Off-Farm Income

Tip Of The Week

Get your brands registered…at least in Texas

Rural Crime In The U.S.

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

Direct download: OFI_1138_Rural_Crime_-_72321_4.42_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am fascinated with the idea of having a shop, heading out there in the morning, working at your own pace and having a new creation to hold at the end of the day.  I don't necessarily think that I have the aptitude for this type of business, but I wish that I did.  So, whenever I get the chance to interview somebody who creates their living in this manner, I soak it all in.

Tom Roark, the owner and creator of 5R Knives, is this person. Each day at his home in the farming town of Brush, Colorado he heads out to his shop and designs and creates some of the most beautiful knives and sheathes you have ever seen.  Each sheath is specific to each knfe, and there is a story to go with each one, like where the wood for the handle came from.

5R Knives is just Tom's latest foray into self-employment.  He has been self-employed all of his life, starting by purchasing his parent's sign business from them in Longmont, Colorado when he was in his early 20's.  He eventually sold that business and purchased another called "Western Sales", manufacturing four products for folks in the beef industry.  After about ten years he sold that business and started 5R Knives.

In this interview, Tom takes us through his history of entrepreneurship, and his philosophy on purchasing and selling a business.  This is an important interview for anyone who is considering entrepreneurship as their option for off-farm income.  And, we have the benefit of getting advice from a person with a lifetime of experience.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1137_Tom_Roark-071221.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

As I was searching for a re-cap episode for this week I came across this interview with Martje Plaggemeyer.  What a great business concept she had come up with!  I definitely wanted to air this episode again.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1136-Recap_Of_Episode_373-072021.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

The other day an article about a young man with a trapping business popped up on my computer.  I took a look at it and thought, "this would be a good interview for the show".  Sam Terneus had just been awarded the Illinois State Proficiency Award for Agricultural Processing based on what he had been doing with trapping fur bearers and selling their hides as a business.  I thought that was going to be the whole story, but it was just the tip of the iceberg!

Sam has been trapping for years now, since he got exposed to the hobby/sport/business at an early age.  He has actually been living kind of a dream life really.  He and his parents live in town, and his grandfather has a farm out of town.  To get to the farm to help out grandpa and to go trap, Sam has been traveling through the backwoods of Illinois on his four wheeler for several years.  As Sam stated, "the farm is five minutes by car and twenty minutes by four wheeler".  Sam prefers the road less traveled.

Sam is constantly selling furs, and he is constantly reinvesting his money into more traps and expanding.  This is what led to him starting his own business called "Wilderness Design Company".  Among other things, Sam has created and sold Christmas wreathes made out of the furs that he has trapped.

Sam is very involved in working for himself.  He has been taking a course on entrepreneurship, and through that he has done some amazing things.  He came up with a business idea to become a nuisance wildlife trapper, which I wholeheartedly support, and began exploring that possibility.  It turns out that you need a special license to do that in Illinois, and you must be at least 18 years of age to obtain one.  Well, Sam is still 17, so he started trying to figure out what he could do to get around this law.  Ultimately, there was nothing that could be done.  However, thanks to Sam's efforts, there is now a bill before the Illinois State Legislature to lower the age of a person who wants to get this license!

If all of this were not a enough, Sam just received his state FFA degree, and he is getting ready to start college.  He plans to study forestry with an emphasis on fish and wildlife to increase his knowledge in the business that he has already started and loves.  In addition to that, he is planning to compete at the national level with his supervised agriculture experience and hopes to be a national proficiency winner very soon!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1135_Sam_Terneus-071121.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A friend of mine, and one of our previous guests, Jeff Titus, from episode #024 contacted me today and told me that the farm where I learned to love cattle and agriculture had been put up for sale.  The current owners purchased it from my step-father a few years back, and it has pretty much just been sitting.  However, now they have made some significant changes to it and put it up for sale.

If you are interested in purchasing it, please contact Jeff, and he would be happy to represent you.  Here is his contact information:

Here is the link to the listing: 1342 Hickman Road, Hickman, California

It's got a small, three bedroom, one bathroom house on it that is a legitimate farm house and several outbuildings.  However, the current owners have torn out all of the livestock handling facilities and planted almonds.  So, you would be buying into a turn key, 10 acre almond operation.  Or, you could rip them out, put fences and corrals back in, replant pasture and start over, but.....that would be crazy.

According to the listing, the house was built in 1935.  According to my family my step-grandfather, Boyd Womack, and my step-grandmother, Vada Womack, immigrated to California from Oklahoma around 1941 and lived in Pixley for about a year before buying this place for $5,000 in 1942.  Now it's listed for $795,000.  That's a 15,800% increase in just under 80 years!

Their trek to California was after the Dust Bowl and Depression had ended or were ending, but their journey was very much the same with everything loaded onto one truck and my step-father, Chuck, and his brother, Ray, riding the entire way on a mattress that sat on top of all of the family possessions.  Boyd and Vada rode in the cab of the truck with the little girl, Tommie.

When they first purchased the property and home there was 20 acres.  At some point Boyd sold off the ten acres on the eastern side of the farm.  When they first arrived, Chuck and Ray, slept in the well house because it was a one bedroom home.  Later, Boyd converted added on a bedroom and kitchen on the north side of the home and converted the previous kitchen to a bedroom.  The home became the three bedroom, one bath home that it is now and the boys were able to move in.

Boyd and Vada lived the rest of their lives in this house, and then Chuck and Tommie inherited it, Ray had already passed.  Chuck bought Tommie's half of the farm, and he lived almost the rest of his life there as well.  However, when he wasn't able to keep up with the demands any longer, he sold to the current owners and moved into nearby Waterford.

So, today's episode is about my memories from that place.

Direct download: OFI_1134_Tuesday_Episode_-_72321_7.20_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I really enjoy interviewing FFA students because I get to witness the transition they go through as they move to bigger projects.  In today's interview that statement is both literal and figurative.

Emily Spayd has just begun her FFA journey.  She is getting ready to begin her sophomore year of high school and her second year in the FFA.  She has been showing goats at her county's fair for several years, but just like she went big in the FFA, she decided to go big in the show ring.  So, Emily has now transitioned from goats to beef cattle for her fair projects.  This wasn't only a size increase in animal, but it was also a size increase in responsibility.  Emily began halter breaking her steer and heifer in the middle of Colorado.  Needless to say, this is cold and frustrating work, but it is necessary to show this large of an animal.

This seems to be Emily's style however.  In the interview she talks about being dragged to FFA events with her sister who is three years older than her, and being bored.  However, after deciding to give the FFA a try, Emily dove in 110%.  She participated in every competition that she could, and she has already been selected to be an officer.  She will begin serving as parliamentarian when school starts again this fall.

As this episode is published, Emily will be engrossed in one of the two county fairs in which she will be showing her beef projects this summer.  In her county you are only allowed to sell your project at the auction if you reach certain level of success while showing.  So, we've got our fingers crossed for Emily that she will be able to auction off both her steer and heifer this summer!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1133_Emily_Spayd-071121.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

We are a very large country, geographically and numerically.  Don’t forget your fellow citizens who are dealing with issues that do not happen in your back yard.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

Direct download: OFI_1132_Rural_Crime_-_72321_4.31_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There are a lot of farm types and agricultural businesses that I like to romanticize.  Perhaps there is none greater than the small farm in which you must milk a few animals on a small scale every day.  I realize that this is called "being romanticized" for a reason.  In reality, the need to milk controls your schedule, no matter what the weather is, whether or not you are sick, or if it is Christmas morning - it has to be done.

These demands on your time can also be a benefit when it comes to starting a farm business that has a chance of succeeding.  The demands of this type of farm weed a lot of people out.  And, on a small scale, it leaves you with time to get creative with your business model.  That is exactly what today's guest, Deb Gray, has done.  Deb milks about ten goats per day, and she spends the rest of her time adding value to that milk in the form of soaps, lotions, etc. on Harvest Hills Farm in Wooster, Ohio.

This translates into Deb's business, Harvest Hills Skin Care, which she has been growing steadily for decades now.  Deb has gone through the transitions that we talk about on the show, eventually growing the business to such a size that she had to leave her day job.  It was clear in the interview with Deb that she loves this business and what she is doing because she is looking to the future.  She has a short-term and long-term vision for how the business will grow and develop and offer other products and services.

In today's interview, Deb will talk about some of the challenges to getting started, the estimated start-up costs, and some of the essential pieces of equipment that were game-changers for developing her business, such as:

  • Professional Labels
  • A Soap Cutter
  • Soap Molds
  • A Bottle Filler

I hope you enjoy this very informative interview about a successful, value-added, farm business.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1131_Deb_Gray-070921.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It was my pleasure to feature Vance Curtis on the Off-Farm Income Podcast again.  When I first interviewed him I remarked at how positive and upbeat he was, and these are definitely the types of episodes that I like to revisit.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1130-Recap_Of_Episode_371-072021.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today is just getting ready to begin her senior year of high school, and she has discovered a profession that I did not know existed as her future career.

Jaycey Lambert serves on the executive committee of the Weld Central High School FFA Chapter.  She has been showing sheep for years, and now she has added showing steers into the mix.  Earlier this year Jaycey had a lamb that was not acting correctly, and in trying to diagnose what was wrong with it she turned to a person with the profession of "livestock chiropractor".

The livestock chiropractor came to her farm, looked over the lamb with special equipment and determined that its back was out.  Once he was diagnosed, she was able to move its back into proper position, and voila! he was good as new.  This inspired Jaycey, and she has her sights set on this career in the future.  Jaycey is planning on attending South Dakota State University to study agriculture.  She has visited the campus already and found the class sizes and campus size to be just right for her.

I'll be excited to have Jaycey back on the show in a few years to profile her ag business of livestock

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1129_Jaycey_Lambert-070521_1.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today I'm talking about being an ambassador for agriculture and why that is so important.  Also, we will discuss six ways that you can become that ambassador and how to get it done effectively.

We should all be ambassadors for our industries, but in agriculture this is probably more important than any other area.

Direct download: OFI_1128_Tuesday_Episode_-_71921_5.42_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Almost two years ago exactly I featured today's guest on episode #665 of the Off-Farm Income Podcast.  When I first interviewed Annamarie Stone she was just getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school, and she was raising meat chickens.  She had just approached to grocery stores and obtained contracts to sell her birds in both stores.

Since that time Annamarie has flourished in her FFA career. Today she is on the executive officer team in her chapter, and she is the Area IV President in the State Of Missouri.  Her business has also flourished and grown.  Now she is also selling turkeys, bacon, mums and poinsettias.  So, she had to change the business name to "Stoney Creek Meats & More".  While this caused a lot of work it was necessary and definitely worth it!

On today's episode we will catch up with Annamarie and update you on the incredible progress of this student.  Here are the show notes from her previous visit to the show:


Have you ever met somebody with no fear and a can-do attitude?  If not, you get to, today.

Annamarie Stone is just that type of person, and she is just getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school.  Why do I say this about this young lady?  In addition to starting her own herd of Charolais cattle, showing pigs and showing sheep she has another enterprise.

Annamarie started her own business called "Stoney Creek Country Fresh Chickens".  She raises pastured poultry and sells birds to customers who want their chicken raised that way.  Annamarie decided that she wanted to sell her chicken in grocery stores as well.  So, as a freshman in high school she got dressed nicely, walked into two separate grocery stores and requested to speak with the freezer case manager.

By the time Annamarie was done, she was selling her pastured poultry in two separate grocery stores!  When I asked Annamarie how she did this she had a very simple explanation.  The worst that they could tell you is "no", and if they don't like your idea the grocery store down the street probably will.

This is an enterprising entrepreneur in the making!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1127_Annamrie_Stone-070521.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Hire people slowly, and trust your gut when anything suspicious happens

Rural Crime In The U.S.


Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

Direct download: OFI_1126_Rural_Crime_-_71521_6.36_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today I am very fortunate to have Ryan Stevens on the show.  Ryan and his wife, Stephanie, are the owners of Full Armor Farm in Maine and the parents of three children with one on the way.  Ryan and Stephanie are also both medically retired from the Marine Corps and met in Afghanistan while on one of their many deployments.

When this couple medically retired out of the Marine Corps they needed a place to come home to in the U.S. that would offer them the atmosphere and environment to process what they had gone through and adjust back to life in the U.S.  Stephanie proposed buying a farm and living the lifestyle that she had grown up with in Northern Pennsylvania, and they found one in Maine, five minutes from where Ryan had grown up.  So, in 2018 they made the transition and Full Armor Farm was born.

Today Ryan and Stephanie are raising Scottish Highlander Cattle, they are tapping both maple and birch trees for sap, they are raising chickens and growing apples.  They are feeding themselves from their farm.  As an example, they do not sell chickens, but they had slaughtered 35 birds prior to our interview to feed themselves and local family. They are also creating and selling value added products such as maple syrup and apple cider.  In addition to this they are direct marketing beef from their farm.

A lot of initiative and hard work went into and is still going into this farm.  There were also grants received based on their veteran status that helped to get them started with their value added products even faster.  In addition to this, their religious faith plays a pivotal role in defining what their farm is about and how they live their lives.

Ryan has written a book about his portion of this journey from military and wartime service to this life of faith and farming.  He hopes that it is released at the end of 2021.  It is my honor to help tell a little of their story today!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1125_Ryan_Stevens-063021.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I have been lucky enough to interview PJ Jonas twice on the show.  She and her husband, Jim, have an amazing story of deciding to farm and raise their family agriculturally, and then finding a way to do it full time.  They are truly an inspiration, and I am thrilled to feature my second interview with PJ once again to inspire those of you who never heard it, and to re-inspire those of you who did!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1124-Recap_of_Episode_399.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I've been talking about entrepreneurship and the transition from being an employee to a full-time entrepreneur on this show for almost seven years now.  From personal experience, I knew that the process I was explaining was correct.  However, nothing really brings it home like somebody else talking about experiencing the exact thing I have been explaining.  That is exactly what happens in today's interview with Dawson Boys.

Dawson just won a proficiency award in the State Of Illinois for agricultural mechanics & repair entrepreneurship because of the car detailing business that he began while in the FFA.  He is now a full-time entrepreneur with no job other than his business.  However, it did not start out that way.

Dawson's business got started because his first customer noticed how clean and polished he kept his own car, told him that he should detail cars for a living and then hired him to details theirs!  After that seed of an idea was planted, Dawson took off with it.  Today, the word of mouth has spread and he has lots of business.  Dawson understands the competition in his area, and he understands what his competitive advantages are.  Therefore, he is knocking it out of the park with his business.

As Dawson tells the story of growing his business, he talks about the fact that he was working two jobs when he started this.  And, as his business grew he entered what I refer to as the "crazy time" in which he was not ready to leave either of his jobs but the demands of his new business became larger and larger.  Eventually, Dawson left his first job, then his second and he found himself as a full-time entrepreneur.  He had to go through the "crazy time" first, and then things gradually mellowed out.

Dawson also had to convince his parents that his business would really work and that leaving his steady jobs would not be a mistake.  He did it just as I prescribe.  He worked a ton of hours to demonstrate his commitment, and he made good money to demonstrate the viability of the business.  Once he did that, there was no need for words to convince his parents.  He had proved the concept, and they gave him their blessing.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1123_Dawson_Boys-062821.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

This is officially my birthday episode!  I recorded this on the morning of my 48th birthday, and what an appropriate time to do a solo episode where I am just conversing with all of you.

  • Today is a farm update, and we will be covering:
  • Purchasing four new heifers
  • Having good relationships with other farmers
  • Heat and smoke in our valley
  • The presence of so many predators on our farm

I hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Direct download: OFI_1122_Tuesday_Episode_-_71221_11.00_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today, I am happy to welcome the 2021 Illinois State Star Farmer, Shana Lueking, onto the show.  Shana comes from a rich history of FFA advisors in her family, with both her father and grandfather serving as FFA advisors, and a rich dairy farming tradition that goes four generations deep in her family.  In addition to legacy, Shana has passion and is an excellent speaker.  This combination plus some hard work led Shana to this prestigious award from her home state of Illinois.

Shana has many reasons to be proud, but she is also a natural helper and educator.  So, in today's episode she tells us how she, her father and her grandfather put together the winning record book that led to her becoming her state's star farmer.  She lays out methods and ideas that will help anyone reach the next level, if that is where they are trying to get to.

I am really excited to air this interview with Shana because of the positive impacts it can have for other FFA students.  I have not judged record books of FFA students, but I have judged applications for SAE grants.  When you are a judge you start to notice some applications that really jump out at you because of the effort that has been put into them.  It turns out that it is no different when putting together a record book for a prestigious award like star farmer.

In this interview, Shana tells us about how she put together her record book, with the help of her father and grandfather.  She gives descriptions of the words she used, how she incorporated photographs and what she was trying to accomplish when writing narratives for her record book.  She was essentially trying to make her record book "pop", but she had to be careful to not overdo it with too much content.  Therefore, writing a vivid story in a concise manner became very important.  And, Shana will explain it all in the episode!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1121_Shana_Lueking-062821.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Rural crime is a pervasive problem in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia.  Once per week we cover stories from all four of these countries regarding people in rural areas dealing with criminal behavior.  

Direct download: OFI_1120_Rural_Crime_-_7921_1.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It wasn't long ago that people were saying that brick and mortar stores are dead and will never come back.  Those folks better watch out because David is swinging his sling shot and has figured out a new way to slay Goliath!

On today's episode I am speaking with an unbelievably innovative, rural entrepreneur, who is not afraid of brick and mortar.  Kayla Gabel is the owner of The Desert Rose Boutique in Wiggins, Colorado.  Located only 66 miles from Denver, she has customers that will drive 90 minutes to come spend the day in her shop rather than drive 20-30 minutes to shop in Denver.  Kayla has redefined brick and mortar, and she is only getting better.

Kayla likes to shop, and that passion ultimately led her to starting her own, online boutique which she named Desert Rose.  However, it was becoming too much for her family to handle in their home, so she found herself opening up an actual store front.  Kayla chose to open that store in the small, farming based town that she lives in rather than commuting into a city where she might get more drive by traffic.  Actually, she ignored convention knowledge about opening up a physical location altogether.  Rather, with the help of the internet and social media, Kayla created her own community of fans, and now they drive to her small town to shop with her!

Today the Desert Rose Boutique makes about 60% of its sales online with 40% of sales happening on location in Wiggins, Colorado.  However, Wiggins is very small and those 40% of sales are not exclusively from locals.  So, how does Kayla get people to drive to her small town to shop.....she created a community.

Kayla is very active on social media, Facebook specifically, and she even has a special, VIP group on Facebook where she shares her life and exclusive offers with her fans.  She has also created a mobile app to keep in touch with her fans outside the confines of Facebook at the touch of a button.

What Kayla really does is provides a unique experience, unique products and unbelievable customers service.  If a customer walks into her boutique, she knows who they are, what their story is and what they purchased last time.  She and her staff will visit all day with them, help them pick out outfits and provide the type of customer service that seemed to have died somewhere back about 1989.  Even though today many people will just buy from whomever and don't hold companies to any kind of standard when it comes to service, there are those who still demand to be treated well.  And, they are driving from the Denver Metro Area to a postage stamp, small town to get it.

Kayla thinks way outside the box when it comes to business.  She has brought a massage therapist into her store so now people who want a massage can come be part of her boutique's experience as well.  She just purchased her first tanning bed, and soon will have three that she will rent to people looking to get some intense UV rays.  And of course, when they are done there is conversation, friendly people and unique clothing and products waiting for them right outside the door.

Kayla is driving by a sense of community, and she is trying to bring customers to her community for a shopping experience that will extend beyond her boutique and into surrounding businesses.

If you have ever wondered if you could start a brick and mortar store in your small town and succeed, you need to hear this interview with Kayla Gabel!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1119_Kayla_Gabel-062521.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today we are revisiting episode #420.  When I wrote these show notes and made this episode I was reflecting on how my life had changed since I decided to become an entrepreneur.  I was living a lifestyle that I dared not dream of at one point in time.  This is the source of my inspiration.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1118-Recap_Episode_420-070621.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today it is my pleasure to be able to interview the newest state star farmer from Kansas, Wesley Denton.  Wes has just completed his freshman year of college at Kansas State University where he is studying animal science and also the meat industry. 

The story of Wes's herd of cattle and his star farmer award began when he was three and, as his family tradition calls for, his grandfather gave him his very first heifer.  However, the roots of this were actually much earlier in a dark time in our nation's history, particularly for people in the part of the Midwest where Wes lives.  Looking back on the dates, and doing some math it appears that Wes's great-grandfather purchased their family farm in about 1931, after emigrating from Germany.  This of course was in the heart of the Dust Bowl and two years into the Great Depression.  This was certainly a stressful and uncertain time for Americans, and especially those making their livings on a farm in the Mid-West.

The farm has persevered, and today Wesley is a shining example of what that commitment and hard work can lead to.  As the State Star Farmer for Kansas, Wesley will go on to compete to become the American Star Farmer at the FFA's National Convention.  And, if the farming tradition in Kansas were not enough, there is quite an FFA tradition in Wes's family as well.  At his former high school his grandfather's name still hangs on the wall, commemorating all of the committee members to start the Valley Height's FFA chapter way back then.

Wesley plans on completing high school and finding work at a company such as Cargill to work in the food production industry.  He has been told to go out and make his own way before he comes home to take his place on the family farm.  I have no doubt that he will do just that!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1117_Wesley_Denton-062221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Isn't it the nature of farming that just when you think you are getting ahead, you aren't really getting anywhere at all?  Or, maybe you are losing ground?  This spring has been really dry for us in Southwestern Idaho, but you wouldn't think that would matter much because we had a good snow year and have water for irrigation.  However, lot's of people are having more trouble with weeds than normal, and it is impacting farming.  It is specifically impacting me right now as the entire hay crop I was counting on for this season is looking really bad, and I got told that the hay that was pledged to me was no longer going to be available.

In this farm update I'll discuss my hay problems and:

  • Losing a beef customer due to me feeding GMO hay
  • Increasing hay prices putting a crunch on my bottom line
  • Thistle after thistle that I have to spot treat in my pasture
  • Making some progress beating back fox tails
  • Buying four heifer to get ahead, but having to cull three mother cows
Direct download: OFI_1116_Tuesday_Episode_-_7_5_21_6.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On today's episode of the Off-Farm Income Podcast I am fortunate enough to speak with a very high achieving student who is involved in agriculture, sports, business education, her faith and so much more.  Olivia Odle is a standout, becoming her chapter's president, while being very active in many areas outside of the FFA.  She lives in Northeast Colorado, which is completely focused on agriculture and so much different than the vast majority of her state.

Olivia keeps up a rapid pace of activity, but it is apparent that she would not be able to do this if her community and school did not value agriculture and the FFA so much.  As an example, sports can sometimes interfere with other extracurricular activities, such as the FFA, but her community and school clearly support agriculture so it works out.  The mascot for Oliva's school is the "beet diggers", which is clearly indicative of the growth of sugar beets as a crop in her area and her area's history.

It is this type of support that has allowed Olivia to succeed in so many different areas of life and take on responsible positions, such as president of her chapter.  And it is this type of support that will push her to succeed at the next level when she begins college, just two months after this episode is published!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1115_Olivia_Odle-062221_2.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our weekly look into the world of rural crime and how to prevent rural crime.  Folks in rural communities are dealing with crime and delinquency too, but it gets almost no media coverage.  We aim to change that here. 

Direct download: OFI_1114__Even_On_4th_Of_July_Weekend_Rural_Crime_Does_Not_Stop.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A very valid form of off-farm income that I really do not talk much about is creating products and selling them.  The businesses I tend to focus more on are those that serve other farmers in some way.  This is probably because I, in no way, am a creator of products and started out my entrepreneurial journey through farm service.  Therefore, in order to cover the world of innovation and invention we have an expert on the show today.  Allan Fetters, the owner of AGceleration Advisory Services is joining us on the show to discuss the world of bringing new products and technology to agriculture.

In today's episode we will be discussing:

  • Patents
  • Pricing
  • Timelines
  • Why farmers have a head start over innovation companies when it comes to creating agricultural products
  • Why non-agricultural people are creating agricultural products
  • And much, much more!

If you have had an idea of a product or invention that you would like to create because it would solve a problem for farmers, you will find a lot of great information in this episode!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1113_Allan_Fetters-062321.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT


Today is a great day for Americans, farmers, and non-farmers alike.  As we celebrate the anniversary of American Independence we should think about the men and women who lived through this time.  With this in mind, let's look at how it impacted farmers in the colonies during the 18th Century.

Here are a few of the things that farmers went through during the Revolutionary War:

  • Trade routes to the market were cut off by war, either waterways or roads.
  • Farmers could not plant surpluses because they might not be able to sell the excess and it would just rot on their fields.
  • Herds of cattle and horses were depleted either by the plundering of the British or as provisions for the Continental Army.
  • Farmers were away from their farms for long periods of time and had to start over when they finally returned.
  • At this time, 90% of the population were engaged in farming so this really was a war fought by farmers.

I wanted to mention something that I read in Stephen Ambrose's book "Citizen Soldiers" about farm kids in World War II.  He said that the commanders loved the soldiers that grew up on farms because they had been hunting for their whole lives, knew how to handle a rifle, and could shoot straight.

I wanted to pay tribute to four of my ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War in this episode as well:

  • Samuel Hubbard
  • James Wilcox
  • Jesse Richardson
  • Jesse Rowley
Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1112-Recap_Episode_470-062421.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT