Off-Farm Income

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