Fri, 26 February 2021
If you have been listening to the Off-Farm Income Podcast for a while then you have heard a lot of stories about agricultural entrepreneurship, you have heard a lot of stories about FFA students and you have heard a lot of stories about where those two paths intersect. Today, we are very lucky to be able to give you the "after picture". We are able to bring things full circle and show you how it all comes back around.
Our guest today is Caleb Green, and he has a great story. Caleb grew up in northern Wyoming around farmers and farming with his dad. Caleb was also an FFA member, and when it came time to select a supervised agricultural experience he decided to start a custom hay business. He named it "Evergreen Custom Haying".
When Caleb chose to start this business he looked around at what was offered in his community, and he found a niche haying on smaller properties and putting up small, square bales for horse owners and people who needed them. Soon, he was growing his business, expanding his customer base, and purchasing more equipment. Caleb's services even included irrigating for his customers when that was necessary.
After graduation, Caleb went on to college and started studying ag. All through this time, he kept his haying business going. But, like so many FFA students, Caleb had been inspired by his ag teachers and he was focused on getting his degree and returning to the ag classroom, this time as an FFA advisor.
Caleb is now 25 years old, and that "return to the classroom" moment came in July of 2020 when he was hired as the ag teacher at Burns High School, near Cheyenne. He started on July 1, going out and meeting his students at their homes while checking in on their projects. Soon, it was time for the county fair, followed immediately by the state fair and then right into the first day of school.
The writing is definitely on the wall for Evergreen Custom Haying, looking back on this summer schedule. Caleb's FFA chapter needs him at the exact same time that most of the haying in his part of Wyoming gets done. Caleb has tinges of emotion when he thinks about not running his custom haying business any longer. He misses being out there in the open, cutting hay, and doing things on his own terms. However, his excitement about being in the classroom is contagious.
Because of the requirement for supervised agricultural experience, Caleb started a business and learned about entrepreneurship. Today, Caleb is the person at the head of the agricultural classroom, and he has the opportunity to take what he learned by running his own business and teach it to dozens of students. And, as the years go by that number will turn into hundreds and eventually thousands.
Entrepreneurship is desperately needed in our rural communities for a number of reasons, and that is why I am so eager to profile entrepreneurship in the FFA. Ten years ago Caleb got introduced to the concept by his then FFA advisor. Today, he is introducing multitudes to the concept with the benefit of his experience.
Coming full circle, Caleb is giving students the inspiration, permission, and knowledge to be able to work in agriculture, create jobs in rural communities and avoid being forced to move to the city for work. This is an FFA success story at its finest!
Connect with Caleb Green & Evergreen Custom Hayingat:
Direct download: OFI_1005__Coming_Full_Circle_From_Ag_Student_To_Ag_Entrepreneur_To_Ag_Teacher___Caleb_Green___Evergreen_Custom_Haying.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MST