The brains behind Red E reflect on being North Dakota's Small Business Persons of the Year
Matt and Jesse Faul were named North Dakota Small Business Persons of the Year and got to take a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., and meet President Joe Biden, and then came home to celebrate.
FARGO, N.D. — The brains behind Fargo-based ag engineering firm Red E made a recent trip to Washington, D.C., to receive the North Dakota Small Business Persons of the Year award.
Matt Faul started Red E in 2012, with the name based on his red hair combined with an E for engineering. His twin brother, Jesse, joined the business in 2015, becoming Matt's second employee. Matt, the president of Red E, explained that the company initially focused on providing engineering services for other companies but pivoted about five years ago to providing direct service to farmers who wished to update the technology on their air seeders without purchasing new machines.
Matt said the folks at the SBA office in North Dakota convinced them to apply for the award, which they recently made the trek to Washington, D.C., to receive. While he always knew the business would make it, he said that "not in my wildest imagination" did he imagine winning such an award. Both brothers have praise for their customers and the people who have worked with them to make their company a success.
"We're just so grateful for this opportunity that we have. The Lord who has carried us through so many things, our customers — really the best customers you can have — the farmers, our employees and so many others who have come alongside us and helped us to get where we are today," Jesse, the Red E vice president, said.
The ceremony in Washington, Matt said, was "top notch."
"We got to go into the White House, be at the Rose Garden by the West Wing, and the president spoke and we got to meet the president," he said. "That was a real treat."
"We were floored," Jesse said.
Matt said the experience enabled them to meet other business people from around the country who had, like them, taken risks to start or purchase businesses and worked to make them successful.
"We just had a great time meeting new people," he said.
Red E also held an awards ceremony at their Fargo location that was open to the public. Matt said that ceremony included state officials as well as all of the people who work on their business, including their employees, board of advisers, tax adviser, business lawyer, financial adviser and insurance agent. Jesse credited "the hard work that our team does to meet the needs of our customers," in helping them win the award.
The Fauls both credit their experience helping their grandfather, who farmed and was a custom combiner near Hillsboro, North Dakota. Matt said their grandpa would run older equipment but would use pieces of equipment from other combines to make his the best he could. It wasn't always fast, but he took pride in doing the best job possible, "getting every bean he could" and doing so without having to buy new equipment.
By working with farmers to "feed the world" while saving money, Matt said he gets to vicariously live out his childhood dream of being a farmer.
"It's a huge honor to be a part of the farming community," he said.