Off-Farm Income

I've said it before, and I will say it again - I really enjoy interviewing FFA student entrepreneurs because they are not encumbered by fear and other responsibilities that frequently stop adults like myself from exploring business ideas.  With this fear being absent, these students go try ideas, and in many cases they discover businesses that work and are replicable by adults.  In this way, these high school students are actually the leaders for adults, if adults are willing to look at what they have done and follow the example.

My guest today, Ethan Kneisler, is a perfect example of this.  Ethan is just finishing up his junior year of high school and lives in a farming community in Kansas.  He and his father came up with the idea of him starting a bale wrapping business in their area because they saw problems that they could solve on their own farm with this practice and then saw that others in their community had the same problems.  Namely, the need to produce more forage on a small acreage that would allow for the feeding of all the farm's livestock.  This led them to experimenting with different forage crops and balage, and it has worked out very well.

Ethan is just going into his second season of operating "Jimmy's Custom Wrapping".  Through this business he is convincing people in his area of the ability to raise different forage crops and to have them wrapped.  There are a lot of positives to this method, and Ethan is making it pay for his customers.

In listening to the arguments that Ethan has to overcome when convincing farmers to give this a try, I can hear a lot of reasons that an adult, with more to lose than Ethan, might dismiss this business and not start.  However, if an adult is willing to look at the example being set by a high school student like Ethan and trust what they are seeing, they can identify a very viable business idea for the region in which they live!


HIGH SCHOOL: Lyndon High School; Lyndon, Kansas

MASCOT: Tigers

FFA ADVISOR: Tim Kilgore


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

Ethan's FFA Advisor's Email Address: 

Lyndon High School Telephone Number: 785-828-4413


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_1391_Ethan_Kneisler-COMM_1312-051422.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT