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“He’s always been, I guess I’d say, driven

to do well, and he’s getting to retirement age, but I don’t see him slowing down,” he said. “Still works hard. He enjoys the things that he does, and I really look up to him and respect him for that. One of those guys, he enjoys what he does so it doesn’t seem like a job or work.”

After high school, Adams studied

agribusiness at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to his classes, he interned at a Goodyear manufacturing plant

in Lincoln, where he managed some shifts, and then was an intern in the ConAgra Trade Group’s economic research department. After college, he began working in

the shipping department for Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler, where he was trained in operations management. The plant employed a couple of thousand people and harvested about nearly 5,000 head of cattle daily, and he was supervising about 20 employees shipping boxed beef while still in his early 20s. He gives credit to

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managers who taught him about business and managing people. “There’s a lot of meat going through

there. … What I learned, you have to work with a lot of different people to get things done,” he said. Raised the son of a business owner, Adams long had wanted to be his own boss – to figure things out, to make decisions, and to be rewarded for hard work. The opportunity to do that arose after

he’d been with Cargill about five years. Joe Hoye, who had worked with Lawrence in another cattle business, also owned a small trucking company in 2005 when Cargill approached him with a chance to do additional business in Blair, Nebraska. A resident of Atlantic, Iowa, Hoye did not want to move to Nebraska, so he needed partners. “Those two were friends and did cattle

business together, and my dad had told Joe, ‘I have a son that keeps telling me that he’d like to work for himself,’ so here we are,” Adams said. The three partners came up with a

name, Sterling Transportation Services, with “Sterling” meant to reflect the company’s commitment to excellence. Adams left Cargill and moved to Blair and became vice president of operations. His dad became president while Hoye was vice president of sales. Soon afterwards, Adams’ brother, Dan, joined the company and today manages human resources and safety.

Adams said starting the business was

about more than just being an owner. Family ties were also a big part of the decision. “The opportunity was there, and I knew

that I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to be a business owner, but also very important to me was the opportunity to work with my father,” he said. Sterling Transportation Services, also

known as STS, is a local and regional hauler of bulk agricultural and industrial goods – mostly feed and processed agricultural products, along with corn, soybeans and wheat, but also limestone, ash and fertilizers. Three trucks haul coal. Some of the products it hauls end up in pet foods. Its customers range from large, multinational agribusinesses to family farms. Its coverage area is the upper Midwest – Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and the


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