Off-Farm Income

Catherine Chmelka is an ag teacher and FFA advisor for the David City High School FFA Chapter in David City, Nebraska.  As part of her duties she teaches floriculture and agribusiness.  There was a time in her life that these courses were just necessary evils that she had to endure to move through the agricultural education that she was seeking, both in high school and college.  However, that eventually changed.

Catherine's exposure to floriculture awakened a passion in her, that she did not know existed.  She fell in love with both horticulture and floriculture and really got inspired to start putting together arrangements with her students that exceeded the bare minimums.  Eventually, people in her community noticed this and started hiring her to make arrangements for a couple of different funerals.  Catherine and her husband, Justin, also hired themselves by taking care of the flowers for their own wedding.

The attention they were getting and the exposure to entrepreneurship had both of them thinking about how they could continue to work this side business out of their home.  But then, the local flower/coffee shop in David City came for sale.  Catherine and Justin were thinking about purchasing it until they found out there was another buyer looking at it.  That changed everything, and they decided that they had to purchase it.  They wrapped up the purchase in June of 2020, changed the name to "402 Floral" and hit the ground running.

That was 18 months ago.  Today, when Catherine teaches her student both about floriculture and agribusiness, she is teaching the lessons that she learned in her own business, possibly just moments before coming to class.  She is also learning more and more about florists actually do, and she is bringing that real world experience into the classroom with her.  Enrollment in both her floriculture classes as well as her agribusiness classes has increased, but of course people know that she isn't just teaching these subjects, she is living them.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1329-Catherine_Chmelka-COMM_10_51-021022_1.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT