Off-Farm Income

On this show, I have said that work is not the enemy, the wrong job is the enemy, on multiple occasions.  Today's guest, Lila Wantland, probably summed that statement up better than I have ever done in our interview.  This is one thing I love about interviewing FFA students.  They learn, early on, that work can be fun and it is all just a matter of finding the right work for them.

Lila has grown up on her families dairy farm in Missouri, and she had fully embraced that life.  She milks cattle every day, and being a 99% family run operation, she has invested herself in every other aspect of the farm from the good to the bad.  She is particularly fond of taking care of the bottle calves but dreads when it is time to cull a long serving cow.

Her family primarily milks Holstein cattle on their dairy, but over the years she became interested in other breeds of dairy cattle.  So, she found herself purchasing her own Guernsey, Jersey and Brown Swiss cows and putting them into the milking herd.  Lila finds herself very interested in all the different breeds as well as the different personalities that each of them has.

In our interview I asked Lila if she was interested in returning to her families dairy at some point in the future.  While she is heading off to get an animal science degree at Oklahoma State University next year, returning to the dairy is not what she sees in her future.  I really admired this in her answer, as she has already figured out that even though the family dairy is the basis of her love for livestock and farming, she needs to find the path that she is meant to be on to find satisfaction in her daily work.


HIGH SCHOOL: Niangua High School; Niangua, Missouri

MASCOT: Cardinals

FFA ADVISOR: Cody Starnes


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

Lila's FFA Advisor's Email Address:

NianguaHigh School Telephone Number: (417)473-6101


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_1393_Lila_Wantland-COMM_8_43-051622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT