More Than a Social Media Superstar: Nico Bolzico May Be the Future of Farming - Lifestyle Asia

A lot has been written or said about Nico Bolzico. He is a sought-after endorser, a social media superstar, a famous health buff, and the “bullied husband” of actress Solenn Heussaff. He leads a public life, sharing the shenanigans of his day to day life via Instagram, where he has accumulated a whooping 910.1k followers. However, beyond the trending IG pranks and the flashing bulbs of cameras, there sits a humble guy, a farmer boy, looking to give back to a country he admits has given him so much in return.

Nico Bolzico for Lifestyle Asia (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)
Nico Bolzico for Lifestyle Asia (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)

A Farm Boy at Heart  

Nico Bolzico’s personal history is an open book. In fact, just last May, he invited Lifestyle Asia’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Sobrepeña into his home for an exclusive interview. He grew up in on a cattle farm in Argentina, and credits his mother and father for opening the doors to opportunity for him. Growing up, he looked up to his dad, who rode side by side with their farm workers every day. On the other hand, his mother encouraged him to seek out an education abroad, which helped broadened his horizons. Today, he holds two master’s degrees, one in Global Banking and another in Global Finance and Capital Markets.

He came to the Philippines seven years ago to work for a company that did country reports. Nico eventually came full circle when he realized that the country has so much potential for agriculture. “My dad told me to try and develop something that we were doing at home, which was the waste processing plant,” he told Lifestyle Asia in May. His perseverance and hard work blossomed into LM10, a company he founded in 2012 that seeks to “invest in agribusiness technology in partnership with local businessmen.”

Their website describes their work as “elevating the field of agribusiness in the Philippines with innovative technologies, development of new productive possibilities, and refined experiences in agriculture.” Today, LM10 has expanded and invested in countless companies including Bolzico Beef (importing protein from the family farm in Argentina), Vienovo Philippines (producing all natural animal feeds), Precision Agriculture (LM10’s subsidiary company that focuses on improving idles lands), and Genex Biotech Group (boosting dairy and beef production by bringing advanced livestock genetics to the country), amongst others.

Despite a growing and impressive resume, the farm boy remains to stay humble with his achievements. “It all came as an opportunity when I came here,” he shared while sitting at his desk at the newly refurbished LM10 offices in Makati. “I wasn’t planning [to be in agriculture], but I really love it!” Future plans for the company include producing pet food, expanding the feed business, and opening more fish farms.

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Nico Bolzico at the LM10 office (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)
Nico Bolzico at the LM10 office (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)

From Argentina to Mindanao

Behind Nico’s desk is a framed football jersey of one of his favorite players, Lionel Messi. He shares that LM10 was named after the Argentine soccer superstar. LM stands for Lionel Messi, while 10 is his team number. “I shouldn’t be sharing this anymore!” he says with a chuckle. Despite circulating with Manila’s “It-Crowd” and balancing his life as a successful endorser and influencer, the nationalistic Argentinean admits that his main focus is to continue to grow and advance his company. He says that 70% of the time he’s doing office work, while the remaining 30% is dedicated to being on the field, where he visits their numerous farms and factories around the country.

“The Philippines is really growing,” he shares. Nico hopes that through the help of LM10, local farmers are able to realize the true potential of their land. He believes that the rich Philippine soil is ideal for high value crops (like corn, broccoli and cauliflower). By introducing innovative techniques and guidance to these farmers, he is optimistic that their businesses will boom. “Knowledge and education is the key to innovation,” Nico says. This has become a sort of mantra for his farming work, continuously repeating it throughout the interview.

Nico lives up every moment he has on the field. He’s outdoorsy and fit, and just like his father, loves to be one with the workers. He shares that he has come to understand the culture of Filipino farmers and has grown to love them. He particularly has a soft spot for Mindanao, a territory he continues to discover after recently acquiring a plant there. “Mindanao is very agri-oriented. And when I go there, it makes me feel a little bit like home.” He says the landscape reminds of him of their family farm at Argentina.

RELATED READS: Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico Talk About Parenthood

Nico Bolzico for Lifestyle Asia (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)
Nico Bolzico for Lifestyle Asia (Photography by Floyd Jhocson)

Nico Bolzico, Youth Leader

With such a sizeable social media following, Nico Bolzico is one of the most watched millennials in Manila. Despite sharing a lot about his personal life online, Nico admits that he hardly shares anything about his work life. “I need to improve that,” he says. However, the farmer-entrepreneur has been doing the necessary steps to share his knowledge and worldviews to young people in real life. Nico tries to fit in as many university talks and youth conferences that his schedule allows. His upcoming talk at Forward Pilipinas this Saturday (September 1, 2018) is highly anticipated.

Forward Pilipinas aims to “spark conversations among today’s Filipino youth and to highlight audacious ideas that will revolutionize our future.” Nico joins several notable speakers for the one day conference happening at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura. The impressive list includes journalist Maria Ressa, Dedet de la Fuente (otherwise known as the Lechon Diva), The United Nations youth consultant and activist Regine Guevara, and former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, amongst others.

Nico shares that the upcoming talk is a way to spread the word about what the company does, and why agriculture is key to the growth and development of the country. “(Forward Pilipinas) has a dynamic audience. These are people who really want to listen and doesn’t just want free food,” he laughs. “These are people who are looking for new thing and new ideas.”

Excited for this weekend’s talk, Nico shares that he wants to make his time in the country meaningful and purposeful. The Philippines is lucky to have him. He may be an Argentinean farm boy, but he has grown to love our land. “I want to help people. Especially in the Philippines, which has given me so much. It’s my way of giving back,” he says.

Nico Bolzico will be talking at the Forward Pilipinas conference this September 1, 2018 at the Samsung Hall at SM Aura. For more information visit their Facebook page, Forward Pilipinas. For tickets, visit www.forwardpilipinas.com

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