Tyler Nuss: Building a Brand, Side Hustles, and Regenerative Agriculture

Tyler Nuss wears many hats in his day to day life but, whether it’s working his day job in supply chain and operation for Rivian, an electric car startup, or being an advocate for sustainable agriculture – he’s on a mission to change the world. Co-founding the podcast the Modern Acre with his brother Tim. Tyler’s goal was to provide a community about innovation in food and ag business. Indirectly, it has built Tyler and Tim’s relationship with their family farm, allowed them to consult on other farms, and continue to broaden their horizons and, subsequently, the opportunities of Nuss Farms. 

Starting The Modern Acre Podcast

Located in Lodi, California, the Nuss family farm is a thousand acres of primarily vegetable specialty crops. The land has been in the family for nearly fifty years, with Tyler and his siblings representing the fifth generation on the land. Today, the farm sustains Tyler’s father and his oldest brother full time. 

In an attempt to be more engaged with the family farm and where they were going, Tyler realized that he needed to have a firmer understanding about what the future of agriculture was going to look like. 

“There wasn’t a ton of content for the next generation, so that’s where we thought we could be the missing link,” explains Tyler about the thought process he and his brother, Tyler, had prior to starting the Modern Acre podcast. “Truth be told, we were big fans of Bigger Pockets, a real estate investment podcast, and got super into it… and as we started to think about agriculture, there were a lot of parallels.”

The biggest parallel is that real estate has a variety of ways to invest and different models depending on geography – just like agriculture. The original premise was to build a podcast like “Bigger Podcasts,” but for agriculture, as their main content vehicle. 

Building a Brand

The mission was to inspire other entrepreneurial and like-minded people in agriculture with their podcast, making a cross-pollination of people on the farm, farmers that were innovating and doing different things from the “normal” systems, and business leaders in the world of food and ag. 

“We both knew very early on that this was a long-term vision and that we saw the value in building an audience, building great content, and putting it out in the world,” says Tyler. Despite the original plan to make a “Bigger Pockets” concept, the show morphed on it’s own as they focused not on monetary gain, but on putting good content out for two years. 

Creating Opportunity Through Good Content

With good content creation comes amazing opportunities, which the Nuss Family Farm has begun to see as an indirect result of the Modern Acre podcast. While the most common form of podcast monetization is sponsorships and advertisements, Nuss Farms has been able to partner with new business model opportunities and then promote them through the podcast. 

At a minimum, Tyler says that these opportunities have been extremely fruitful as just recently, their sustainable vegetable farm has partnered with Pasturebird. Pasturebird is an affiliate program that they have incorporated and, while it may seem like an untraditional concept, it provides a unique multi-faceted opportunity for their farm.


Overcoming Podcasting Challenges

“I think because it’s hard,” says Tyler about why more people aren’t podcasting. With a low barrier to entry, you would think that more people would be creating content in this way. “The barrier of entry is low [but] the hard is the consistency.”

The Messy Middle: 

Getting through 25-50 episodes, seeing little to no results, as you try to gain traction and momentum – it’s really hard to see the finish line and that’s where a lot of podcasters stop. Tyler has a ton of respect for solo-preneurs that are doing it all by themselves. Despite the “loneliness” of starting a podcast, Tyler was able to lean on Tim as they pushed forward which was critical in them staying focused on the goal and pushing forward. 

Find Your Motivator: 

“If you are operating on the field of feedback, you’ll run low,” says Tyler. “You just have to enjoy what you are doing. I have personally leaned into the value that we gain from it, even if we don’t make a cent. I am learning and networking with really smart people – there is going to be future value for those relationships.” 

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome:

There will always be a sense of imposter syndrome and of “why does anyone care what I have to say?” Leaning on their co-hosts, Tyler and Tim have been able to continue a fun and approachable banter and style of conversation about the things that already interest them. 

Being Consistent:

Traction and success is directly correlated to being consistent and moving forward. For Tim and Tyler, podcasting about a topic that they are naturally curious about and want to listen to information about makes it easy for them to ask engaging and insightful questions without overexerting or forcing themselves. 

Be Unique: 

Find your niche and what makes you different – then lean into that! Both Tyler and Tim have built careers off of the farm, Tyler in technology and Tim in import/export of produce. Finding what makes them unique makes it interesting – no matter what. For example: Tyler talking about farming is okay; Tyler who is a fifth generation farmer talking about farming is more interesting; Tyler, a fifth generation farmer involved in the building of electric pickups talking about farming is very interesting!

If it wasn’t for the podcast, Tyler doesn’t believe that neither himself nor Tim would be as engaged in the farm as they would have been without Modern Acre. As they learned more information and chatting with more industry professionals, they found themselves routinely going back to the farm to have open conversations with their brother and father about the operation. They have also found themselves having consulting conversations with others in agriculture, specifically those looking to diversify their farm and move into a more sustainable or regenerative farming aspect. 

Make sure to subscribe to the AgGrad YouTube Channel to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture and follow along on the special “30 Under 30 in Agriculture” series! Interested in nominating someone under 30? Nominate them here!

Katie Schrock