Mon, 19 April 2021
INTRODUCING BETHANY KELLER:
The tagline for the Off-Farm Income Podcast calls agriculture "the ultimate lifestyle business". I have made the argument for why this is true many, many times. One thing that we have never really done is delved deeply into why people are so attracted to this lifestyle. What is it that will make people work twice the hours for half the money just to be part of this group?
One answer to that is community. It is the community that we are so fortunate to be part of in agriculture that pulls people in. People in agriculture have old-fashioned values, and one of those old values is helping each other out. I think what keeps that ever-present in agriculture and farming is the fact that any of us can find ourselves in a situation that we cannot get out of ourselves at any moment. The need to call on neighbors or even strangers is always there.
Today's interview profiles exactly why we love this community so much. It all starts with Bethany Keller. Bethany is a senior at Newberry High School in Newberry, Florida. She has been in their FFA chapter since middle school.
About a year ago Bethany lost her grandfather to cancer. About a month after that she began her 2021 fair project, which was a steer that she was going to show and then sell at her county fair in March of 2021. Like any fair project, there is a lot of work involved, but with a steer, I think there is more. You have to start sooner, your feed cost will be higher, your purchase cost will be higher, you have to halter break, you need bigger equipment to transport a steer - everything is magnified.
To get motivated for a project of this scope a student needs to see a reward on the other end. Normally, that reward comes at the auction when you make money off of your steer. This was Bethany's motivation, and this was totally appropriate. But about halfway to the fair Bethany found out that one of her friends had been diagnosed with cancer, and he and his family were facing significant medical bills.
Her friend's diagnosis changed everything for Bethany. She decided then and there to forgo what she was going to make from the steer and to donate all the proceeds to help him with the medical bills. He resisted, but she insisted and it was done.
The fair arrived in March, and the night prior to the auction she was taken around the show ring, and a fair representative told her story and what she was doing. The following day at the auction, the auctioneer told the story again. Then the bidding for her steer began. By the time it was all said and done, Bethany's community had bid her steer up to over $16,000. She was able to provide a great donation to her friend and his family through her selflessness and the generosity of her community.
That is a community and lifestyle worth making sacrifices to be part of!
Direct download: OFI_1049__The_Reason_We_Love_Our_Agricultural_Community___FFA_SAE_Edition___Bethany_Keller___Newberry_High_School_FFA.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MST