Identical Twins Take Same College and Career Paths

May 7th, 2015

AMES, Iowa — It will be hard to stifle a double take when Adam and Austin Fichter accept their diplomas Saturday at the Iowa State University commencement.

The identical twins will each be graduating magna cum laude with identical majors, or rather three of them:  agricultural business, economics and international agriculture. Their similarities don’t end there.

They have served as presidents of the FarmHouse fraternity; played on the baseball team; and traveled on several study-abroad and cultural exchange trips. And they are both beginning their careers with Hertz Farm Management.

Adam will be working with Hertz in Mason City and Austin in Omaha. Adam says they will be managing relationships between landowners and producers who rent land, being involved in decision-making for the farms and real estate sales and acquisition.

When asked about their differences, they have to think a moment. Adam is right-handed, although he bats left, and Austin is a lefty.

Going to college with a sibling has been a plus, they say.

“We’ve taken a lot of classes together, which I think is helpful having two people listening and picking up what the professor’s talking about and having somebody to study with,” Adam says.

They are following in the footsteps of their father and a grandfather in graduating from ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The brothers grew up on a corn and soybean farm near Shenandoah, and wanted to explore other career options besides production agriculture. Eventually, farming might be in their futures.

“They could write their own ticket to the future and do anything they want,” says Ebby Luvaga, a senior lecturer in economics who serves as their adviser.

She hired them as sophomores to be peer mentors for the agricultural business learning communities and as tutors for agricultural business students in microeconomics classes. Luvaga looks for role models with leadership skills.

“They’re very organized and responsible. There’s something about them. They just stood out,” she says.

Luvaga also likes their sense of humor. She says, “After Adam introduced himself to the peer mentor class, Austin would say:  ‘In case you didn’t know, we’re twins.’ ” They also took to wearing T-shirts saying, “I’m not Adam,” and “I’m not Austin.”

The brothers joined Luvaga’s group of students on a study-abroad course to Argentina in their freshman year. Those were the first trips outside the country for the Fichters. Another travel course took them to Spain the following year, and they are proud to say they have made trips to every continent except Antarctica.

“When I came to college, I didn’t have that in my mind at all, but it’s been really cool to be able to travel and do ag-related study abroad trips to so many different places,” says Austin.


Adam Fichter, Economics, (712) 215-5699,
Austin Fichter, Economics, (712) 215-5696,
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-2314,