Off-Farm Income

Being a small farmer and constantly needing to fix things and problem solve for equipment that I need but that is not manufactured, I find myself really jealous of those people with great mechanical aptitude.  Today's guest is not only one of those people, but he is also the 2022 National Proficiency Winner in the category of Ag Mechanics Design & Fabrication.

Levi Marlatt has been working out in his dad's shop ever since he can remember, and at some point he realized just how much he enjoyed machining parts and equipment.  He started doing this more and more out of his own curiosity and to help his father with his high performance diesel business.  When Levi wasn't out helping to raise corn and soybeans on the families Indiana farm, he found himself solving problems and discovering a very mechanical aptitude.

About the time that Levi began in the FFA and realized that he needed an SAE, his father started referring his diesel customers to Levi to machine parts for them and to reverse engineer parts that failed and improve them.  Levin took to this with zeal, and through word of mouth he has created a client list of customers in 8 different states.

Today, Levi is the owner of Marlatt Machine, and he is attending college to perfect his welding skills, learn to read blueprints and get an associates degree in machining.  Everything that Levi is studying is immediately applicable in the shop and in his business, and he loves it.  He has a long term goal to create lightweight chassis for pulling tractors and to sell them all over the nation.  Something tells me that this will happen, and this won't be the last product that Levi creates and sells.


HIGH SCHOOL: Rushville Consolidated High School, Rushville, Indiana


FFA ADVISOR: Blaire Orme


Click on the picture below to be taken to the Rushville Consolidated High School website:

Levi's FFA Advisors' Email Address:

Rushville Consolidated High School's Telephone Number: 765-932-4051


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 ensure 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:

"Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive."

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

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



Direct download: Levi_Marlatt_Episode_Undetermined_-_92822_5.50_PM.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MST