Off-Farm Income

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!


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

MASCOT: Patriots



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

Caden's FFA Advisor's Email Address:

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


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.


  • 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