Off-Farm Income



I once heard luck defined as "when preparation meets opportunity".  I love this definition of luck because so many people on the sidelines think that people who achieve could easily be replaced by any other person off of the street if they just happened to have "luck" shine on them that day.

When I first started hosting a radio show and podcast for D&B Supply one of our family friends asked me about how that had occurred.  Before, I could explain she said "just fell into it?" or, to paraphrase, "just got lucky?"  There was a bit of luck involved in this happening.  I had actually called D&B Supply to inquire about creating a podcast for them, and I was lucky in the fact that they had decided to make a radio show and were trying to figure out how to find a host.  But, what my friend didn't see was that I had invested my own money in equipment for broadcasting about two years earlier.  And, for the past two years, I had been hosting a growing podcast called Off-Farm Income with no pay.  But during that time I had been developing my skills as an interviewer, learning to find guests, and becoming a consistent broadcaster.  It was this background, combined with the fact that D&B was looking for a host that led to me being chosen for this opportunity.

My interview with Megan Clark reminded me of this saying and this part of my life.  No youth organization in the entire world does what the FFA does.  The FFA does a great job of developing skills in students (preparation) and creating situations in which they can use those skills to accomplish great things (opportunity).  This is done through the efforts of the National FFA, State FFA Organizations, State FFA Foundations, Regional FFA Associations, and individual chapters.

Megan had a lot of things pulling her towards the FFA.  She lives on a farm and her parents and sister were all in the FFA.  But it was going to one of her sister's award banquets and seeing FFA members being rushed up onto the stage to receive awards and accolades that really lit Megan's fire.  By the time Megan was in the 8th Grade, she had joined the FFA.

Megan took this fire and started working hard, being very active, and achieving in her FFA chapter.  A few years prior to her even being eligible to become an FFA member some innovative leaders in her region of Iowa had started a media group comprised of FFA members called Current Ag Concerns.  This has now transformed into CAC Media Group.  So, while Megan was growing up and waiting to become eligible to be in the FFA, people were already creating opportunities that she could later take advantage of.

During Megan's sophomore year of high school, these two paths converged.  Megan's passion and preparation met the opportunity created by the CAC Media Group.  The National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado was coming up and the CAC was traveling there to cover the event.  Somebody on the team was unable to make the trip, and they needed to find a student to fill in.  Megan's FFA Coach recognized her talent and hard work based on how active Megan had been up to that point.  She invited Megan to come on the trip and fill in.

The trip went well, and Megan brought the same work ethic and enthusiasm that she had for the FFA to the CAC Media Group.  Soon, she became a regular fill-in on the team.  Then it was time to find new, full-time, team members to replace the graduating seniors, and Megan applied.  She was selected.  Now, she is a full-time team member, and she has traveled all over the United States covering events and conducting interviews.  She has been published in major publications on the radio and on cable television networks.

Megan is one of the "lucky" ones.  At least in the way that I define it.  She worked hard, demonstrated value and when the opportunity came, she was ready!