Off-Farm Income

I first discovered Sam Martin through an article that mentioned he and his families anhydrous ammonia business, Martin Custom Anhydrous, and that is what led me to invite him to be a guest on the show.  However, I wound up getting a lot more than I bargained for with this guest.

Sam is a former chapter president, former Iowa State Vice-President and current Iowa State President.  He just obtained that lofty title in April of this year.  In addition to that, he is operating multiple supervised agricultural experiences including a cattle business, a sweet corn business and of course the family business of custom applying anhydrous ammonia all over Southwest Iowa.

Sam and his family are the epitome of the farm families that I strive to profile on this show.  They are on farm ground that goes multiple generations deep, and they are always looking for a way to continue the legacy.  This is what led to them starting Martin Custom Anhydrous.  They took equipment that they already had and used it to serve farmers in their area, filling a need that existed.  They took the fact that their farm was smaller than others and turned that into a competitive advantage.  When many farmers were burnt out from being in the tractor more than them during they year, from farming more acres, they could step in and inject anhydrous ammonia for the farmers who didn't want to see the inside of a tractor again until spring.  It worked out great, and their business has really taken off.

At the same time, the business is providing a way for Sam and his siblings to generate additional revenue to support the family farming operation and it creates an opportunity for each of them to return to the farm.  At the same time, Sam's mother, Sarah, is teaching agriculture at Shenandoah Community High School and brining in off-farm income in that manner.

It is a very interesting story.  So much so that the length of my interview with Sam is about twice as long as a normal FFA interview.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Beef Production, Custom Fertilizer Application, Sweet Corn Sales

HIGH SCHOOL: Shenandoah Community High School; Shenandoah, Iowa

MASCOT: Mustangs

FFA ADVISOR: Sarah Martin


Click on the picture below to be taken to the Shenandoah Community High School website:

Sam's FFA Advisor's Email Address: 

Shenandoah Community High School Telephone Number: 712-246-1581


National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE's)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA - One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start - pay it forward.


  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

More Places You Can Listen to Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald:


Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1387_Sam_Martin_COMM-15_49-051422.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT