Off-Farm Income

This summer, my family and I will grow a large patch of sweet corn.  This is something that we have done several times over the years.  And, if you were to ask me when we would be getting started, I would tell you that it would be sometime in May.  And by my answer, it shows how I view getting started, and in a lot of ways, what type of farmer I am....or at least where I have room for improvement.

This dawned on me in my interview with Lydia Whaley today.  Without even learning about Lydia's supervised agricultural experience you can already see that she is an all-star.  She has responsibilities on her families cattle ranch in Missouri and is very active there, and she has already served as her chapter's vice-president and is just beginning a term as her area's president.  By the time I got to learn about her SAE, I already knew she was exceptional.

However, when I asked Lydia about growing 4-5 acres of pumpkins each year I really got a glimpse into the way that she thinks and an indication of why she is seeing such success.  Lydia doesn't plant her pumpkins until June, but when she tells you about her project she states that she gets started in January or February, which is obviously the middle of winter.

Lydia's project begins with the selection of seed and pumpkin varieties that she will be growing during the next season.  She looks at her project much more holistically than I do my corn patch.  Lydia realizes that her customers are voting for their favorite pumpkin varieties each and every time they select one from her honor system, road side stand.  So, starting in January, she assesses which were the most popular varieties of pumpkins she sold the previous fall and begins making decisions about what she will be planting in June.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1363_Lydia_Whaley-COMM_12_10-040922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT