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How to build a small-business empire Add to ...

Bill Vanderkooi has assembled the pillars of a small agricultural empire, an integrated strategy that is generally the domain of large corporations.

In 2008, when the assets of his family's dairy farm were reorganized, he created Nutriva Group, which includes food and feed businesses as well as other connected assets, such as an organic milk trucking company. Then in the depths of the recession Mr. Vanderkooi added a grocery store to his empire.

How did he pull it off? What were the keys to his success?

Mr. Vanderkooi and his business adviser, Trevor Throness, owner of Strategic Corporate Resolutions, took questions in a live discussion.

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