passion, dedicated in giving 100% with every single patient to provide the best physical therapy services possible.

Fortunately, God’s grace and the hard work put in by ARC Physical Therapy+’s founders led to the opportunity to see more patients. Fast forward from the 9 patients we saw during those 6 weeks in 2004, to 2019 and we’re very nearly achieving 90,000 visits in one year! That’s productivity even my dad would be pleased with!

Our productivity, our passion, and our primary purpose has always been focused on getting people back to their productivity, passion, and their purpose in work and daily life.

We take this calling very seriously, with the patients’ goals in mind, but we also realize the patient is not the only stakeholder. We have been fortunate over the years to serve many great employers, adjusters, case managers, physicians, and other associates.

If you are reading this letter, you may be one of the people whom we have been very blessed to work with over the years. I thank you for giving us the opportunity to do what we love to do, and make a difference in your life and the lives of your clients. I humbly ask that you would continue to give us more opportunities to live out our purpose in producing the highest quality service for you and your clients this upcoming year!

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