Trevor Farnes, co-founder of MTN OPS, is a highly successful nutritional supplement entrepreneur and is regularly recognized and nominated for awards for his achievements in the business world. But it's important to note that those achievements were the result of a series of failed ventures, which at one point led Farnes to question how he was even supposed to put food on the table for his own family.
w that the money is in the bank and an exciting brand is going from strength to strength, Farnes is paying off in a big way. M&F sat down with the changemaker to find out why he personally cares about ending hunger and how he's making a meaningful difference not just in his local community but around the world.
"I wish I had had the sanity to slowly build up and lay a foundation from which I can then continue to grow," Farnes reflects as he discusses the financial struggles he faces as a result of a failed pharmaceutical company and later illness was fateful retail project. “But I did it and I wanted to achieve great success quickly. I was short-sighted about the importance of working capital, cash flow, bandwidth, etc. Simple things that could have saved me a lot of money and heartache if I had been looked after a little more.”
Desperate and driven to succeed, Farnes finally found success when he developed a nitric oxide product specifically for his ailing father to relieve his father's neuropathy and circulatory problems. This project went so well that Farnes and his brothers were able to raise the capital to mass produce the product and sales skyrocketed from there. Then, in 2014, the entrepreneur teamed up with a group of like-minded marketers to offer nutritional supplements to the hunter-athlete movement, and MTN OPS was born.
"It was created to inspire passion for the outdoors and for those who train indoors to conquer outdoors," he says. “'MTN' or 'mountains' represents all of the mountains we climb and eventually conquer in life, and 'OPS' represents the outdoor performance supplements we offer to those who face, climb and conquer these mountains of life subdue!”
Inspiration comes from overcoming personal obstacles
MTN OPS inspires people by reducing hunger. Statistics from Feedingamerica.org suggest that 34 million people are food insecure in the United States alone. It is a problem that occurs in every state in rth America and occurs all over the world. And it's a topic close to Farnes' heart, as he understands what it's like to worry about where your next meal might come from. "During our difficult times, we always had our grocery bills on our minds," he says. “Our children had to eat, and they did
what concerned me as a young father. We began to delve into the food store that we had built up in case of a natural disaster, but that was now being used for our own personal disaster. Cracking your own wheat to make things last longer was a great skill to learn, but one that was hard on the stomach.” While the now-successful businessman is now capable of putting food on the table, he is all too aware of the cost of living crisis gripping the world. "Over time, we've watched groceries like eggs, bacon, pork, milk, fruit, and other staples become very expensive and make it incredibly difficult for families to go beyond basic needs," he notes.
With this in mind, Farnes and MTN OPS give back to those who need help. "For every order we receive at MTN OPS, we donate a meal to a child in need," he says. "It's a wonderful system where those who buy our products get the health benefits of the product, but then their order and their hard-earned money is also put into action." In turn, people benefit from what we donate meals food. It is a win-win system that benefits everyone involved.”
At regular events, including the annual Western Hunt Expo, MTN OPS conducts its Operation Conquer Hunger program, packaging and distributing an incredible 60,000 meals to children and families in need.
"They're given foods like ravioli, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, fruit packets, crackers, granola bars and fruit juices, and they can eat those foods when they don't have access to school breakfasts and lunches or when they're home for the weekend," says Farnes. “Also in each of these packages is a note from MTN OPS telling each of these kids that they are made to conquer. Yes, we fill a belly, but what we're really doing is removing the distraction of hunger and instilling in these kids some hope and confidence and hopefully the ability to focus on their pursuit of more in life in school and in relationships. ”
MTN OPS drives success through education about nutrition
"Our diet is the cause of so much heartache, headaches and stomachaches," says Farnes. “We're distracted by competition, in a race to succeed, but we're slow to think about our greatest asset; Our human body and its ability to provide our greatest contribution and opportunities in life. If we could slow down for just a moment, we would realize that without our health we become nothing.” Farnes doesn't just sell or give away MTN OPS products because he's also a big consumer. He emphasizes that he enjoys the energy boost he gets from their best-selling product, Ignite, and when he bikes, hikes, or skis, he uses MTN OPS hydration and electrolyte products.
Farnes tells M&F that Operation Conquer Hunger will donate a small portion of the proceeds to children and families in Malawi, Africa, while also distributing funds to US hunger relief organization Feeding America. Reflecting on his early struggles, Farnes believes another way to fight hunger is through educating young people about finance. "I could have benefited significantly from general finance and management courses in high school," he says. "There are a lot of ambitious people who want to get started after they graduate and while I really appreciate the education I've picked up down the road, it would have been great to have had a little more understanding, like learning how beforehand how to handle money.” It manages you and you learn to live within a budget and not spend more than you bring in, creating an attitude of self-discipline around money. One of the most important lessons you can teach anyone is to understand needs and wants and to practice patience and the ability to sacrifice now for what you want in the future. We live in such a competitive world where people seek instant gratification, but if we learn to delay the gratification and let the hard work take time, so many positive outcomes can be achieved.”
While the education system may be slow to educate children about loans and mortgages, Farnes and MTN OPS continue to reach people through their events and free consultations. “Our future looks incredibly bright for Operation Conquer Hunger,” he says. "And while it's just a small part of what we do at MTN OPS, it's the greatest symbol of who we are. In June 2023 we will reach 5 million free meals. I believe we will hit the 6 million mark by the end of this year. And by the end of 2025, we will reach the goal of 10 million meals.