Off-Farm Income

Tip Of The Week

Before you pick fruit off of someone else’s tree, you might want to hear this episode.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://wgntv.com/news/nexstar-media-wire/video-shows-unusual-traffic-stop-chase-involving-horse-and-buggy/

https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/is-it-legal-to-pick-mangos-off-your-neighbors-tree-14500558

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.9news.com.au/national/man-accused-of-breaking-into-sydney-school-and-assaulting-farm-animals/38c4b129-2ea2-4e68-bafc-93b31f5c5efe

https://www.herefordtimes.com/news/20148599.burglars-hit-herefordshire-home/

https://www.bordercountiesadvertizer.co.uk/news/20146919.secure-property-warning-generator-stolen-llangollen/

Africa

https://www.herald.co.zw/vet-department-works-on-cattle-branding-roll-out/

https://issafrica.org/iss-today/rising-insecurity-a-setback-for-the-gambias-transition

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.fresnosheriff.org/media-relations/ag-task-force-detectives-arrest-chemical-thief.html

https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/lompoc-man-accused-of-drug-charges-stealing-avocados-in-goleta/article_a5861e96-80c8-5dca-8e2b-b7b05559c984.html

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Direct download: OFI_1390_Rural_Crime_-_52022_9.34_AM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today is highly educated about the world of agriculture, believes strongly in advocating for ag and knows that we need to reach out to children with the truth about farming and livestock before inaccurate information is told to them so many times that it becomes ingrained.  And it is these core beliefs that led Jackie Nix to strike out as a children's author and create her first book, Modern Farms and create her publishing company, Moo Maven Publishing.

Jackie really has an amazing story.  She grew up around other people's farms but not on her own.  This was enough for her to develop a passion for agriculture which led her to Virginia Tech. University to study animal science.  She followed this up with a master's degree in agriculture which led her to become an extension agent.  After several years in this field she went to work in private industry, selling feed, and then two big disruptions happened in her life.  Her father became terminally ill followed by Covid 19.

During this time period Jackie focused on family, and that meant leaving the corporate world for a while.  This time away from the busy business world gave her extra time to think, and that is when she was inspired to write her first book, Modern Farms.  Jackie has a vision of what she wants to produce, and how she wants to educate children about what farming really is.  She is so true to her vision that instead of contracting with a publishing company, she started her own.  This was all about creative control and making sure that the vision she has in her mind is the same one that gets to the children who read her books!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1389_Jackie_Nix-COMM_9_57-041422.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tomorrow on the show I am featuring an entrepreneur who is helping to teach children about agriculture.  This reminded me of the great interview I did with Katie Benson about her efforts to do the same, and I wanted to bring that episode back for you today.  Below are the original show notes for this episode.

SHOW NOTES

Introducing Katie Benson! 

Katie has a different supervised agricultural experience than we normally profile.  However, I had to have her on.  She is doing a lot to advocate for agricuture.

Katie's SAE is "ag education."  She is teaching all the third graders in her school district about agriculture.  She has done a number of things including dispelling myths about agriculture and making products, such as butter.

Katie has had multiple students tell her that they want to join both 4H and FFA after they are done with one of her lessons.  She plans on continuing her education after high school and becoming an agricultural education teacher and FFA advisors.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Agricultural Education

HIGH SCHOOL: Staples Motley High School; Staples, Minnesota

MASCOT: Cardinals

FFA ADVISOR: Kerry Lindgren & Brian Schornack

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR KATIE BENSON:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Staples Motley High School Website:

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.44.15 AM

Katie's FFA Advisor's Email Address:  klindgren@isd2170.k12.mn.us

Staples Motley High School Telephone Number:  218-894-5400

 

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1388-Replay_Of_138-COMM_4_17-041022.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I first discovered Sam Martin through an article that mentioned he and his families anhydrous ammonia business, Martin Custom Anhydrous, and that is what led me to invite him to be a guest on the show.  However, I wound up getting a lot more than I bargained for with this guest.

Sam is a former chapter president, former Iowa State Vice-President and current Iowa State President.  He just obtained that lofty title in April of this year.  In addition to that, he is operating multiple supervised agricultural experiences including a cattle business, a sweet corn business and of course the family business of custom applying anhydrous ammonia all over Southwest Iowa.

Sam and his family are the epitome of the farm families that I strive to profile on this show.  They are on farm ground that goes multiple generations deep, and they are always looking for a way to continue the legacy.  This is what led to them starting Martin Custom Anhydrous.  They took equipment that they already had and used it to serve farmers in their area, filling a need that existed.  They took the fact that their farm was smaller than others and turned that into a competitive advantage.  When many farmers were burnt out from being in the tractor more than them during they year, from farming more acres, they could step in and inject anhydrous ammonia for the farmers who didn't want to see the inside of a tractor again until spring.  It worked out great, and their business has really taken off.

At the same time, the business is providing a way for Sam and his siblings to generate additional revenue to support the family farming operation and it creates an opportunity for each of them to return to the farm.  At the same time, Sam's mother, Sarah, is teaching agriculture at Shenandoah Community High School and brining in off-farm income in that manner.

It is a very interesting story.  So much so that the length of my interview with Sam is about twice as long as a normal FFA interview.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Beef Production, Custom Fertilizer Application, Sweet Corn Sales

HIGH SCHOOL: Shenandoah Community High School; Shenandoah, Iowa

MASCOT: Mustangs

FFA ADVISOR: Sarah Martin

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SAM MARTIN:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Shenandoah Community High School website:

Sam's FFA Advisor's Email Address: martinsf@shenandoah.k12.ia.us 

Shenandoah Community High School Telephone Number: 712-246-1581

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1387_Sam_Martin_COMM-15_49-051422.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It is very difficult to know what is in the future on our farm this year, and I know this is true for so many of you out there.  From weather to input prices to unavailability of fertilizer there is a lot that we just don't know.  For me, this big unknown is water and hay prices.  I don't know how long I will be able to irrigate for this year.  If they stop delivering water at the end of July, that is 2 extra months of hay that I have to feed.  The end of August equals one month extra.

With an already existing hay shortage due to massive development in the area, the drought is just making a pre-existing problem worse.  I am not sure how much hay that I should buy, because I don't know when I will begin feeding.  I have no idea what the price will be because farmers won't set that until after the first cutting his complete.  I have even heard that some farmers aren't taking reservations for hay, and they are going to set a floor price and auction their hay off to the highest bidder.

I have already reserved all of my hay, and I have not heard anything back from that farmer indicating that he is canceling my reservation and conducting an auction.  I am hoping that is not what I am looking at.  However, I do expect to be paying much higher prices and purchasing more hay than usual at those prices.  So, the impact on my bottom line will be significant.

So, starting out the season I am trying to take advantage of every blade of grass grown on my place.  There are a few different patches of grass in areas that are not fenced that usually get mowed.  This year, I am using temporary fencing or even putting up some additional permanent fence in order to graze these areas.  Every single blade of grass is going to matter for me because how long I get to irrigate is out of my control, and when it is over, it is over.  The more grass I have standing at that moment, the longer I can wait to begin burning hay.

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Direct download: OFI_1386_Tuesday_Episode_-_51622_4.00_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

In the world of entrepreneurship people love to throw the term, "passion" around as if that is all you need to make it.  I certainly is not the only thing you need, but it definitely helps.  Today's guest has exactly that, and it comes shining through when you speak to her.

Grace Brown is fresh off of finding out that she is a state proficiency winner in diversified livestock production in Illinois.  She is already filling out an application to compete at the national level.  Speaking with her for just a couple of moments, and there is no question how she achieved this accomplishment.

Grace is raising cattle with her brothers in a business they named, "B4 Shorthorns".  In addition to raising cattle, she raises broilers during the summer, market goats and show goats for sale.  And, she describes all the different aspects of her businesses as "fun".  That is how I know it is her passion.  For example, Grace talked about what went on during Covid in the chicken business, and how she and her family had more customers than ever before.  She thought this was a blast!

If that were not enough, Grace has an after school job milking cattle on a nearby dairy.  Currently she milks over 130 head each evening after school and on the weekends when needed.  She is is heading off to college next fall to start studying animal science with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian.  Grace is definitely a student to keep our eyes on!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Diversified Livestock Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Flanagan - Cornell High School; Flanagan, Illinois

MASCOT: Falcons

FFA ADVISOR: Jessica Collins

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR GRACE BROWN:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Flanagan - Cornell High School Ag. Department's website:

Grace's FFA Advisor's Email Address: jcollins@fc74.org

Flanagan - Cornell High School's Telephone Number: 815/796-2291

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1385_Grace_Brown-COMM_10_32-050722.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Is your liquid fertilizer secure?

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.wwlp.com/news/crime/hadley-woman-pleads-not-guilty-to-35-counts-of-animal-cruelty/

https://www.idahopress.com/news/state/cartel-financed-oregon-pot-farms-expand-to-growing-indoors/article_89345cce-2502-53b1-9692-67d3973ecd1a.html

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/crime/police-seize-more-than-1m-in-stolen-farm-vehicle-parts?fbclid=IwAR0DiD6j_-iGPT_2FrrcOyBj9DGomI8FazTKjaLDh2gEaCukwGYs3FW_K-o

https://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/news/police-crack-down-on-thefts-of-horse-boxes-9254022/

https://www.dorset.live/news/dorset-news/liquid-fertiliser-worth-more-8000-7077091

Africa

https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/free-state/four-arrested-for-allegedly-stealing-sheep-in-free-state-7f3d7e60-49fa-49bd-8993-0c06f895996c

https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/free-state/police-recover-over-150-stolen-livestock-cbb18a97-7cdb-4ba8-add4-cead3ca85e3b

https://neweralive.na/posts/murder-accused-to-apply-for-bail

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

“We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us"

https://www.nwestiowa.com/news/man-arrested-for-burglary-near-larchwood/article_8eb213c2-d18d-11ec-a148-3bcd85b92835.html

https://www.kwqc.com/2022/05/12/burlington-man-is-custody-4-counts-burglary/

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Direct download: OFI_1384_Rural_Crime_-_51322_1.37_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's episode is a bit different than any normal, Off-Farm Income episode.  Today I am speaking with Kathleen Dowling.  Kathleen and I have a lot in common.  We both grew up in California, we both started our collegiate education at a community college, we both had a dream of moving to Montana, we both became Montana state residents and we both got ag degrees from Montana State University.

Recently I saw a post on the Facebook Group, My Job Depends On Ag, that Kathleen had put up.  She expressed a bit of frustration with finding a career in agriculture and was asking for recommendations from other people.  I reached out to her and offered to provide some career coaching if we could release the conversation as a podcast.  She agreed to that, and today's episode is that conversation.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1383_Kathleen_Dowling-COMM_21_47-031922.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's episode I am speaking with a young lady about her future career prospects and finding her way to the agricultural life that she is dreaming about.  So, for today's re-cap episode I thought that I would go back to a special coaching episode I did with a woman named Wendy from Ontario, Oregon.  I find it is helpful to hear people brainstorm through these ideas as they try to find a way to make it all work.  I hope this is true for you as well.  Below are the original show notes.

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Today is our second episode devoted to coaching a listener for free.  I hope you see the consistency here. I tell you to work for free, and I am working for free to develop this part of my business.

Our guest today is Wendy from Ontario, Oregon.  Wendy and her husband both work full-time and have a farm dream.  They have purchased a 200 acre farm about 90 minutes away from her husband's work and recently purchased another 500 acres nearby.  Now they want to fix up an old farmhouse on the property and they need funds to make this happen.

They are leasing out a large portion of the farm and farming the rest.  However, there is 20 acres of pasture available and they have their eye on the cattle business as a way to generate revenue to help with the remodeling of this house.

This turns into more of a consulting session than a coaching session.  But there is good information in here on a couple different models of using direct marketing to make beef really pay.

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1382_Replay_Of_Episode_318-COMM_8_30-041022_.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

"The FFA and agriculture is a very welcoming culture.  You just have to put yourself out there, and you will be accepted".  These are the words of the very wise FFA student who is today's featured guest, Kendall Lawson.

Kendall is a senior who will be graduating within about a month of this episode's release.  She loves to watch plants grow the same way that I like to watch cattle graze.  And, this inner voice has led her in the direction of a successful supervised agricultural experience and business called "Kendall's Creations".

Kendall originally began this project by growing succulents, but she moved on to "air plants" in terrariums.  At a church bazaar she found that people were interested in purchasing them and supporting what she was doing.  Soon, she was selling them to family and friends and eventually this led her to selling them to perfect strangers and using social media for marketing.  This final transition is one that is indicative of a real business with real value.

In today's interview Kendall offers some real pearls of wisdom including following her inner voice, pivoting her business model and how she is choosing a career that matches the lifestyle that she wants to live, irregardless of how much money she makes.  Kendall is a definite role model, and it is my pleasure to be able to capture the wisdom that she has to share.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Kendall's Creations

HIGH SCHOOL: Yelm High School; Yelm, Washington

MASCOT: Tornado's

FFA ADVISOR: Austin Baker

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR KENDALL LAWSON:

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

Kendall's FFA Advisor's Email Address: austin_baker@ycs.wednet.edu

Yelm High School Telephone Number: 360.458.7777

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1381_Kendall_Lawson-COMM-15_38-042822.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

This morning I was out in one of our pastures moving our sprinkler line.  I was wet, my hands were muddy and wet and I was already behind the 8 Ball for the day.  As I normally do, I had a podcast playing while I worked, and the host of the show read a quote that has been attributed to Thomas Edison.  The quote stopped me in my tracks.

The quote says, "Opportunity is missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work".

This quote really struck me for a couple of reasons.  First, as I often say on the show, farming is a lifestyle business.  If it were not about the lifestyle than nobody would invest all the time, the heartache, the work, the money and the education into it.  You could invest all of that into other enterprises that would return you a lot more on that investment.

Those of us that farm cannot be afraid to work, and eventually that turns into opportunity.  Of course, those that do not farm see your later success as a snapshot of that moment, and they never see all of the risk and hard work that led up to that moment.  Talking about this always reminds me of a conversation with a friend when they found out that I had become the host of the D&B Supply Radio Show & Podcast.  They asked me how I was able to do that, and before I fully answered they replied with "you just kind of fell ass backwards into it?", answering their own question.

I let that one go, as I just did not have the energy or motivation to justify all of the work I had done to reach that moment.  We are still friends and there were no hard feelings, but this is a perfect illustration of people not seeing the hard work that is behind momentary success.

The other reason that this quote struck me so powerfully was that I was actually wearing overalls.  I'm not talking about Carhartt bibs that have become standard winter workwear.  I am talking about denim overalls that farmers in the 30's would have been wearing as standard work clothing.  I am talking about clothing that almost nobody wears any longer and will definitely garner you a second look from strangers if you wear them to town.

My step-grandfather wore overalls every day of his life, and every day that I knew him.  He only ever changed into pants if he was going to the sale or going to the doctor.  Other than that, he wore overalls.  I always wanted a pair, but I never allowed myself to get a pair until I actually had my own farm.  Now, Autumm and Hattie, tacitly accept my work wear choices with a smirk every now and then, but I tell you, there has never been a better piece of work clothing invented.  I am all about function and not about form, so if you want to see someone in denim overalls, just come on out to my farm.

Standing there on 33 acres of open ground in one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. and the most rapidly appreciating real estate market in the U.S., I knew what was under my feet.  And, I also knew that many people would have cashed out long ago in order to move into a life of leisure because they don't see work as opportunity.  I thought of another statement that had been made to Autumm and I a few years earlier.  As real estate had been appreciating in our area for some time, this person was speculating what our farm was worth.  Then she said, "if this place is worth......, I'd sell it tomorrow and be done with all this work."  Obviously, we didn't purchase our place just to turn around and sell it.  Our farm is the culmination of a 20 year dream of farming, not land speculating.  But, looking at the statement from that person today proves that Edison was correct, if he did, in fact, say that.  Our place is probably worth twice as much as that person was speculating back then, and over the course of the past 3-4 years since she said that there has also been a lot of "opportunity" on our farm disguised as work dressed in overalls.

During the moment I heard that quote, I had a feeling of satisfaction, and I knew that at least I was following Thomas Edison's model of finding success, and couldn't be all bad.  And, I'd never been more proud to be wearing overalls.

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1380_Tuesday_Episode_-_5222_3.56_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's guest, Remi Gardner, is the second student from the Paris FFA Chapter that I have interviewed in as many days.  I find myself just as impressed today as I was with my first interview of a Paris FFA student, both working in the world of cattle production.  Obviously, I am going to have to get myself to Henry County sooner, rather than later to see what is going on in the beef industry down there!

Remi is just finishing up her freshman year, and she is accomplishing a ton already.  She has already been named a regional proficiency winner for her supervised agricultural experience and has ever intention to continuing to compete for proficiencies.  She has a very unique experience of not coming from a farming family, but finding placement as an employee on a farm.  In this way she really is a great example of how FFA students from in town can still find the livestock or crop experience that they want.

Remi named her own episode today.  As a matter of fact, she had a couple of lines at the very end of the show that I had to write down and preserve.  I like to ask students what they would tell somebody about agriculture if they had just two minutes to pass along some information.  Without hesitation, Remi fired way with "Agriculture is not boring!".  I thought that was great and should be the title of her episode.  However, she continued explaining and really uncovered a nugget of wisdom by saying "you just have to put in the work and agriculture will provide an opportunity for you".

Especially with that second quote, I thought Remi provided wisdom well beyond her years.  I am looking forward to following her FFA journey and seeing where she takes this!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE:  Beef Production

HIGH SCHOOL: E.W. Grove High School; Paris, Tennessee

MASCOT: Patriots

FFA ADVISOR: Laura Moss

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR REMI GARDNER:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the E.W. Grove High School website:

Remi's FFA Advisor's Email Address: mossl@henryk12.net

E.W. High School Telephone Number: (731) 642-9733

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1379_Remi_Gardner-COMM-6_12-042622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Hold off on the evening beer until the farming is done.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.wsiltv.com/news/mushroom-hunters-find-body-in-rural-missouri-water-well/article_24ca595e-b064-5db4-b546-6f1d27d50a02.html

https://www.wqad.com/article/news/crime/durant-firefighters-injured-crash-farm-sprayer-walcott-man-arrested/526-ea30d944-4a36-496a-9bc5-6af818350de5

http://www.mymcr.net/news/forsyth-man-indicted-for-stealing-34-goats-in-lamar/article_91d10216-cbcf-11ec-87da-e785c7154def.html

https://www.thelcn.com/news/police/geneseo-police-seek-help-with-tractor-theft-investigation/article_1a589062-fce7-572d-8844-647625694415.html

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/50694/20220505/uk-55-sheep-disappear-isle-lewis-theft-increased-15-covid.htm

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/cars-wrecked-after-stolen-tractor-23859952

Africa

https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/rift-valley/2022-05-03-six-suspected-cattle-rustlers-arrested-in-isinya/

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/poverty-and-unemployment-drove-me-to-steal-goats-teen-tells-court/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://whnt.com/news/northeast-alabama/stolen-gator-recovered-in-dekalb-county-thanks-to-social-media/

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2022/05/02/half-moon-bay-hemp-farm-owner-sentenced-in-labor-theft-case/

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

 

Direct download: OFI_1378_Rural_Crime_-_5522_4.30_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

The ability of farmers to innovate and solve problems is probably on of the most remarkable things about the women and men that make up this profession.  In today's episode we are going to speak with one of those farmers.

Jeff Sberna farms his families land in Northern Ohio.  As he states they are not a big farm, which means that they don't have big equipment.  Even at the height of their farming of 300 acres of family ground, they still operated with smaller machines.  Their farm lies on an old riverbed, adjacent to the Great Lakes, and this creates a number of challenges for them, including many different soil types, gravel and drainage issues.

In about 2008 Jeff was trying to solve the problem of soil performance on their farm, and he believed that he needed to rip the soil to a depth of about 16-18 inches.  However, there were not implements that would work with their smaller equipment that would get this job done.  What is a farmer to do when this happens?  Invent what you need!  And Jeff did it. Tune into the show today to find out more. 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1377_Jeff_Sberna-COMM_18_30-032022.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today, enjoy an interview an interview I did with a fellow who was frustrated by not having the tool he needed when working on auto engines and did something about it. Tune in as Shane Mulligan shares his story and how he created a NASCAR partnership to help him market his MAXX Leverage tool that he designed. 

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1376_Replay_Of_Episode_435-_COMM_16_03-040922.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's guest is a self-professed "showmanship freak".  Showing livestock in jackpot shows and fairs is Pacee Miller's "thing".  She talks about getting everything perfect and striving to be the best in the ring, and this has come true for her on more than one occasion.

Pacee is a young lady who has a passion for agriculture, and more specifically, cattle.  As soon as she finishes up school for the day she heads to a local dairy farm where she feeds bottle calves every evening as an after school job.  When she finishes up there, she heads to one of two locations of her families farm to help her father with their herd of beef cattle.  Currently they are breeding cattle through artificial insemination.  They run several different lines of show cattle, and Pacee helps to synchronize all of their estrus cycles so they can all be bred simultaneously.  She is hoping to earn her AI certification through the FFA next year.

Once the work is done at that location, Pacee heads home where she keeps the livestock that she will be showing during the current or upcoming show season.  She has a few head of cattle there that she has chosen to take into the ring.  She also keeps two goats and two pigs that she will also show.

Hearing about all of her experience with cattle, you might think that beef is where it all started for Pacee.  However, in the interview she tells us that she actually began her showing career with one pig.  It has all built from that first animal.  Pacee is currently ranked in the top four proficiencies for beef entrepreneurship in the State of Ohio.  She will find out on May 5th, if she wins state!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Beef Production

HIGH SCHOOL: West Holmes High School; Millersburg, Ohio

MASCOT: Knights

FFA ADVISOR: Jaime Chenevey

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PACEE MILLER:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the West Holmes High School website:

Pacee's FFA Advisor's Email Address: jchenevey@westholmes.org

West Holmes High School Telephone Number: (330) 674-6085

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1375_Pacee_Miller-COMM_12_41-042322.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I talked about "finding the next Boise" on episode #1152 and have spoken about Rapid City, SD being one of these possibilities in the past.  This article demonstrates that was true.

https://www.realtor.com/research/april-2022-wsj-rdc-emerging-housing-markets-index/

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1374_Tuesday_Episode_-_5222_3.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I don't make too many predictions on this show, but every now and then I interview an FFA student and can see that all the ingredients for great success are present.  Today's interview with Caden Delaney is one of those moments.

I first found out about Caden through an article stating that he had won a regional proficiency award in forage production.  This interested me, as I have seen a lot of great entrepreneurship SAE's start this way and lead to a custom haying business, etc.  I reached out to Caden's FFA advisor and requested an interview.  They accepted and then signed up, filling out the form that I send to all guests on the show.

As I was prepping for the interview I saw that Caden was just in the 9th grade!  I immediately wondered if this was a typo, as I am not used to seeing 9th graders achieve at the level of winning proficiency awards.  Caden's grade in school was one of the first things that I confirmed with him prior to beginning the interview.  As we started talking about his project and agricultural background, it became apparent that Caden was sophisticated well beyond his grade level.

As he explained the selection of the Shorthorn breed of cattle that he raises with his sister it all became clear.  Caden told me that phenotypically the Shorthorn cows that he has look sound for breeding, but he uses an Angus bull with a low birth weight EPD on the first calf heifers because the Shorthorns that he has don't rank as well as he would like in calving ease.  My mind was blown!  This was information that I did not learn until well into college, and the sophistication of knowledge that Caden had just kept pouring forth.

I asked Caden how he had learned all of this already, and it was apparent that he has such a love for cattle and agriculture that he is consuming as much information as he possibly can.  This, in combination with being able to go out to his own cattle and apply the book knowledge that he had been reading about, really has him functioning at a very high level as a 9th grader, when you would just be expecting him to just be getting his feet wet.

It is still very early in Caden's FFA career, and he will choose the path that is correct for him.  However, I believe that if he continues to demonstrate this kind of passion for his SAE's, and he continues to compete for proficiency awards that he has an excellent chance of being an American Star Finalist and even the American Star Farmer in five or six years!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Forage Production

HIGH SCHOOL: E.W. Grove High School; Paris, Tennessee

MASCOT: Patriots

FFA ADVISOR: Laura Moss

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR CADEN DELANEY:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the E.W. Grove High School website:

Caden's FFA Advisor's Email Address: mossl@henryk12.net

E.W. High School Telephone Number: (731) 642-9733

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1373_Caden_Delaney-COMM_14_04-042122.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Take Your Sheep To Work

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Greenwich-Police-188-000-stolen-from-17136181.php

https://www.aol.com/unknown-highly-contagious-disease-kills-215425520-015111804.html?

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.farminguk.com/news/sheep-turn-up-at-police-hq-as-part-of-authentic-introduction-to-rural-life-_60298.html

https://www.reuters.com/world/ukraine-accuses-russia-stealing-grain-during-war-2022-04-28/

https://www.agriland.co.uk/farming-news/thieves-steal-lamb-from-learning-disability-farm/

Africa

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2022-04-26-duo-implicated-in-brutal-limpopo-farm-attack-make-first-court-appearance/

https://www.africanews.com/2022/04/26/zimbabwe-goes-after-revenue-collection-authorities//

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.kfvs12.com/2022/04/26/detectives-recover-stolen-equipment-south-lynnville-1-arrested/

https://www.southwesttimes.com/news/timber-thieves-indicted-large-scale-theft-government-land

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1372_Rural_Crime_-_42922_4.33_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am fascinated with the business of being a private crop consultant, and with that I have only interviewed two or three of these folks in my time hosting this show.  However, the concept is so interesting because of the talent and knowledge level that these folks have to have.  A private crop consultant is competing with crop advisors from fertilizer companies, where farmers are purchasing product already.  The advisement that the farmers receive at those companies comes as a value ad to them purchasing their fertilizer there.  So, when an individual gets paid to provide crop consulting services without being part of a value ad, you know that they are bringing significant value to their clients.

That is the case with today's guest, Brandon Vining.  Brandon has worked as a crop advisor for one of the big fertilizer and ag companies.  Eventually he thought that he could do more good for farmers as an independent, so he struck out on his own and started Pro Gro Consulting in his area of Eastern Idaho.  While that region has specific crops and specific issues, Brandon started seeing patterns and similarities in other parts of the country by communicating with people online about agronomy.  At the same time, friends from other parts of the country were sending him photos, soil test results and descriptions of problems and asking his advice on how to solve them.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1371_Brandon_Vining-COMM_16_08-031222.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's episode is a replay of an interview I did with Jonathan Meeker as he takes us through his journey of working for someone else so that he could end up working for himself. It is the story of someone seeking entrepreneurship and getting there by being patient and by being smart about how he got there. Today, learn more about Meeker and his re-development company.

Original Show Notes:

KEY IDEAS: 

Today's guest has definitely got an entrepreneurial spirit.  So, it was wisdom that caused him to stop being an entrepreneur and go back to work for somebody else.  After Jonathan Meeker's first entrepreneurial venture he decided that he wanted to move in a different direction.  That direction was the re-development of permanent crop areas in the San Joaquin Valley of California where he is from.

In order to get trained up in doing this, Jonathan went to work for a company that specialized in doing this. After he had learned the business, or at least enough to go out on his own, he found a niche that his current company was not really serving.  He then started his own business, JMeeker Company, in that space and went back to work for himself.

Now Jonathan works for agricultural investors as well as absentee farmers in getting their vineyards, orchards and other crops up and going.

ADVICE FROM JONATHAN:

RESEARCH: You have to know what it is you are going to be selling.  You better do your research ahead of time.

PRICE: Figuring out price can be a very difficult thing to do in a market that has not established strict going rates.  Make sure you get a good feel for what the price can be when planning your business.

QUALITY: Do not stretch yourself too thin.  If you do, the quality of your service will suffer, leading to damage to your reputation and thus less and less work.

ADVICE RECEIVED:

OVERTHINKING: Don't overthink things.  Keep moving forward and going in the correct direction.

PERSONAL HABIT THAT HELPS JONATHAN SUCCEED:

PATIENCE: Jonathan describes himself as a very patient person.  This is important for anyone in agriculture, but when you are dealing with permanent crops it is even more important.

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1370_Replay_of_Episode_357_COMM_11_30-033122.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

For the first time ever, completely by accident, I am releasing an interview on the guests actual birthday!  Happy 18th Birthday to Gracie Wagner!

Now that we have got that out of the way, let's talk horses, agriculture and FFA.  Gracie has grown up in what could accurately be called a "horse family" in the Central Illinois area.  She has been around and on horses for her whole life, and that has led her in many, positive directions.

When Gracie was starting high school, this led her right into the FFA.  Her older sister had been part of the FFA, and Gracie knew she could find her people in the FFA as well.  However, it was not something that she was sure would work out at first, it was just something that she was "trying out".  She existed in her chapter for her entire 9th grade year, using a borrowed blue jacket.  However, she got involved in some leadership development activities, namely Conduct Of Chapter Meetings, and the intensity and team atmosphere hooked her.  By the time she hit her 10th Grad year she was fired up.

Gracie has served on her chapter's officer team for all four years, but it was her 11th grade year when she became her chapter's reporter in which that really clicked.  She loved taking the photos, writing the media releases and communicating on behalf of her chapter so much, that when she ran for an officer position for her 12th grade year, the only one that she applied for was reporter.  Gracie found herself being named one of the top 10 FFA chapter reporters in the State Of Illinois in 2021, and she is hoping to repeat that this year!

Gracie knows where she is headed after graduation.  She is off to Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Arizona where she will be competing in college rodeo.  She hopes to compete for all four years and then, who knows!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Equine Entrepreneurship

HIGH SCHOOL: Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School; Paxton, Illinois

MASCOT: Panthers

FFA ADVISOR: Mike White

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR GRACIE WAGNER:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School website:

Gracie's FFA Advisor's Email Address: mwhite@pblpanthers.org

Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School Telephone Number: 217-379-4331

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1369_Gracie_Wagner-COMM_9_38-042022.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today, I have a farm update for you that is the result of some busy weeks and sleepless nights.  I've also got exciting information about how Hattie is progressing in the FFA, and I want to address an article I saw stating that locally produced food is the answer to inflation.

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

 

Direct download: OFI_1368_Tuesday_Episode_-_42522_4.46_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

If you are going to have calves in January, in Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, you had better have to barn space.  But, what if you have twins!  Well, that is what happened to today's guest, Mitchell Foote, this winter.

Mitchell is a sophomore at Ubly High School and in his fourth year of the FFA.  Each year he shows cattle and pigs at the county fair as part of his supervised agricultural experience.  His older brother is also in his chapter, as the chapter's president.  Some time back, they decided that they would like to show their own cattle that were born on their farm.  So, they adjusted their calving season to start in January, so they would have calves that were old enough to be weaned prior to their fair in August and that would make weight for the "prospect" class of cattle that can be show there.

These are great goals, but they also come with their own challenges as winters in Michigan can be brutal.  For this reason, the cows that are calving are kept in the barn and then the calves are kept out of the weather indoors with their mothers for a month or more.  However, as Mitchell and his brother grow the herd, space inside the barn comes at a premium, and this year they had a set of twins!  They are making the best of it though, trying to get some of the mud in the farm yard scraped up so that they can get some of the cows with older calves out of the barn!

Mitchell is active.  In addition to his new officer responsibility as the "student advisor" in his chapter, he is playing two sports: football and basketball.  His school is having a lot of success in both sports, and he is having a great time playing varsity already!  If that were not enough, Mitchell has already earned three proficiency awards at the state level: one gold and two silver.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Diversified Livestock Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Ubly High School; Ubly, Michigan

MASCOT: Bearcats

FFA ADVISOR: Melissa Kramer

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MITCHELL FOOTE:

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

Mitchell's FFA Advisor's Email Address: mkramer@ublyschools.org

Ubly High School Telephone Number: 989-658-8202

FFA LINKS:

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.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • 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 insure 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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

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

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1367_Mitchell_Foote-COMM_9_27-041622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Let PETA make you money…buy stock in Super Glue!

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.phillyvoice.com/horse-pennsylvania-state-police-killed-troopers-investigation-chester-county/

https://www.ladbible.com/news/latest-peta-demonstrators-superglue-themselves-to-starbucks-counters-20220422

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.9news.com.au/national/drug-and-rural-crime-eight-people-charged-nsw/a5495fe8-e2be-471d-bb26-5bf5cc5f5bf3

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10742037/Cattle-rustler-pulls-1-5m-livestock-heist-NT.html

Africa

https://informante.web.na/?p=318179

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2022-04-22-two-suspects-linked-to-fatal-chicken-farm-shooting-arrested-one-shot-dead/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://thebusinessjournal.com/prolific-thief-arrested-accused-of-crimes-at-two-farms-in-single-day/

https://bossierpress.com/mississippi-man-arrested-for-theft-of-livestock-in-west-carroll-parish/

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1366_Rural_Crime_-_42222_9.03_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Amber and Krystal Wilke are mother and daughter, and they are operating a very successful laser art and engraving business from their family farm in Kimball, Nebraska.  While this might seem like the main part of the story, as successful as it is, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Amber and her husband have been able to create an enterprise on their 4th generation, Nebraska farm, that has allowed their children to come back and work there.  Now, they are surrounded by multiple generations of family, living at the farm.  Krystal lives 12 miles away in town, but is back on the farm full-time.  This has been done through expansion as well as innovation.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1365_Amber_Wilke-COMM_13_15-031122.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It's always fun to showcase FFA students that have done amazing things and have been able to take talents and passions and turn them into viable SAE's. Today's guest did just that. This is a replay of an interview I did with a very special welding artist. Learn more about Maci Krites and her "weld art" on this episode.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1364-Replay_of_Episode_236_COMM_6_31-033122_2.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

This summer, my family and I will grow a large patch of sweet corn.  This is something that we have done several times over the years.  And, if you were to ask me when we would be getting started, I would tell you that it would be sometime in May.  And by my answer, it shows how I view getting started, and in a lot of ways, what type of farmer I am....or at least where I have room for improvement.

This dawned on me in my interview with Lydia Whaley today.  Without even learning about Lydia's supervised agricultural experience you can already see that she is an all-star.  She has responsibilities on her families cattle ranch in Missouri and is very active there, and she has already served as her chapter's vice-president and is just beginning a term as her area's president.  By the time I got to learn about her SAE, I already knew she was exceptional.

However, when I asked Lydia about growing 4-5 acres of pumpkins each year I really got a glimpse into the way that she thinks and an indication of why she is seeing such success.  Lydia doesn't plant her pumpkins until June, but when she tells you about her project she states that she gets started in January or February, which is obviously the middle of winter.

Lydia's project begins with the selection of seed and pumpkin varieties that she will be growing during the next season.  She looks at her project much more holistically than I do my corn patch.  Lydia realizes that her customers are voting for their favorite pumpkin varieties each and every time they select one from her honor system, road side stand.  So, starting in January, she assesses which were the most popular varieties of pumpkins she sold the previous fall and begins making decisions about what she will be planting in June.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1363_Lydia_Whaley-COMM_12_10-040922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Some time ago, I was studying a martial art called Kajukenbo.  My instructor was a very nice man with a lot of experience and training.  And on one of those nights the man who had instructed him came to our class, observed and offered some instruction to the students of his student.

On today's episode of the Off-Farm Income Podcast, I am lucky enough to offer you a similar experience.  Dan Miller, the famed author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and the host of the vastly popular podcast, the 48 Days Internet Radio Show, is our guest host.  And, he is interviewing me!

It was my huge honor to be invited by Dan to be his featured guest for a private group that he facilitates called the 48 Days Eagles Community.  On Monday's, Dan brings a guest on for their Monday Mentor Training, and on 4/11/22 it was me!  I discovered Dan Miller in 2009 when I was first dreaming about a different lifestyle...actually, the lifestyle that I have now.  If it had not been for Dan, I wouldn't be living the life I am living today.

Dan and I have got to know each other over the years, and he has kept informed about my progress as an entrepreneur and podcaster.  I can't tell you how special it is that he thinks my story and experience is valuable enough to share with his exclusive audience.  And today you get a special peek behind the curtain.

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Direct download: OFI_1362_Tuesday_Episode_-_41122_2.37_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

As you all know I am a fan of the lawn care and landscaping business.  I have seen students in high school do some amazing things with this particular business, working it all the way up to a six figure annual income while still in high school!  In my own experience, I know a full-time farmer who as able to become this by starting a landscaping business during college, building it up and then selling it and using the proceeds to purchase his farm.

It might seem like that those are all the positives of this business, but wait....there is more.  This "future millionaire maker" business can be started with no money!  I have interviewed several students, including today's guest, Jack Frank, who have started their lawn care business using the equipment that their customers own.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1361_Jack_Frank-COMM_8_35-040722.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Watch a rural crime movie tonight: https://crimereads.com/seven-great-rural-crime-films/

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.keyc.com/2022/04/14/thieves-steal-machine-goat-goofy-goat-farm/

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/woman-attempts-to-glue-herself-to-court-in-protest-during-clippers-vs-timberwolves-play-in-game/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.producer.com/news/slaughtered-cattle-remains-dumped/

https://bromsgrovestandard.co.uk/news/hartlebury-farm-owners-left-counting-the-cost-after-thieves-steal-caravans-and-damage-property/

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-61107201

https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/crime/farmers-horror-after-101-dead-lambs-dumped-on-their-land

Africa

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/commentary/militarised-approach-won-t-bring-peace-to-karamoja-3783004

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/updf-rejects-plea-by-kenyan-officials-to-allow-turkana-pastoralists-back-3781030

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.turnto23.com/news/crime/stolen-kern-county-tractors-recovered-in-madera-county

https://www.wmdt.com/2022/04/missing-father-and-son-located-in-farm-field-shed-after-15-hour-search/

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

 

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1360_Rural_Crime_-_41522_9.59_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

In today's interview we are lucky enough to take a fascinating journey into the mind of an inventor.  Not just any inventor though, a farmer who sees problems, visualizes ways to solve them and then follows through.....all the way through.

Monte Busser has a list of 8,100 ideas that can make life better for farmers and everyday people.  Looking at all the patents he already has filed, all of the work he does outside of inventing and the processes he has in place to make his inventions commercially available you might euphemistically say that he has been "struck by lighting".  However, when I asked him when he remembers first creating and improving things, he thinks back to a time when he was actually struck by lightning at ten years of age.  Fortunately the lighting bolt first hit a transformer, then arced and struck him while he was riding his bicycle on rubber tires.  His parents actually saw him be struck by the lighting, but he was not hurt, he just started riding faster.  And since that day, he has been inventing and improving.

In today's episode we focus on five of Monte's patents that are featured on Google Patents.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1359_Monty_BusserCOMM_14_10-031022.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's show is a replay of interview I did with a fellow podcaster. It is an interesting discussion on his discussions when it comes to hauling agriculture related freight. Check it out!

Orignial Show Notes:

As part of my journey in agricultural podcasting I have found myself as the editor and producer of the Bulkloads Podcast.  The Bulkloads Podcast is part of Bulkloads.com, which is a service for truck drivers hauling bulk freight.  Naturally this is related to agriculture with all of the hauling of bulk commodities around the country.

I was recently editing an episode for Bulkloads, and their guest was Mike Wade.  Mike grew up on a dairy farm in Northern California and eventually found his way into truck driving.  Along the way Mike saw a homemade tool another driver had, and he thought he would like to make one for himself.  However, when he designed it he added on other features that he always wanted in a tool that would help him in other ways.  Huckleberry's Hammers were born.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1358-Replay_of_Episode_920_COMM_17_52-033122.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today had a couple things to say during the interview that really resonated with me. To begin, Riley Widboom, was starting over when he entered his freshman year at Worthington High School.  He had gone from Kindergarten to 8th Grade in a small, private school, so his friends at Worthington were limited at best.  However, he knew that the FFA would fix all of that.  Plus, Riley had been interested in and involved in agriculture his whole life from growing up on a farm and participating in the 4H.

Later in the interview Riley told me that if he could tell a non-agricultural person just one thing about ag, it would be that agriculture is is for everyone.  There is a place for every person in the world of ag.  This really struck me as well because, well, because it is true, and because this is the way that Riley lives his life.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1357_Riley_Widboom_COMM-15_39-032622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Thoughts Inspired By The Book: "The Crucible Of War"

Immediately following the the French and Indian War in the U.S. a recession or even a depression began to sink in, in the colonies as the British military moved out of the colonies and focused their attention on matters in the Caribbean.  This left commercial farmers, the very first to ever emerge in North America, dealing with how to pay back debt with low commodity prices.  This caused smaller farmers to shift from growing extra and selling it at markets to return to a basic subsistence type of farming lifestyle.  This also led to more bartering with supplemental agricultural products.

I found something interesting about the view of farmers when looking at the story of Thomas Rich.  He was a merchant from Philadelphia.  He had significant amounts of inventory that he had purchased with debt during the war because the British military was purchasing everything and the war was fueling all sorts of commerce.  However, when the war ended and the economy slowed he was left with a lot of inventory that he could not sell and the debt that was going to be paid from the sale of those items.

He came up with a scheme to ship this merchandise to the French in their colony of Guiana, but this was illegal as he was a subject of the British Crown, and the British had just ended a war with the French and the terms of the end of the war prohibited him from trading with the French.

This plan did not work for Rich, and by 1770, when he finally paid all of his debts he was essentially bankrupt.  I am listening to this book, so the tone of the author can be felt by the inflection of the reader and what he emphasizes.  As the narrator finishes telling Thomas Rich’s story he say says, with some sort of disdain in his voice, that he “died raising sheep on a farm in New Jersey”.  The inflection is obvious as though the fact that Thomas Rich ended his life as a farmer was a form of disgrace or shame.

I found myself chuckling as I listened to this.  I did not find it disgraceful or shameful that he spent his final years in a beautiful place raising livestock.  I thought to myself, “he finally got it right!”.  I can’t help but wonder if after all the stress and high level dealings that Thomas Rich went through in the 1700’s if he found himself tending to sheep one day and asked himself, “why haven’t I been doing this all along”.

I do find it ironic that today, so many who live this high stress lifestyle in the cities are rejecting this life and opting for a simpler life in a rural environment raising livestock or growing food.  It seems to me that there is a secret to living a good life that exists, and only farmers have really been able to figure it out.  This has been going on since the 1700’s, and I wonder why it has taken almost 300 years for people to start realizing this.

There was another part of Thomas Rich’s story that I wanted to share with you.  I found myself thinking of the quip, from the book of Ecclesiastes, that states “there is nothing new under the sun” is really true when I heard this part.  Thomas Rich was a “go big or go home” type of guy.  He took on a lot of debt.  So much so, that he never found himself in a debtor’s prison.  His debtors had lent him so much money that they dared not have him arrested or foreclosed on.  Their only hope in recovering what they had lent to was keep him producing and earning so that he could repay, even if that were incremental and slow.

So much has not changed.  His philosophy was “If you owe your banker $1,000 and you have $500 to pay him, you have a problem.  If you owe your banker a million and you don’t have a nickel, he’s got a partner”.  I have heard many people talk about farmers, particularly dairy farmers, with admiration in their voice, who follow this principle.  This philosophy is alive and well in agriculture today, and some of the largest, and perceived to be most successful farmers, that I have heard stories about are those that owe the bank or banks so much money, that the banks would never dare to foreclose - debtors prison is no longer a thing.  If they foreclosed they would get pennies on the dollar for what they have lent.  They have no choice but to continue to work with the farmer and ride the cycles of agriculture in the hopes of recovering the money they have lent.

It is very interesting how if you are careless with debt it can wreck you financially, but if you absolutely reckless and build an empire on debt everything changes and it can sustain you!

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Direct download: OFI_1356_Tuesday_Episode_-_4622_11.08_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am definitely the type of person who is interested in my family history and feels some sense of obligation to honor that legacy.  So, I am always fascinated when I get to interview somebody with a deep family legacy who is honoring it in the same way.  For our guest today, Kate Rogers, that is a theme that repeats itself throughout the interview.

One of Kate's strongest influences in her love agriculture is her great grandmother, who was raised during the Great Depression, and found many ways to produce good to help generate income during that time.  One of the talents that she had, that Kate also has, is in creating artistic items that have value to other people.  This is something that Kate has carried forward, with many of the supplies that belonged to her great grandmother, in her business, Kate Rogers Art.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1355_Kate_Rogers-COMM_10_00-032622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

51 weeks out of the year on our rural crime episode I will be focused on "rational choice" type criminal activity that is the most likely to be what we will experience on our farms or rural properties.  However, today I am going to focus on interpersonal violence.

Some of you may have heard of Gavin De Becker, or his best-selling book, The Gift Of Fear.  Others of you may not be familiar with him or his work.  I am a huge fan, and  have been lucky enough to have some significant involvement with his company, Gavin De Becker & Associates.

Over the course of this week I have been listening to an interview he recently did with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience.  I have embedded the link to the episode below.  This was a great reminder of what a resource that Gavin De Becker is, and why I am such a fan.

In today's episode I am going to take some time to describe my experiences working with and using the products created by Gavin De Becker & Associates to justify why I am recommending that you consume one of their for profit resources and two of their free resources.

In the United States, for the vast majority of people, interpersonal violence is something that we will likely never experience.  This is good, but it is also bad because it can lead to complacency.  If you are unlucky enough to encounter a situation like this, there will have been warning signs ahead of time that were likely missed.  The free resources that I am recommending can give you the skills and remind you to pay attention to your intuition to help you get out of these situations before they ever escalate to this level.

I think that this information is valuable enough, that I am taking an entire episode to discuss it with you today.

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Direct download: OFI_1354_Rural_Crime_Episode_-_4722_4.49_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Would you allow a cell tower on your farm if it meant an extra $800-$2,000 per month of revenue to help sustain the farming lifestyle that you are in search of?  Have you read things on the internet or heard rumors about lawsuits, bad leases or health problems caused by cell signals being transmitted close to your home?  How long should a cell tower lease last?  Who should be responsible for liability insurance?  How much farm ground would you have to give up to have this revenue source?

In today's interview with Ryan Conklin, the owner of Wright & Moore Law Co. in Ohio we will talk about all of these questions.  This episode was inspired by an article written by Ryan's predecessor, Robert Moore, in 2019 discussing the expansion of need for cell towers with the advent of 5G technology.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1353_Ryan_Conklin-COMM_15_12-031922.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's episode takes us back to interview I did many shows ago. An oldie, but goodie, Adam Kline takes us through business and farm succession planning strategies. He also talks about how to obtain a farm and some challenges that might come up and how to work through them. 

Original Show Notes:

I would like to introduce you to Adam Kline this week.  Adam is a business succession attorney with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He is from a farming family and is significantly invested in agriculture.

In this episode Adam helps us continue learning about obtaining our farms.  There are many obstacles to entry for new farmers.  Land, equipment and "know how" are just three of the potential obstacles.  Farm succession planning helps both the transitioning farmer and the new farmer overcome all of these obstacles.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1352-Replay_of_Episode_22-COMM_14_07-032422_1.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

FFA students are some of the busiest people I have ever encountered, but today's guest may take the record.  Look at this list of activities:

  • Marching Band
  • Weight Lifting
  • Podcasting
  • Farm Broadcasting
  • Making & Selling Cotton Candy
  • Playing Guitar
  • Playing Bass
  • Playing Wizardry Card Games
  • School Theater

And, I am sure if I had longer to interview Jesse Cech the list would just keep growing and growing.  This young man is not only involved in a myriad of activities, but he knows a lot about each one.  I found out right before our interview that he had his own podcast, and then during the interview I found out that he took 2nd in a farm broadcasting LDE in South Dakota in 2020.  It was the FFA that introduced him to broadcasting, and now he has future plans to pursue a career in broadcasting or voice acting.  I love profiling stories like this!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1351_Jesse_Cech-COMM_10_51.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A quick farm update for you today.  I believe that I have hit my metaphorical "10,000 hours" when it comes to raising cattle.  And, if you are not already raising goats, it is time.  Today, I offer my most compelling argument yet.

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Direct download: OFI_1350_Tuesday_Episode_-_4422_6.14_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There are so many good things that come out of the FFA, they are hard to count and definitely too numerous to list in one podcast post.  So, in today's post I will focus on the SAE grants that are available to students.  I judged applications for these grants for a number of years, and I can tell you that there is a lot of talent out there.  I can also tell you that there are a lot of students not attempting to receive this free money.  This is precisely why I admire the students that do pursue these grants so much.  It demonstrates that they and their FFA advisors are very forward thinking.

Charleigh Dugger is one of these forward thinking students.  She is just finishing up her sophomore year of high school, but she has already applied for and received a $1,000 SAE grant provided by AmerisourceBergen.  Charleigh is using this money to expand her goat herd, built winter shelter for them and start a cattle herd of Scottish Highlander cows for herself.  She is hoping that this will propel her towards her dream of working with animals as a career.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1349-Charleigh_Dugger-COMM_3_35-031822.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Cancel the vacation.  Guard your fuel.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://bossierpress.com/woman-arrested-for-theft-of-livestock-in-red-river-parish/

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/567012210/allen-parish-man-convicted-regarding-theft-of-livestock

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au/story/7681563/merino-sheep-stolen-from-naturi-paddock/

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/464380/men-in-stolen-car-try-to-steal-fuel-from-rural-property-owner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-31/record-oil-price-fuels-farm-diesel-theft-wave/100951582

Africa

https://www.chronicle.co.zw/stock-thief-sentenced-to-47-years-in-jail/

https://www.chronicle.co.zw/three-men-arrested-for-stock-theft/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.kjas.com/news/local_news/article_973bf098-b04b-11ec-8c2c-1bba1cd00544.html

https://www.ketk.com/news/crime-public-safety/lindale-man-accused-of-cattle-theft-putting-livestock-up-for-auction-in-his-name/

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1348_Rural_Crime_-_4122_3.42_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Cancel the vacation.  Guard your fuel.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://bossierpress.com/woman-arrested-for-theft-of-livestock-in-red-river-parish/

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/567012210/allen-parish-man-convicted-regarding-theft-of-livestock

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au/story/7681563/merino-sheep-stolen-from-naturi-paddock/

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/464380/men-in-stolen-car-try-to-steal-fuel-from-rural-property-owner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-31/record-oil-price-fuels-farm-diesel-theft-wave/100951582

Africa

https://www.chronicle.co.zw/stock-thief-sentenced-to-47-years-in-jail/

https://www.chronicle.co.zw/three-men-arrested-for-stock-theft/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.kjas.com/news/local_news/article_973bf098-b04b-11ec-8c2c-1bba1cd00544.html

https://www.ketk.com/news/crime-public-safety/lindale-man-accused-of-cattle-theft-putting-livestock-up-for-auction-in-his-name/

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1348_Rural_Crime_-_4122_3.42_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It is really amazing what you can accomplish if you are willing to listen to your inner voice and follow where it takes you.  The concept of this "inner voice" can take you down a number of rabbit holes.  For me personally, I feel as though that voice is there to direct you to the reason you were put on this Earth.  In my case, I believe that it comes from God, either spoken to me in real time or implanted at birth to speak to me when the time is right.

This "inner voice" is not magnificent in the sense that you are not going to become overwhelmed by a feeling or see something miraculous that leaves you with no doubt that the universe has a message for you.  It is much more subtle than that, and it can be difficult to hear.  It is one of those things that is always there, but you never notice it until you finally do.....and then it seems as obvious as the sunshine.  I don't know why it is not easier to detect, but I suspect it is that way so that you are compelled to make some effort to hear it.  What I know for sure, is that it is there for everyone.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1347_-Emily_Reuschel-COMM13_59_1.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

The types of businesses that people are creating by talking about agriculture are amazing.  Today, I get to profile one of those influencers.  Michelle Miller goes by the name "The Farm Babe".  She has an interesting story of growing up in Wisconsin, finding herself on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, traveling the world, bartending on a beach in Florida and ultimately finding her way to a farm in Northern Iowa. Find out how she did in today's show. 


My attention was first drawn to Alex Kellersmith when I read an article about him making maple syrup for his supervised agricultural experience in the FFA.  I am always fascinated with this particular SAE because naturally growing trees provide one of the most delicious products on the market.  And, I live in Idaho where this is impossible and you pay a premium for Maple Syrup in a bottle!

As it turns out, Alex has several supervised agricultural experiences.  He likes to grow things that he can either sell directly from harvest or add value to and then sell.  And they all have a common thread....there is the slow pace of the growing season for each of them, and then suddenly, there is a lot of work to be done all at once.  Take these projects for example:

  • Maple Syrup - sap drips into buckets during the winter and is saved up, and then suddenly there is two straight weeks of boiling down sap and bottling syrup
  • Sweet Corn - during the heat of summer the corn grows and grows, and then suddenly there is two straight weeks of picking, hauling, marketing and selling
  • Berries - they grow all summer long and then suddenly they are ripe and the time is now!
  • Lavender & Flowers - okay, on this one Alex can work out a little bit more even of a pace, but of course once the flowers are blooming he can constantly be harvesting, arranging and selling

Alex has some very good advice for incoming FFA students in this interview as to why they should really invest into multiple SAE's.  Tune in and hear what he has to say!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1345_Alex_Kellersmith-COMM_16_39-031822.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I just found out that irrigation will not begin for surface water users in my area until April 22nd this year.  Citing repeated drought, the Boise Project Board Of Control announced that canals would not begin filling until April 18th, and the earliest that anyone would be irrigating would be the 22nd.  Also, we are starting out the season with an allotment.  Normally, we do not begin the season with a restriction on how much water that we can use other than what we have in our accounts.  Usually, as water in the reservoirs starts dropping an allotment is declared.  This generally takes place sometime in June or maybe even July.  However, we are starting the season this way.

This means that all irrigators are going to be restricted to using no more than 1.20 acre feet of water per acre on their ground for this season.  This is a low allotment, and it is designed to get farmers all the way through the growing season.  However, these restrictions definitely impact the decisions that farmers will make for the year.

If you have been watching the news out of the Central Valley of California, you will see that a lot of acres, especially on the west side of the Central Valley in places like Fresno and Kings Counties, will go uncultivated this year.  Farmers there are dealing with greater hardships than us in Idaho, and they have to forgo planting seasonal crops so that they can save the water that would be needed on those fields for their permanent crops like almonds, grapes and fruit trees.

Here in Idaho, what I expect to see happen is less acres of water thirsty crops like corn being grown and more short season crops like wheat being planted.  I suspect that the farmers who can buy water from other people might not alter their rotations.  However, those that cannot may have to.  With that said, I expect the price of wheat to be up if the conflict in the Ukraine continues, maybe that will act as a hedge for farmers who are forced to plant more acres of wheat than they anticipated.

I consider myself to be in a good position.  If you've been listening to me since 2015 you will know that one of the ways that we put in the necessary infrastructure on our farm was to do a cost share with the NRCS through their EQIP program.  That has been nine years ago now, and it has only been a positive, we never endured any negative consequences from it.

One of things that came out of that program is that our entire place is irrigated by sprinklers now.  And over time we have progressed from rented sprinkler pipe, to wheel lines to irrigation pods.  We have become progressively more and more water efficient, which means that we have yet to use all of our allotted water in a season.  And, this allows us to "carry over" some water from one season to the next.  So, I am very grateful that we made that move.  Irrigation is now easier, and it allows us to really save water throughout the year to get us through.

However, if there is no water available it does us no good.  And, if irrigation water gets shut off very early this year, than it will not matter what manner of delivery that we use, we will be unable to irrigate either way.  So, as a hedge I am going to purchase some extra hay, early in the season, and hope that I don't have to start feeding in September.  However, I am fully prepared for that to be the reality that I am facing.

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Direct download: OFI_1344_Tuesday_Episode_-_32822_6.54_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am a big fan of proactive people, people who go out and make life happen for them rather than letting life happen to them.  Our guest today, Ellas Gaes, is definitely one of those people.  Ella is a member of the Pierce High School FFA Chapter in Pierce, Nebraska.  She lives out of town with her family, and they keep horses on their property.

Even though the horse was the main form of transportation throughout Europe and Asia well before North America was ever discovered, the American West has captured the horse as its symbol, almost as if horse riding originated here.  Ella embraces this culture, roping whenever and wherever she can and helping her family members in Colorado every May with their cattle branding.

Ella also embraced this with her supervised agricultural experience through the FFA.  She has been making jewelry as a hobby for quite some time, and the way that things work in her FFA chapter, she was compelled to get serious about her SAE this year.  Once she really thought about what she was going to do, it became apparent to her that making and selling jewelry that celebrated the Western way of life and the West's ties to agriculture was the right fit for her.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1343_Ella_Gaes-COMM_6_13-022722.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Can’t Find Your Vehicles? Check Out Your Biggest Mud Hole.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://kfoxtv.com/news/local/new-mexico-supreme-court-to-teach-las-cruces-students-about-criminal-justice-system-law-court-hearing-crime-defendant-hearing

https://www.wibw.com/2022/03/22/sheriff-warns-rising-crime-rates-planting-season-begins-gas-prices-rise/

https://www.tristatehomepage.com/news/wcso-stolen-vehicles-found-submerged-in-mud/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.southwestfarmer.co.uk/news/20015049.yanmar-mini-digger-stolen-north-dorset-smallholding/

https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/20015840.dog-owner-warned-keep-pet-control-sheep-worrying-incident/

https://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/man-farmer-victim-of-grain-theft-805.aspx

Africa

https://chimpreports.com/3-geologists-2-updf-soldiers-killed-by-karamoja-cattle-rustlers/

https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/govt-commences-security-operation-to-flush-out-herders-from-game-parks/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.kimt.com/news/forest-city-man-arrested-for-arson-assault-and-burglary-pleads-guilty/article_b62162b8-aadd-11ec-ac4d-c71e369c39af.html

https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/local/whitman-county-burglary-suspect-in-custody-30-000-tractor-among-stolen-items-recovered-by-deputies/article_ce4db0fc-aade-11ec-a5b8-537d2e55a8ff.html

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Direct download: OFI_1342_Rural_Crime_-_32522_9.50_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I have never delved into the world of hemp farming or of value added products made from hemp plants and seed.  Today, I am finally going to break that pattern.  I will be speaking with Justin Harris of Wild Ass Soaps.

Justin and his wife have developed quite a family enterprise that operates with them and their children in Southwestern Nebraska.  They first began with a lawn and landscaping business which grew and became very time consuming.  Looking for other opportunities they began growing and selling sod from their 15 acre farm.  Eventually they started to look into making soaps, and then something major happened.  The production of hemp was legalized by the U.S. government.

Within two years of this announcement Justin and his family were producing hemp and incorporating it into their soaps, lotions and oils.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1341-Justin_Harris-COMM_18_38-021922.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today we are going deep into our archives to replay an episode about starting a goat milk soap business.  On tomorrow's ag business episode we are profiling a new type of soap business, and I thought this interview with Shanna McCann would tie in nicely to that show.  Goat milk soap is such a great, value added product that I really enjoy profiling and replaying these business interviews.  Below are the original show notes from episode #351.

 


There is a lot of fruit to pick (pun intended) from today's interview with Jada Rubalcava, and I picked the one that stood out the most to me for the title of this episode.

Jada has a unique set of experiences compared to the other students at Gothenburg High School and in her FFA chapter.  When she was in elementary school her father joined the military while pursuing a career as an anesthesiologist.  This caused Jada and her family to move from her childhood home of Phoenix, Arizona to several other cities and ultimately the small town of Gothenburg.  So, Jada has seen big city life, and she has seen small town life.

Jada is of the opinion that she has many more opportunities being in a small town and small school, which is not the way a lot of people look at this comparison.  However, whichever extra-curricular activity that she wants to participate in she has been able to.  This has to do with the size of her school and the fact that there are not so many students going out for a particular activity that people have to be cut.  Jada used golf as an example. She joined the golf team her freshman year, and when she joined she had never held a club before.  She correctly states that if she were still in Phoenix, she could never make the team under these circumstances and would have missed this particular opportunity.

Another opportunity that Jada has taken full advantage of is the sense of community in her small town and the way that the town respects and supports the FFA.  Based on an idea of some of her friends that she knew when living in Ohio, when it came time for her to being her supervised agricultural experience she decided to make and sell caramel apples.  When people caught wind of what she was doing, word spread like wildfire.  Soon, she was very busy and was even shipping her caramel apples to people.

 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1339_Jada_Rubalcava-COMM_10_37-030222.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

So, I haven't had one set of plans work out like I wanted in the recent past, and that is just the way it is going for me on my farm.  First, I was supposed to start calving on February 25th, but we didn't have our first calf until 3/5/22.  Our cows are all showing that they are ready to calve, but they are coming along very slow and to date I only have four calves.

Next, I filled out the perfect bracket for the NCAA Basketball Tournament and put together a fun group of people to participate in the bracket.  After just one weekend, I am in last place with no prospect of turning things around.  And, my daughter is in second and absolutely destroying me.

Currently I am on a solo, staycation, during Autumm and Hattie's Spring Break.  The three of us have taken a trip together every Spring Break for years now, but this slow calving kept me at home.  So, they took off to go look at some colleges and see the ocean over on the Oregon Coast.  That was okay though.  I have a lot things to get done, and I figured that this would give me the perfect opportunity.  I figured I would get started with it today.

Simultaneously our pasture is just starting to green up, so I wanted to get our yearlings off of it and back in with our cows.  And, since our cows have started calving it was time to get the bull separated off.  So, I put the bull in the pen I had used for him earlier this year and moved the yearlings over.  However, with the yearlings cycling he promptly broke a rail in that pen and was in with them for an unknown amount of time.  So, I caught him and put him in a different pen, which he promptly broke out of last night, but luckily could not find his way back to the girls.

So, this morning, instead of starting my projects I wound up changing the configuration of that pen that I had built and adding lumber to it, to reinforce it.  I had to go purchase lumber, and that broke the budget because it costs around $1 million for a sixteen foot 2X6 these days.  And that is the life that I love!

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Direct download: OFI_1338_Tuesday_Episode_-_32122_5.01_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today is currently serving as the State FFA Reporter in Illinois.  Lauren Mohr grew up in Illinois with a strong legacy of farming and the FFA in her family.  In addition to watching her older brothers in their projects, she was working at home with the families sheep flock as well as their business of lambing out ewes for other owners.  Over time she developed a love for the animal livestock industry, and it led her to leadership in the FFA.

Lauren just graduated from Normal West High School last spring.  She is currently taking a gap year to serve as the state reporter and plans on attending Illinois Central College to study animal science and agricultural business next fall.  She has her eye on embryo transfers and reproduction in livestock as a career and has already identified a business that she would like to conduct an internship with.

Lauren is involved in and developing a few different ag businesses currently.  In the summer she shows dairy cattle for her grandparents, and the rest of the time she is developing her herd of cattle and maintaining her flock of sheep.  Lauren has traveled as far away as Massachusetts to market wool and learn more about the wool and sheep industry.  It is no wonder that she has been a state proficiency winner in both sheep production and diversified livestock.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1337-Lauren_Mohr-COMM_11_04-022622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Get cameras and locks on your fuel tanks

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.drovers.com/news/industry/usda-inspector-charged-accepting-bribes-texas-border

https://www.waaytv.com/news/madison-county-sheriff-s-office-seeks-public-s-help-after-baby-goat-her-mom-reported/article_fcdac612-a548-11ec-81d6-333f1bd8280d.html

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-60754268

https://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/19993340.high-prices-drive-fuel-theft/

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/news/dozens-of-stolen-sheep-found-two-miles-away-on-uni-campus-264074/

https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/alarming-upswing-in-green-maize-theft-threatens-food-security/

Africa

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/oped/letters/dairy-farming-is-a-means-to-an-end-to-cattle-rustling-3749932

https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/national-police-reservists-commissioned-in-baringo-north/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.aol.com/news/rare-wolverine-captured-utah-once-113518123.html

https://www.glosnews.com/articles/westbury-farmer-tracks-down-stolen-property-thanks-to-his-ipad

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Direct download: OFI_1336_Rural_Crime_Episode_-_31822_10.49_AM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Pat Hanson is the owner and creator of "Memory Lane Crafting Retreat" in Northwest Illinois.  This is a business that was built out of necessity and a love of the farming lifestyle.  Pat's father had a lifelong dream of purchasing his own land farming it, which he made come true in his 50's.  Pat and her family loved the lifestyle so much that they eventually moved out to her father's farm and built their own home on five acres that he had deeded to them.  Then, Pat farmed with her father on a daily basis until he suddenly passed from a stroke at the age of 75.

Her father's sudden passing left Pat and her husband with the farm and the question of what to do, not only with the farm but her with her father's house.  A lot of ideas were considered, and ultimately Pat followed her instincts and started a crafting retreat for women.  Her farm is on a beautiful setting in a very rural area, and it draws repeat customers from all around.  Rarely does Pat have any vacancies available on weekends.  From my count she only has 25 nights available in all of 2022!

Today, Pat has turned her father's home into a great getaway for women who love crafts.  And, it is also a very viable form of off-farm income.  At the same time that she is operating this business, she is exposing people to farming and teaching them about rural and agricultural living.  It is truly an inspirational story!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1335-Pat_Hanson-COMM_25_24-021322.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a replay that I think you will enjoy very much. It is the story of a remarkable young man who was injured and worked hard to not only come back fully healed but better than ever. He is giving back to the industry he was injured in as a volunteer fire fighter  all while serving as a missionary and running a custom haying operation with his brother. 

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1334_Recap_of_Episode_669-COMM_20_33_2.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's interview teaches us a lot of different lessons about entrepreneurship, and our guest is just 15 years old. Trever Montgomery has grown up loving to fish.  Years ago, he had the thought that he might one day make his own "soft plastic" fishing baits.  Like so many ideas, it came into his head, never left but got put on a back shelf somewhere waiting to be pulled off at some point in the future.

In 2020 Trever started high school, and with that he also started the FFA.  His advisor let him know that he would need to have a supervised agricultural experience and explained what the options were.  It was in that instance that he knew the time had come, and he was going to start making his own baits as an entrepreneurship SAE.

Trever started researching right away, and with in a couple of months he was creating his very own prototypes.  He first began by purchasing a bait making kit from one company and learning the process.  Soon, he knew how to make them, but he was noticing flaws.  So, he purchased a kit from another company.  He had the same experience again, seeing room for improvement in the baits that he produced with their recipe.  It was at this point that Trever started taking the aspects of one companies baits that he liked and combining it with the aspects of another's that he liked in order to make a bait that was superior to both of the originals.  TM Baits was born.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1333-Trever_Montgomery-COMM_6_58-022622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I really respect all of you that keep very tight calving windows and cull cows that fall outside of it.  That is some serious business discipline, and it is well beyond what I have in my own farm business.  My first potential due date for a calf was February 25th.  The first calf born on our place was on March 5th.  As of today, we have three calves on the ground, a bunch of cows that look like they will calve any day and morning after morning of no new calves.

There is no question in my mind that they are all settled and close to calving.  All the physical signs are showing themselves, but I am always amazed at how for some cows they will start showing but still take weeks to calve.  So, day after day, middle of the night check after middle of the night check, I wait for calves.

It seems like this time of year involves a lot of waiting. I've been waiting for it to warm up.  Now I am waiting for it to green up.  I am also waiting for it to start raining, which it is supposed to do this week.  And, I am waiting for the canals to get filled.  In April we will start having kids, and I will be waiting again.

In all honesty, it is a fun time of year.  I like the surprise of going out to feed in the morning and finding a new calf, and the pressure that is relieved each time another cow calves, takes to her calf and gets it up and going. I am always hoping for a 100% calf crop and 100% weaned crop.  Getting all the calves out and nursing is phase #1 of that.

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Direct download: OFI_1332_Tuesday_Episode_-_31422_3.46_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today is just finishing up his sophomore year of high school, but the progress he has made in building his cow herd since beginning it during his freshman year is phenomenal.  Stetson Shook is from a family with a deep farming background in Oklahoma and Kansas, going back to the Oklahoma Land Rush.  His grandparents still farm the family ground in Oklahoma about 45 minutes away from the farm that Stetson and his parents live on.

Stetson has always had a passion for farming and agriculture, and this led him to know that he would one day be an FFA member.  Then, at the end of his 8th grade year of school he was asked if he would be interested in becoming a Green Hand Officer, and he volunteered.  This really piqued his interest in the FFA, and early in his freshman year of high school his FFA advisors saw something in him and encouraged him to take up a cattle business for his supervised agricultural experience.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1331_Stetson_Shook-_COMM6_17-021022_1.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Protect your edible livestock, they could be taken for human consumption or entertainment…..

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.pahomepage.com/top-stories/store-owner-claims-men-wanted-to-feed-live-chicken-to-alligators-at-exotic-pet-shop/

https://patch.com/california/murrieta/sheriff-targets-rural-crime-anza-aguanga-approved-grant

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.farmweekly.com.au/story/7650584/missing-sheep-prompts-a-police-warning/

https://www.farminglife.com/country-and-farming/tractor-stolen-from-shed-police-are-appealing-for-information-3601425

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/crime/new-holland-tm165-tractor-stolen-from-shed-in-overnight-raid-3601433

Africa

https://www.myjoyonline.com/gunmen-on-motorbikes-kill-dozens-in-nigeria/

https://dailytrust.com/osun-man-making-pepper-soup-with-stolen-goat-arrested

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://thatsfarming.com/farming-news/stole-sheep-court/

https://www.siouxlandproud.com/news/local-news/2-iowa-men-arrested-for-farm-burglary-in-siouxland/

https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/sligo-farmer-assault-3-men-arrested-on-suspicion-of-burglary/

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Direct download: OFI_1330_Rural_Crime_-_31022_3.40_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Catherine Chmelka is an ag teacher and FFA advisor for the David City High School FFA Chapter in David City, Nebraska.  As part of her duties she teaches floriculture and agribusiness.  There was a time in her life that these courses were just necessary evils that she had to endure to move through the agricultural education that she was seeking, both in high school and college.  However, that eventually changed.

Catherine's exposure to floriculture awakened a passion in her, that she did not know existed.  She fell in love with both horticulture and floriculture and really got inspired to start putting together arrangements with her students that exceeded the bare minimums.  Eventually, people in her community noticed this and started hiring her to make arrangements for a couple of different funerals.  Catherine and her husband, Justin, also hired themselves by taking care of the flowers for their own wedding.

The attention they were getting and the exposure to entrepreneurship had both of them thinking about how they could continue to work this side business out of their home.  But then, the local flower/coffee shop in David City came for sale.  Catherine and Justin were thinking about purchasing it until they found out there was another buyer looking at it.  That changed everything, and they decided that they had to purchase it.  They wrapped up the purchase in June of 2020, changed the name to "402 Floral" and hit the ground running.

That was 18 months ago.  Today, when Catherine teaches her student both about floriculture and agribusiness, she is teaching the lessons that she learned in her own business, possibly just moments before coming to class.  She is also learning more and more about florists actually do, and she is bringing that real world experience into the classroom with her.  Enrollment in both her floriculture classes as well as her agribusiness classes has increased, but of course people know that she isn't just teaching these subjects, she is living them.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1329-Catherine_Chmelka-COMM_10_51-021022_1.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

In today's episode, I replay an interview I did with an extrodinary FFA student who started his own business and then went on to start another. Learn about Hadden Powell and his floral and landscape design business. 

Original Show Notes:

INTRODUCING HADDEN POWELL!

As you have heard me say many times, I really like it when things are efficient, they compliment each other and you see win/win situations.  In the case of today's guest and national star nominee in agribusiness, he has developed just such a business.

Hadden Powell started Powells And Company doing floral designs.  But this isn't the beginning of the story.  He first started out with his landscape design business.  As that business developed he realized that he had flowers growing that he should repurpose.  So, he started Powells and Company.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1328_Recap_Of_Episode_695-COMM_7_42-021422.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There is no question that if you make delicious cookies and cupcakes that you have the ingredients for a business.  Who can deny treats like that?  However, how does anyone ever find out that you have the ability to make these items and sell them?  Social media is one really capable platform to make this happen.

This is exactly what took place in the formation of Madi Springer's business, Madi's Cookies & Cupcakes.  Madi has been baking for years, and right around the beginning of her freshman year of high school she made some decorative cookies for her mom, and her mom promptly bragged about them on her Facebook page.  this led to another mom in their small community of Franklin, Illinois to contact Madi and see if she could bake four dozen pumpkin themed cookies for the high school cross country team.

Madi agreed and made the cookies.  Her first ever customer was very pleased and bragged about her on social media, and the orders started rolling in.  Today, just 1.5 years later, Madi is fulfilling 3-4 orders per week and turning away customers.  She is planning on becoming more efficient, improving her equipment and expanding her business to cakes as well as cookies and cupcakes.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1327_Madi_Springer-COMM_6_28-021922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update.  I wish it were a sunnier episode, but I found myself going down the rabbit hole of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the impending drought and shortened irrigation season in the West.

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Direct download: OFI_1326_Tuesday_Episode_-_3722_5.01_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is my final interview of a long list of very impressive national proficiency finalists and winners.  I couldn't think of a better or more inspirational interview to wrap this up with.  To begin, Ty Williams is a national proficiency winner in the category of "small animal care and production".  He has grown up on and lives on his families cattle ranch in Dawson, Texas, but he also has a passion for raising rabbits and what he believes they can do for the world.  He has a big vision, and it is no wonder why he was named as a national winner.

Ty is now a freshman at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, and he is studying to be an agriculture teacher.  I am excited for every student that he is going to mentor in his career because when you get him started talking about his passions in agriculture it is contagious!

Ty believes that rabbits could be one of the solutions to world hunger.  They are small, easy to raise, reproduce quickly and are an excellent source of high quality protein.  On a very small footprint, just like raising chickens, a person can raise rabbits and feed themselves, their family and quite possibly friends and neighbors. Ty travels all over the State of Texas showing rabbits and spreading this message.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1325_Ty_Williams-COMM_10_32-021322.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Somebody has to innovate us out of this frenzy of bee thefts

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1613887072084183/search/?q=cloverdale%20king%20road

https://www.miningjournal.net/life/2022/03/going-high-tech-to-save-the-crop-beekeepers-install-tracking-devices-to-protect-their-precious-hives/

https://www.wrtv.com/news/local-news/crime/indiana-farm-owner-arrested-after-28-dead-alpacas-found-on-property

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.lancashire.police.uk/farm-defender

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/baby-goat-stolen-in-a-backpack-under-cover-of-darkness-in-sinister-raid-in-dublin-41403363.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-60570272

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-60572625

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/19968509.burglars-jailed-pocklington-business-farm-raids/

https://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2022/03/pomeroy-man-charged-with-theft-at-tama-livestock-auction/

https://krcrtv.com/news/local/stolen-tractor-leads-to-major-pot-bust

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Direct download: OFI_1324_Rural_Crime_-_3422_5.50_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

When I think of Virginia, so many things spring to mind - history, green pastures, beef, mountains, rivers, etc., etc.  I also think of thunderstorms, humidity and lazy evenings beating the heat on a front porch.  I realize that so many of the images that come to mind for me are concoctions of things I have read in books, seen on television or looked at in paintings, but for today's guest I think it is all true.

Lorrie Barron and her husband, David, have been farming in Southern Virginia since they got married in 1982.  They love the agricultural lifestyle, and they will do what is necessary to continue it.  This includes offering a wide variety of entrepreneurial services to people in their community ranging from cake baking to sheet rocking to barn building t0 painting.  They also are very innovative in looking for ways to improve their farm through grants and new methods.  And, they are not afraid to be involved in multiple different aspects of agriculture to find niche markets and keep revenue flowing to the farm.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1323_Lorrie_Barron-COMM_13_42-020522.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today I bring to you a replay of an interview I did with an FFA member who is working hard to keep his 100-year family farm operating. They specialize in vegetable roadside stands. This is a fun interview you don't want to miss!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1322_Recap_Of_Episode_229-COMM_5_25-02142.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I can remember taking genetics in my senior year of college with my friends Tyler and Becky.  I had changed the emphasis on my animal science major a couple of times, and genetics was the last, really difficult class I was going to have to take in order to graduate.  All semester long I paid close attention to the lecture, took tons of notes and studied nightly to try and keep up.  Meanwhile, my friend Becky didn't take notes, sat there listening with a smile on her face and aced the class while I squeaked by with a C- and a 29% in the class.  Thank goodness for the curve!

My interview today features a National Proficiency Finalist from 2021.  Zach Schoelerman has grown up on my families ranch in Northern Iowa, and he has been working with cattle and sheep his entire life.  All of his family were in the FFA, and his father is a veterinarian.  As such, Zach has become very involved in the management of his own flock of Southdown Sheep, including artificially inseminating them.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1321_Zach_Schoelerman-COMM_BREAK_8_02-012722.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I was just looking at our month ending stats and am blown away by what all of you have done for us in helping to grow this show.  That got me thinking about how well this has been going, and that, of course, brought up thoughts about imposter syndrome and the upper limit challenge.  I want to revisit each of those obstacles to success in today's episode.  

Imposter Syndrome Explained: LINK

Upper Limit Challenge explained by Dan Miller: LINK

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Direct download: OFI_1320_Tuesday_Episode_-_22822_3.21_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

nly in the FFA will you find students who will go out and purchase themselves a bulldozer or a track hoe rather than a pickup when they turn sixteen.  It is part of what I love about interviewing these students.  These young men and women are so forward thinking and responsible that it makes me look back on my time in high school and blush with embarrassment.

This is exactly the story of Kale Campbell, who now runs his own business, Campbell Excavation, and was a National Proficiency Finalist in 2021.  He made that decision.  Actually, he purchased the track hoe instead of the pickup, and about three months later he purchased the bulldozer. Then he started his own excavation business under the umbrella of his father's business because he was still sixteen years old.  As soon as he turned eighteen and could qualify for the insurance needed to bid government excavation jobs, he went out on his own.  There is no wonder that the judges who heard his story pushed him right up to the level of national finalist!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1319_Clae_Campbell-COMM_BREAK_6_43-012722.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

When you find a leg on the walking path, take a good look at the foot.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.fox46.com/crime-and-public-safety/31-farm-animals-seized-woman-arrested-after-investigation-in-nc/

https://darik.news/connecticut/the-severed-leg-found-on-the-norwalk-river-valley-trail-was-that-of-a-pig/202202516214.html

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/two-quad-bikes-have-been-stolen-from-a-farm-in-west-calder-3584962

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/sarm-looking-for-more-rural-crime-watch-volunteers-1.5794281

https://www.manchesterpress.com/news/man-steals-purse-whiskey-from-manchester-farm/article_ff1fc573-4656-56cc-b846-98b06712bc00.html

https://www.shefnews.co.uk/2022/02/24/thieves-mocked-after-stealing-worlds-slowest-farm-van-from-beloved-sheffield-farm/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Virginia-sheriff-s-office-catches-suspect-after-16940344.php

https://www.wdsu.com/article/tangipahoa-parish-police-locate-stolen-pig-reunite-it-with-its-owner/39213882

https://www.abccolumbia.com/2022/02/24/lcsd-leesville-man-arrested-after-stolen-tractor-and-meth-are-found-at-his-home/

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Direct download: OFI_1318_Rural_Crime_Episode_-_22522_4.14_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

What is your definition of being a teacher, and how do you think it is possible to follow your passion for teaching?  This is an interesting profession as it seems to only have one definition and two outlets.  Definitionally teachers are in a classroom having one one one interactions with pupils and providing them with knowledge.  And the only two outlets seem to be in conventional public schools or in lesser paying roles as private school teachers.  Somehow, the education system has been able to really own that term of "teacher" and keep the definition narrow.

Where does that narrow definition leave the rest of us who want to impart wisdom and information but don't want to conform to the two outlets and definition described above?  What if we want a different lifestyle or a different income than is provided in those traditional roles?  How do we go about that?

The answer is to define what it means to be an educator on your own terms and then come up with a way to make that into your career.  This is exactly what our guest, Heather Cassill, has done with Kids Sonder Agriculture Unboxed.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1317-Heather_Cassell-COMM_19_25-022522.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today, Chris Dible, was a National Proficiency Finalist in 2021, and it is not hard to figure out why.  He understands all the inner workings of his families farm and has a passion for what he does there.  As he was telling me his story, there was an irony that really made me chuckle.  Chris was not allowed to drive tractor on his own until he about 13 years old.  His dad and uncles restrained him from that until they were certain that he was ready as they needed to protect the large, capital investments they had in their equipment.

About one year after Chris was finally allowed to start driving some of the smaller tractors on his own, his dad and uncles purchased a brand new tractor for around $200K, and it came with a ton of technology including full auto-steer and GPS.  Even after 8 hours with the dealership representative instructing them on how to use the technology they didn't get it.  Once he left, Chris climbed into the tractor and the owners manuals and started figuring out how to operate their very most expensive piece of equipment.  It wasn't long until the kid that was only recently allowed to operate the smaller tractors became the only one on the farm that could operate the newest tractor!  I found that comically ironic!

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1315_Chris_Dible-REVISED-COMM_BREAK13_19-012522.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 11:15am MDT

The main theme in today's show is that in order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to put in time and work. You have to be dedicated to providing a good product and sometimes your expertise is your product. This interview is worth a replay.

 


The news broke last week.  Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is coming to Kuna.  This news has serious implications for Autumm and my future as well as the future of our farming endeavors.  There are some pretty obvious implications as to what this will mean for the community of Kuna as well, and today's farm update is all about trying to farm on the rural/urban interface and in a rapidly developing area.

https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/growing-idaho/meta-pay-50-million-kuna-sewer-addition/277-a1682c1e-b0d2-483d-86a3-113cf922fb24

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Direct download: OFI_1314_Tuesday_Episode_-_22122_3.36_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Kylie was a National Proficiency Finalist in 2021 in the category of Fiber & Oil Crop Production.  There is no question why the judges thought she belonged in that top four after hearing her story.  Kylie has been riding around with her parents in the cab of tractors and combines since she was very little.  As she grew up she started getting responsibilities of her own like routine maintenance on equipment, sweeping up, etc.  This progressed to helping with planting, doing some field work and driving some equipment.

Kylie always had her eye on one goal though - driving the combine.  She has known this is where she belonged since she was that little kid riding in the cab with her parents.  As it turned out, when she was coming of age her parents purchased a second combine and needed a driver.  Her older brother was living and working in Oklahoma, so he was out.  That left Kylie's older sister, who had been pulling the grain cart for several years.  However, she enjoyed that particular tractor and that job, so she ceded the role of combine driver to Kylie, and she found her self in the cab by herself for the first time ever.

Today, Kylie is studying agricultural education and agronomy at Kansas State University.  She is still determining what her future career will be.  However, when you talk with her the love of farming comes shining through, and there is no doubt what the judges saw that led her to being a finalist.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1313-Kylie_March-COMM_BREAK_8_28_TO_8_30-012122.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Report anything suspicious you see in orchards or anywhere else that bees are going to work

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.ourvalleyvoice.com/2022/02/17/bee-thefts-mount-as-the-pollination-season-intensifies/

Crime Scene Training - https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/fourth-person-charged-in-beating-death-of-man-found-in-culvert

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/how-can-we-stop-these-people-rider-targeted-for-a-second-time-in-latest-show-tack-theft-777601

https://www.northwaleschronicle.co.uk/news/19927735.fatal-dog-attack-injuries-sustained-pregnant-sheep-gwynedd/

BOL - https://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk/news/farm-buildings-a-target-for-crime-9240438/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/19932490.men-convicted-investigation-rural-theft/

https://www.newscenter1.tv/pursuit-standoff-ends-in-multiple-arrests-in-pennington-county/

https://www.newsweek.com/credit-union-ceo-bought-pig-farm-stolen-millions-fbi-1680416

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Direct download: OFI_1312_Rural_Crime_-_21822_3.41_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There are a lot of different directions I could go with today's interview.  As a matter of fact, there are a lot of different directions that I did go with today's interview.  Gabrielle (Gabby) Crumley was originally booked on the show to talk about how she started an agricultural marketing company and how she uses that to support her agricultural lifestyle.  However, her story is even more compelling than that, and I found myself caught up in the entirety of it.

Gabby and her husband, Chad, actually did not grow up raising cattle.  However, they both were part of the horse world in small communities surrounding Portland, Oregon.  Gabby got exposed to cattle ranching and livestock by visiting relatives in the eastern part of her state as a kid, and this led her to choose to major in agriculture in college.  She chose to attend college in Eastern Oregon, away from the rainy climate that the western part of the state holds.  Ultimately, she and Chad met, dated for about three years and were married.  They leased some ground in the mountains outside of LaGrande, Oregon and started a cattle herd.

During this same time Gabby had developed her own marketing business.  This had never been her intention, but a college professor saw that she had a special talent for social media marketing and encouraged her to pursue that.  This led to Gabby developing her first, paid customers, and like it is for so many entrepreneurs, this got her hooked.

This business also allowed her to live wherever she wanted because the business is not geographically restricted.  When she and Chad decided that they wanted to pursue ranching as a lifelong pursuit, this meant purchasing their own place.  As they studied what was available throughout the country they decided on an area of Wyoming near Cody and started looking.  Ultimately, they found their spot, bought their very own ranch and made the big move about a year ago.

What Gabby has done is very inspirational, and it is a clear blueprint for so many of us that would like to follow in she and Chad's footsteps.  Her story also proves a lot of the concepts that we talk about on this show, and that was a thrill for me.

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1311-Gabrielle_Crumley-COMM_BREAK_21_01-012922.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A replay today of a special lady that reached out to me using a social media resource. She is from Europe and has a unique story to tell on how she developed her marketing company while creating her own niche for selling farm goods. She talks about how she did and is doing in today's interview. 

 


National Proficiency Winner, Tad Nelson.  Tad's story began in the 6th grade, but it has a twist.  He started his lawn and landscape business with his best friend, and they stayed friends and business partners throughout the entire run of the business until they recently sold it.  And, they are not related but had the same last name.  So, it was easy to name the business, "Nelson Mow & Trim".

Tad and his buddy Brigham got really serious about this business in the 8th Grade, after they had had two years of experience under their belt.  They took out a loan, purchased a used but very high quality Walker Mower and started marketing their business more aggressively.  Soon, they were hiring employees, doing jobs in nearby cities that were much bigger than their hometown and really learning about business.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1309_Tad_Nelson-COMM_BREAK_11_50_TO_11_52-011922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Last Tuesday I touched on today's topic just briefly.  I told you about a conversation that I had with a gentleman who asked me what I was seeing?  Were people clinging to the old ways or abandoning them all together.  I told him that the folks I had been talking to were doing a combination of the two, but that made sense because they tend to stand out and draw my attention.

I've been thinking more about that conversation and wanted to touch on some of the practices and mindsets of my elder mentors that I want to hold onto and that I want to give up.  I'll share those with you today.  Below is a list:

Hold On To Do Differently
Work Ethic Recharge Your Batteries
Frugality Scarcity Mindset
Self-Reliance Outsource
Perseverance Diversifying as a hedge
Focus Multiple streams of income
Create off-farm Income Use entrepreneurship
   
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Direct download: OFI_1308_Tuesday_Episode_-_21422_3.14_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Porter Hanson has grown up on a 50 acre hay farm in Rigby, Idaho.  He describes the farm as a hobby of his father's, but as we all know, these types of hobbies can take a lot of your time.  Porter's dad works at the Idaho National Laboratory.  That is a nuclear research facility located about 60 miles from their farm.  The lab has always been located way out in the Idaho desert because of the work they do.  This way, they are far from population centers, which serves a couple of purposes for the research. However, the employees don't want to live way out there, so they ride a bus to work every day and endure the long commute so their families can live in more populated communities.

During Porter's sophomore year of high school he saw the toll that the long days of work and commuting, followed by moving sprinkler pipe on the farm were taking on his dad.  So, he came up with a plan.  Porter offered to take over and run the farm so that his dad didn't have to go to work when he got home from work.  They came up with a 50/50 crop share agreement, and Porter got busy.  He took charge of every aspect from irrigation to swathing to fertilizing to marketing to delivery.  And, he grew their sales.

Today, getting all their hay sold is never a problem, and Porter has learned a ton.  It is no wonder that he made that final stage at the National Convention in 2021!


A couple weeks ago during our rural crime episode I reported on the theft of saddles and other tack at a horse competition in the U.K.  Contained in that article was the story of the saddle owners, Ibi Whatley, who was angered enough by the theft to take action.  She had started a Facebook Group called "Stolen Saddles U.K." and it had gained a lot of attention in a short amount of time.  

I knew that there must be more to the story, so I reached out to Ibi and asked her to be a guest on the show.  Today she answers all of my questions about what happened, who she suspects took the tack and where it is now.  Plus, we find out some very useful information about locks and how what we think is secure might not be.  I think this will be an important episode for anyone, no matter which continent you find yourself on.

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Direct download: Ibi_Whatley_Episode_1306_-_21022_2.11_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today is got a lot of energy, a very curious spirit and is getting absolutely everything out of life that she can.  Millie Musgrave married a rancher when she was 42 years old and got introduced to the agricultural way of life.  For the past 15 years she has been embracing this life wholeheartedly.  After speaking with her, this is no surprise.  Millie is the type of person what wants to do everything and who spends all of her time pursuing what she wants to do.  I love her philosophy about this.  She likes to combine that pursuit of life with her work, so she has purposefully chosen a career and multiple side hustles that are fun and bring her great satisfaction.

Millie currently works full-time, in town, as the recreation coordinator for a senior living home.  In addition to that she is involved in two, multi-level marketing companies, Senegence and Juice Plus.  She also makes her own soap from rendering the fat of their own livestock as well as from goat milk soap that she purchases.  She sells and exhibits her soaps at craft shows on weekends.

Millie is the type of person that really jumps into whatever task she is working.  She had no experience working with livestock before marrying her husband, and she said that prior to moving to the farm she was the type of person who didn't like to touch raw meat, even when cooking.  However, she quickly adapted, learned to drive farm equipment and work with livestock, and when they butchered a hog on the farm she learned how to process the animal.  It was this curiosity that led her into soap making.  She wanted to make full use of the entire hog, so she taught herself how to render the fat and make soap out of it.

She prides herself on the question "what would a pioneer woman do", whenever she is stumped.  And between this innovative spirit and the help of YouTube she has been able to figure things out, and is positioning herself to always have an activity to do and an income to support she and her family.

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1305-Millie_Musgraves_COMM_BREAK_15_55-012622.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today's episode features a unique story of a previous show I did featuring an FFA member who not only immigrated to the United States, but had a family that saw his natural desire to want to be involved in the agriculture industry and purchased a farm just for him. 


Our guest today is the 2021 National Proficiency Winner in Equine Entrepreneurship, and after listening to this interview it will be clear why she was selected.

Raley Downing has been riding horses since before she can remember and barrel racing since she was four years old.  Horses, cattle and agriculture have always been a part of her life. While she was in the 7th Grade, already showing great ability to train horses, her older brother had a horse he didn't like.  He gave that horse to Raley to see if she could make something of it, and she did.  She recognized that the horse did not have the cow ability that her brother was looking for, but that it could be a good horse for barrel racing.  She trained it, sold it, paid her brother back for his costs and made a profit.  A business was born.


For the past several weeks I have been giving you updates on a welding class that I have been taking through our local community college.  I just completed the class this previous Saturday.  The class was just a basic, learn to weld course.  There was no grade and no college credits or certifications received.  I had been thinking about taking this course for a couple of years and finally resolved myself to do it this year.

I was reflecting on the course yesterday and something occurred to me.  I am 48 years old, and finally learned to weld.  Why it took me this long, I don't know.  I've talked about the fact that I grew up in the very small town of Valley Home, California several times.  All of the men in Valley Home were blue collar.  Probably 9 out of ten men where I grew up knew how to weld.

When I was about seven years old my father and one of his lifelong friends started a well drilling company, appropriately called "Valley Home Drilling".  It was during this time that I remember my father welding in his shop at our house, although I don't know if he was repairing parts for the drill rigs or doing something different.  I know that he was a stick welder and he was also a gas welder as I remember watching strike the yellow flame at the end of the nozzle and then dial up the oxygen to bring the flame down to a short, sharp and precise, blue flame.  I can remember sneaking into the shop and trying to use his welding helmet as some sort of toy, but it was always too dark to really use.

Our Valley Home neighbor, Fred, welded and farmed, and many of his creations still stand today.  He had a shop on his lot in town, and many an evening you could see the familiar flashes of the arc he was creating and hear the sound of "frying bacon" coming from within his shop.  My friend, Danny's, dad did auto body work in his shop on the north side of town, and he was always welding there when I would visit.  My step father welded, and my step brother, Rick, was a professional welder when he first became my step-brother.  There was always a welder in the shop on my step father's small farm, but I never asked to be taught.

Even with the environment I grew up in, and all the influences around me, I never learned.  When I went through high school I definitely could have learned to weld in shop classes, but I never took any.  My dad had moved into Modesto and the well drilling company had failed years before, but his welding equipment was in the garage at the new house.  However, I don't recall ever seeing him do any welding other than when we all lived together in Valley Home.  I certainly could have asked him to teach me himself, but I never did so.

I have no explanation for why I never asked anyone to teach me to weld.  I learned about working with wood and using power saws from my dad, and I asked him to show me.  I asked my step father to show me how to change the oil in my car, how to swap out the alternator and how to do many other things in my vehicle and I learned.  But for some reason I never pursued welding.

With all of that background, I always knew that I should learn to weld but just never seemed to make time for this until I was 48 years of age.  Autumm and I have owned our own farm for 10.5 years now, and during that time there definitely have been projects that I needed to complete that required welding or repairs that needed to be done that required welding.  Every time these came up I either hired this done or asked a friend with the equipment and know how for a favor.  That has always been a little bit embarrassing to me.  Not knowing how to weld is not a revocation of one's man card, but owning your own farm and equipment and not knowing how to repair it borders on the inefficient.

I tell you all of this to explain the title of today's show.  All of us have a metaphorical closet in our minds.  We have a set amount of space to contain the things that we know we need to do or that we want to do at some point in the future.  Anytime you or somebody else uses the phrase, "it has been in the back of my mind" think of this closet.  The "back of the mind" is the term for the closet where we have been storing the things that we need to get done.

The "back of the mind" is a confined space with only so much room.  So, the more that you put off or say that you will get done on some day in the future, the more you clutter it up.  The more you clutter it up, the less room there is for big goals like starting a farm or beginning a business.  And the more clutter there is, the less able you will be to map out the small steps you need to take to reach the really big goals.  There will just be too much stuff laying around to distract you.

When I finished that welding class on Saturday, I made a bunch of room in the "back of my mind".  It turns out that knowing that I should learn to weld had been taking up a lot of space in there, and for decades now, anytime something needed to be welded, I knew that it was sitting in there.

By being proactive and forcing myself to finally learn this skill, I accessed a new part of the brain.  It is the part where I store knowledge, not where I store ideas, things I need to do and abstract thoughts.  I was able to take all of those cubic feet that the welding was taking up and move it to the shelf of knowledge, allowing me to put new ideas in the closet to finally be pulled out when I am ready.  This is the key to being creative and achieving lifelong goals.  You've got to keep things tidy up there so you have the time and focus to accomplish large and complex goals.

What is cluttering up your closet, and when are you going to clean it out?

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Direct download: OFI_1302_Tuesday_Episode_-_2722_2.46_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There is no doubt that the most successful people are the most proactive people.  One way or another proactive people find a way to learn a new skill, start a new business or get connected to new people.  No matter how they exhibit their "proactivity" they all have one thing in common....they go get it and don't wait for it to come to them.  Every proactive person knows that if you wait for whatever it is to come to you, it is coming to everyone else at the same time, and that is not a way to get ahead.

Our guest today exhibits these proactive tendencies.  Casyn Larman is just a sophomore in high school, but he has already accomplished a lot.  I first noticed this when he emailed me, requesting to come on the show.  I soon found out that he is already serving as his chapter's reporter, and his coverage of chapter events and accomplishments of fellow members have resulted in him being published in multiple places, including the High Plains Journal.


Tip Of The Week

Review of “Pig”

Be careful with social media: https://www.northernfarmer.co.uk/news/19889872.ex-burglars-reveal-common-social-media-posts-used-break-ins/

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/crimeandjustice/oregon-lawmakers-take-aim-at-explosion-of-illegal-pot-farms/article_d7dfb6db-609a-5d68-b397-9760421a88d9.html

https://www.pahomepage.com/news/child-charged-with-stealing-chickens-bunnies-from-central-pa-farm/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.rugbyobserver.co.uk/news/dangerous-gang-of-caravan-thieves-targeting-rural-areas/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/farmer-robert-hooper-court-tractor-b2006765.html

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/man-accused-of-rustling-200-cattle-but-those-steaks-will-be-costly-texas-officials-say-the-charlotte-observer-2

https://www.raccoonvalleyradio.com/2022/01/31/churdan-man-arrested-for-allegedly-stealing-grain/

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Direct download: OFI_1300_Rural_Crime_Episode_-_2422_4.27_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Jay and Amber Desimone own and operate 840Farm in Waxahacie, Texas.  They specialize in raising pastured, Mangalitsa pork for customers in the Dallas area.  They do quite a bit of value adding, such as producing salami, and they have a rapidly growing business.  As a matter of fact, during Covid, Jay's job was eliminated, but he hasn't looked back.  He has been full-time on their farm since late in 2020, and it has been an awakening.  He states that if he ever does go back to working for an employer it will be in the trades and not back into the corporate world that he came from.

For the bulk of Jay and Amber's lives together they have lived in the city and lived that corporate life.  However, as they were raising their two boys, River and Canyon, in the city and experiencing police activity and the hustle and bustle of the city they decided to look for something different.  Amber had grown up on a farm in the Panhandle of Texas, and that was definitely the direction she wanted to move. Find out how their timing was just right in as Covid lockdowns came shortly after their move. 


Baxter Black has amazing legacy of entertaining people while telling the story of agriculture and ranching life in his cowboy poetry. Today, I bring you a replay of an interview I did with Baxter a few years ago talking about his is business journey and his key to success.


My guest today loves farming.  As a matter of fact, even though he has only recently graduated from high school, he has loved farming for a long time already.  Connor Keithley grew up farming with his family in Missouri on a farm operation that began in the mid-1940's as a hog operation.  Sometimes in the 1990's they switched from hogs to row crops, and they have been expanding ever since with both purchased and leased ground.  Today, they are farming 10,000 acres, and Connor is an integral part of that.

Even with that size of an operation, something was tugging at Connor to start his own operation.  All the way back in middle school, he decided to pursue this and he invested the money he had saved by working for other farmers and leased 30 acres to start farming.  He still had money left over for inputs, and he began his own operation farming corn, wheat and soybeans.  He has continued to grow this ever since, and he even started raising some pigs as a fair project and liked it enough that he is continuing that to this day.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1297_Connor_Keithley-122621.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Welcome to February everyone.  A large percentage of our country will be getting started on the 2022 growing season this month.  Of course this varies from region to region and zone to zone.  Last Friday Hattie and I went out to Melba, Idaho for one of the best burgers you can find in Idaho at Cook's 2-Hole Bar.  We were driving Autumm's 1997 Jeep Wrangler, so we decided to off road a little bit.  There is a route you can take that takes you through the BLM land for a few miles.

On our route we were driving past the range cattle that eke out their living in the winter out on this barren, wind swept plateau that offers some dormant grass and forage from last summer.  Right as we were getting back to pavement we saw a cow near the water tanks with a calf that was just a day or two old.  It reminded me that the most legit of legit ranchers that we have here in Idaho run cattle on these rangelands all year round, and they start calving now in an effort to get those weaning weights up when they ship in the fall.

For us, here in Idaho, the next season begins with the earliest calves that come in January and February.  Soon to follow will be ground preparation, input purchases and before you know it, planting.  There are some parts of the U.S. that are way ahead of us, and there are other parts that will be a month behind us.

I think that true down time anymore is a myth, but if there is any downtime it certainly ends with the end of January.  Your plans for the next growing season should be made, and you should be getting things into place right now for the rush that is coming.  For me, I am marketing, contracting out cattle and pigs and procuring next winter's feed at this time of year.  Here in Southwest Idaho we are almost there.  Our high and low temperatures are about to get a little bit higher, our days are about to get noticeably longer and it won't be long until we have water in the canal out back.  We are just about to put this winter behind us.

Before I sign off for today's Tuesday episode I want to give you all an update on a very early guest on this show.  Baxter Black, the cowboy poet and veterinarian, was a very early guest on the Off-Farm Income Podcast.  He appeared on episode #16.  I thought it was really early in my podcasting career to request an interview with somebody like Baxter, but I did it anyway.  To my thrill and surprise he came on the show.  I am going to replay that episode on our Thursday episode this week.

I just read yesterday that Baxter is dealing with some health problems, and he has stopped writing his columns and doing the work that he loves to do so much.  I also read an article, quoting his son-in-law, stating that he was on a modified hospice treatment with a home health professional coming to check on on him a couple times per week at his home.

Baxter is a great cowboy, agricultural advocate, a true gentleman and a very generous celebrity.  I hope you will all keep him in your prayers and go watch some of his videos on Youtube or read some of his writings.  I've made it easy for you as I've put my favorite video of him up in the show notes on today's episode.  This was an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson when he recited this poem.  It is true genius and hilarious, and I hope you will check it out.

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1296_Tuesday_Episode_-_13122_5.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our guest today was a National Proficiency Finalist in the category of Fruit Production in 2021.  Jacob Hinton has a deep farming and FFA legacy in his family.  However, his parents did not start the farm that he has been growing up on until 2006.  They had a vision, and Jacob has been able to grow up working on that farm and helping that vision to come to fruition (pun intended).

Hinton's Orchard is where Jacob calls home.  And on this farm he tends to flower gardens, fruit trees, a corn maze and a pumpkin patch.  He also gives hay rides, and manages much of the agritoursim and apple sales that take place in the fall.  Jacob is learning a ton at his own home.  Everything from crop production, pest control and customer service are available for him to learn.  And, this cornucopia of experience led him to Indianapolis last October as a National Proficiency Finalist.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1295_JacobHinton_REVISED-BREAK_AT_7_13-012522.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Watch Pig on Amazon Prime or Hulu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_(2021_film)

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.wilx.com/2022/01/26/napoleon-township-business-has-22-cattle-stolen-by-suspected-fraud-ohio/

https://wgno.com/news/crime/louisiana-men-arrested-for-theft-of-livestock-in-st-landry-parish/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

BOL - https://thatsfarming.com/farming-news/theft-of-13-cattle/

https://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/attempted-helicopter-theft-with-a-failed-tractor-getaway-691.aspx

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/unwelcome-blight-countryside-warning-rural-050000525.html

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.12newsnow.com/article/news/crime/man-sentenced-to-9-years-in-prison-after-pleading-guilty-to-2020-robbery-of-elderly-man/502-105a0532-7de8-4a40-8fe9-76d07e4ac2e4

https://www.ktlo.com/2022/01/26/over-400000-in-stolen-items-recovered-in-northern-ark/

https://www.wjle.com/news/another-arrest-made-in-december-burglary-and-theft-investigation/

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1294_Rural_Crime_Episode_-_12822_3.46_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I really enjoy profiling photographers on this show.  Whether they are photographing landscapes, making stock images, shooting livestock photos or capturing people it is a fascinating business that can be done from anywhere.

Our guest today, Pam Shrewsbury, happens to be a photographer that specializes in capturing people.  Pam grew up in the city, coming out to the rural community that she now calls home as a teenager to visit cousin.  It was through these relatives that she met her now husband, Scott, who is a lifelong farmer growing corn and beans and doing some custom feeding of hogs and cattle.

One of the parts of Pam's story that really stood out to me was as she recalled her childhood taking trips to Canada with her family and going fishing with her father.  She said that she always had a camera in her hand.  I like that image.  That is the image of a person with a passion, a natural talent that is just sitting there, waiting to be turned into a business.  Not all of us, me included, have that kind of passion or natural talent, but when I get to speak with somebody who does it is always a thrill.

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1293-Pam_Shrewsbury-COMM_BREAK_12_53_TO_12_54.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

If you need some tips on taking your photography skills and turning them into a business, then this show if for you. Learn about how to find your place in the industry and other tips to make you successful in starting and running a photography business in today's show replay with Todd Klassy