Off-Farm Income


When I am interviewing a guest I am writing about them in my mind.  I am picking up on non-verbal cues about them, and eventually, the perfect adjective to describe them pops into my mind.  With today's guest, Madi Mcfarland, that adjective is "fearless".

Madi is currently a junior at her high school, and she has already served as her chapter's president.  You might be wondering how that is possible.  Well, the area that she lives in is growing rapidly due to a Toyota factory being located there.  So, as the population booms so do the needs for public services such as high schools.  Two years ago a new high school called Great Crossing, closer to her farm, was opened.

Madi was already enrolled in a different high school, was in their FFA chapter, and had just completed her freshman year.  But, she jumped at the chance to change schools and FFA chapters.  I asked her why, as a sophomore, she would want to do this.  She told me that she loved the idea of being the first president in a brand new FFA chapter, so she went for it.  Oh, and she accomplished it.

Madi lives in Thoroughbred Race Horse Country, but she is a rodeo girl.  At some point, she was exposed to barrel racing.  The speed, the control, the lack of control, and the charge forward with everything you've got attitude appealed to her.  So, she found a way to start barrel racing and competing in high school rodeo in a state known for a different type of horse racing, such as the Kentucky Derby.

Madi is fearless though.  She is going to ride her barrel horses right into her future.  When I asked her if she wanted to barrel race in college, and if she had identified where she would like to compete her answer came back without hesitancy.  She immediately listed off her top two schools for college rodeo.  #1 is Texas A&M (988 miles from home), and #2 is Oklahoma State University (785 miles from home).  There was no "if I'm good enough" in her answer.  She knows that she wants to be the best, and that is the direction she is taking, no matter how far from home it takes her.

Madi also told me about another project that she is involved with called Thoroughbred Makeover.  Madi purchased a retired racehorse named "Fireball John".  Even though people don't generally barrel race on Thoroughbreds, she is re-training Fireball John to do just this.  There is up to $100,000 available to the winners of this contest to re-purpose retired racehorses, and Madi will be competing against people twice and three times her age with that much more experience.

You guessed it....she isn't scared.