Off-Farm Income


Buckle up to learn something new in this episode.  I sure know that I did when I was conducting the interview!

Samuel Jimenez has just graduated high school, and he has just been awarded a California State Proficiency Award in Specialty Animal Production Placement.  How you ask?  By raising thousands of Koi Fish in his families business in Madera, California.

Sam's parents have a business called Mad Town Koi Fish, and she sell Koi all over the world.  In addition to the production of fish they produce a high quality manure/fertilizer for their business partner's pistachio orchard with the waste of the Koi.  Sam has been learning this business inside and out over the years, and now when a buyer is at the farm to purchase fish it is Sam who takes out the nets and catches the fish for sale.

During our interview Sam told me about a type of Koi called a "Tancho".  This is a very rare and very desirable pattern on the body of the Koi that results with a red circle on its forehead.  While Same told me that Koi will sell for $5-$7 per typical fish, a Tancho can sell for up to $25,000!  This fish business is very much like other livestock businesses.  They even have a breed organization and they compete in shows for the grand champion Koi.

I learned a ton in this interview, and you will too!


HIGH SCHOOL: Madera South High School; Madera, California

MASCOT: Stallions



Click on the picture below to be taken to the Madera South High School Ag. Department's website:

Sam's FFA Advisor's Email Address:

Madera South High School Telephone Number:  559-675-4450


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_1403_Sam_Jimenez-COMM_9_20-052822.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT