Some of you may have seen his modeling pics, and in fact he was just recently elected to the board of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines, but 25-year-old Jairus Ferrer prefers to describe himself as an agriculture entrepreneur.
“My story is unique in a sense because I chose a different path that many would find peculiar,” he begins. Instead of going to a known university to obtain a college degree, Jairus “chose the road less traveled. I took a gap year with the consent of my parents to really think what I would really like to pursue in life,” he continues, which led him to a character development/farm business course called “Semilya sa Kinabuhi” in Bukidnon.
Not that farming is unknown to the young man, because he grew up in a farm environment that showed him early on the realities and struggles faced by people from different walks of life. Instead of wanting to escape that background, Jairus instead found inspiration to seek better avenues and solutions for people to see a future in agriculture. “I wouldn’t know what hard work would feel like if I didn’t work in the field, drive the truck myself, carry heavy goods, harvest, clean, process – day in and day out. Working in the field during my teens is what I consider the formative stages of my character,” he observes.
When Jairus moved to Manila, people noticed the 6-foot two-inches frame of this charmer, which landed him in several modeling jobs under PMAP. It was, to say the least, a totally new world for him. He became an active member, learning the ropes in the industry and the ins and outs of marketing to know key influencers and helping launch a PMAP campaign called “I am PMAP” that provides a platform where models can jumpstart their careers in modeling and beyond – whether in business or arts or some other industry or profession. “We would like to be an avenue where we can hone and mentor not just fashion models but more importantly, model citizens who excel and be on top of their respective industries later on,” Jairus shares.
As a young agricultural entrepreneur, having co-founded Pronic Foods which focuses on the proper chaneling and logistics for niche products (such as Cenyu Probiotic Chicken), the young man is able to connect an age-old industry that is tailor-fit to the Millennial generation. “I can now translate what a farm needs to sustain its operations and offer good food to the market, communicating this in a way that the young generation can relate to,” he says.
Currently, Jairus is part of a “rainforestation” team called Hineleban Foundation that focuses on restoring the rainforests of Mindanao and providing livelihood programs in the region through transformational business partnerships with the indigenous people of Bukidnon. “We were able to create a stable market in the metro for the premium coffee from Bukidnon, enabling us to provide ‘sustainable disposable income’ to our partner farms and continue the reforestation efforts in different parts of Bukidnon,” he reveals with understandable pride.
One could say that this early, Jairus Ferrer is living a fruitful life – and is exactly where he envisioned himself to be eight years ago when he set out to find what he really wanted to pursue.