Out of Office: Chad Johnston

Photo: George Hipple

The loan officer at $290 million-asset Equitable Bank in North Platte, Neb., attributes his grit and success to his ranching roots.

I grew up on a ranch southwest of Thedford, Neb. I have three brothers, and we all grew up ranching and rodeoing. I knew there wasn’t going to be room for me on the ranch, so I had to come up with something else, and I wanted to stay close to agriculture. I decided I would go into agriculture banking. That way, I never got completely away from my roots.

From the time that I was old enough to walk, all I wanted to do was rodeo. It’s a family thing. All my brothers and I have participated in rodeos all over the western U.S. A lot of people, they don’t crave rodeo. There are a lot of people who crave playing basketball or football, but I craved rodeo.

That is what actually paid for my college tuition, because I was on the rodeo team for the University of Wyoming. They paid all my tuition when I was in college. I have my Professional Rodeo Cowboys [Association] Gold Card and rodeoed locally after college.

To be successful in rodeo, you need to be driven. You have to know what you want and know how you are going to go after it. It’s the same way in banking. You have to know what you want and be willing to put in the work to get there. The way I grew up on a ranch and rodeo taught me how to work hard, how to set goals for myself and how to win.

Elias Radtke