Wide receiver by day, farmer . . . also by day

Berry junior juggles academics, athletics and leading a business.

By Michael Shaw

The difficulties of juggling coursework with competition on the field are common to the student athlete. Berry football’s Methus Weldon has to do one better: juggling the duties of directing a business, as a general manager of a Berry enterprise. 

With Weldon at wide receiver running deep, the Berry College football team enjoyed unprecedented success in 2015, finishing with a record of 7-3, a significant improvement over the 2-8 slate for 2014. Weldon finished with 202 yards on 10 receptions.

Off the field, the North Bend, Wash., junior directs the student enterprise Season’s Harvest division, which supplies fresh, naturally grown produce to the Berry community and beyond. The produce is made available year-round, and sustainability is a priority, according to Weldon.

Methus Weldon, junior.

A schedule with three halves

Because he is a GATE scholar, Weldon is required to work 20 hours per week, an essentially half-time position at Season’s Harvest that must be balanced against a demanding football schedule and a full academic load as a college student.

“I leave about 5:45 every morning and don’t get back ’till 8,” said Weldon, one of five children to Debby and Chris Weldon. “I just know that especially during football season, that’s my schedule.”

How does the management major fit so many pieces into one scheduling puzzle? He says it’s simpler than it sounds, because his puzzle only has one piece.

“My whole day is a job, not just my individual areas of involvement,” he said. “If I just think about it all as one constant job, I just do my best.”

While simple to understand, execution is a different matter. Challenges spring up all the time. 

“It always seems like something’s going wrong” on the Season’s Harvest “farm,” he said. Irrigation system problems, tractor malfunctions and even trucks stuck in the mud – the life of a Berry enterprise CEO can mean getting your hands dirty.

When a Berry truck ended up immobilized by mud, it was Weldon “trying to push it out,” said Jamie Losey, a gardener for Season’s Harvest and a sophomore business major at Berry. “But then dirt kept kicking up on him, so we thought it was hilarious. Then he came around with the tractor and had to push [the truck] out. He always thinks of things to do to get out of those kinds of situations.”

Weldon caught 10 balls for 202 yards in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Berry Athletics.

A problem-solver 

Weldon said he likes the problem solving he’s asked to do, even when it involves putting duct tape on yet another leak or making a nail work by welding a washer to it. Also especially gratifying is growing Season’s Harvest as a business. 

“We’ve planted three times as much [this year] as we’ve ever planted,” he said, citing just one example of the division’s growth.

Losey, also a schedule juggler as a member of the Berry Equestrian Team, said she credits the division’s expansion to a new supervisor, a new well and controls Weldon instilled by incorporating more computer-generated spreadsheets into operations. 

Weldon credits the enterprise’s team.

“All of the students that work out there are really passionate about what they do,” he said. “You can’t do anything without the ten.”

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