Off-Farm Income

Tomorrow I am profiling a young lady that has dove into the feed business in a huge way.  As a great lead in to that interview, I chose to replay this powerful interview with Sandy Hansen-Wolff about the challenges she faced and the things she overcame in establishing her own feed and see business.

The original show notes can be found below.

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Our guest today was thrust into the world of agribusiness in a situation that she would have never chosen. However 16 years after this happened she finds herself running a successful feed and seed business, feeling innovative as an entrepreneur and realizes that although she never realized it, she had entrepreneurial tendencies even as a child.

Sandy Hansen-Wolff is the owner of AgVenture Feed & Seed.  She found herself with this business at the age of 30 after her husband passed away.  Sandy did not know a lot about the business when this happened and found herself with the responsibility for making it solvent before selling it could even be considered.  However the sale never came as she discovered that running this business was rewarding and fulfilling.

Today, Sandy has the business and she is a sought after speaker, coach and entrepreneur.  She gets to spread her message of entrepreneurship all over the country and has a very inspirational story to tell.  We were lucky enough to have her tell her story on this episode.

ADVICE FROM SANDY:

MENTORS: Sandy says "go get some mentors" and start learning from other people who have been where you want to go.

LOVE: Love of your passion is not enough.  Working in your business is fun for every entrepreneur.  You need to learn to love working on your business, such as doing the book work, budgets, etc.

NEGOTIATE: Do not be afraid to negotiate well and get the price that your products or services are worth.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE SANDY HAS EVER RECEIVED:

LISTEN: Listen to others.  Do not just dismiss someone as a critic because they are saying something critical about your business.  Maybe they know something and you should make a change.

PERSONAL HABIT:

FITNESS: Sandy wasn't always fit, but she is now.  She exercises, watches what she eats and meditates (kind of) every day.  She knows that if she does not feel good physically and feel good about herself, she will not be able to lead, innovate and inspire.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS: 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: LINK

Website: LINK

Facebook Page: LINK

Telephone: 320-764-9910

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I've done two interviews with students from New Hampshire in the history of the show, and today is #2.  What a fascinatingly different way of life then I am used to in the West!

Our guest today is a lobster fisherman.  Ella Byrne has grown up in the lobster industry with an entrepreneurial father who is a self-taught lobsterman and also has a maple syrup business on land.  Ella has been fishing lobster for some time now, and in the interview she tells the story of how a business pivot, caused by Covid, stuck and why she is continuing it.  The business that was born out of that pivot is F/V Sugar Daddy Lobsters, and Ella now uses social media and a home tank to tell fresh lobster right from her house.

Ella has big dreams, and she is still figuring out the direction that her life is going to take.  However, she is positive that it includes coming to the West in the very near future to work on a "dude ranch".  She has never been to the West before, but she wants to see the mountains, the farms and the wide open spaces.  We are all out here, waiting for her arrival!  Until then, you will find Ella on the Atlantic Ocean, setting traps and bringing them back up, providing the most succulent creatures from the sea for the rest of us to enjoy!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Lobster Fishing

HIGH SCHOOL: Exeter High School; Exeter, New Hampshire

MASCOT: Blue Hawks

FFA ADVISOR: Anne Demarco

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ELLA BYRNE:

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

Ella's FFA Advisor's Email Address: ademarco@sau16.org 

Exeter High School Telephone Number: 603-395-2400

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_1423_Ella_Byrne-COMM_13_29-062022.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Have you ever heard of "peecycling"?  Apparently it is a thing, and today let's talk about it.  With these fertilizer prices, anything is worth considering!

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Direct download: OFI_1422_Tuesday_Episode_-_62122_4.18_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Holden Nuhn first appeared on the Off-Farm Income Podcast back in 2019 when he was a 9th grader on episode #623.  This was before Covid, and we had no idea what was coming!  Back then I was so impressed with his "could-do" attitude, and how he had found a way to show dairy animals even though he didn't have any of his own.

On Today's episode, Holden is back!  We are going to be catching up on what he has been doing in the FFA for the past four years.  I'll give you a hint - he really got involved with supervised agricultural experiences!  And, he is now restoring his third tractor and finding great success with this endeavor.

Below are the original show notes from my interview with Holden back in 2019.

Show Notes

Hosting this show always gives me the opportunity to interview people who find a way to make things happen.  Whether it be my adult or student guests, I am always lucky enough to speak with people who have a "can do" attitude.

That is really what stood out to me in today's interview with Holden Nuhn.  Holden actually started buying and raising dairy feeder calves when he was in the 3rd grade.  By the time he was in the 6th grade he decided that he wanted to start showing dairy heifers.  However, he did not have the facilities or herd to do that.  But, he did not allow that stop him.

Holden made a connection with a local dairy farmer and worked out an agreement in which he could lease a heifer to show.  They have a great agreement, which he talks about in the show, where they both benefit.  It is truly a great example of a situation in which both parties win.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Dairy Production & Tractor Restoration

HIGH SCHOOL: Western Reserve High School; Collins, Ohio

MASCOT: Rough Riders

FFA ADVISOR: Mark Starkey

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR HOLDEN NUHN:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Western Reserve High School Website:

Holden's FFA Advisor's Email Address: mstarkey@western-reserve.org

Western Reserve High School Telephone Number: (419) 660.8508

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_1421-Holden_Nuhn-COMM_5_18-061622.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Steel, Copper & Fuel are all expensive - guard anything of value right now.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.salina.com/story/news/2022/06/15/salina-grain-elevator-sees-theft-over-30-k-copper-wire/7610694001/

https://www.wbko.com/2022/06/15/ohio-county-sheriffs-office-searching-stolen-vintage-plow/

https://www.14news.com/2022/06/14/mpd-looking-stolen-skid-steer-belonging-pollard-sons-excavating/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40897088.html

https://m.farms.com/ag-industry-news/top-prairie-and-national-stories-from-the-first-half-of-2022/

Africa

https://saharareporters.com/2022/06/15/police-arrest-87-suspected-boko-haram-terrorists-kidnappers-others-north-east-nigeria

https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/eastern/2022-06-13-bandits-kill-herder-steal-over-60-cattle-in-marsabit/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.hawaiipolice.com/6-13-22-police-arrest-and-charge-three-in-agricultural-theft-investigation

https://www.outtherecolorado.com/news/trailhead-theft-suspects-face-22-charges-in-colorado-after-arrest-including-multiple-felonies/article_1ed09124-e8e3-11ec-ab63-0fe700ede1e9.html

 

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Direct download: OFI_1420_Rural_Crime_-_61722_6.17_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Soooo, you want to know what my favorite business that I've ever profiled on the show is do you?  Well, I still can't pick, but a brewery where delicious beers, delectable meals and lots of fun are all located has to be in the top three!

Today's guests, Trent and Vicki Bushner, are full-time farmers in Yuma County, Colorado.  And for the past 25+ years, Trent has just happened to be a hobby brewer.  So, a couple of years back when a young man they knew invested in a building on Main Street in Yuma City and was looking for new businesses to fill out the downtown area asked, they said "yes, now is the time to start a brewery".  Tumbleweed Brewing & Wine Company was born!

The farming heritage in Trent's family goes way back. Trent was too young to remember much but did get to meet his great-grandfather who was 4 years old and living near battlefields in Missouri during the Civil War.  That eventually translated to farming in the Eastern Plains of Colorado, first as dry land with irrigation infrastructure eventually being developed to the point that now it is about 50/50.

We recorded this interview in April, and at that point Trent and Vicki had only seen .5 inches of measurable precipitation since harvest of 2021.  They already had some crop failures this year, and we've got our fingers crossed for them that between the time we recorded the interview and when it airs that they get a lot of rain.  Just in case they don't, the next time you drive across the plains, take a different route and wet your whistle in Yuma, Colorado at Tumbleweed Brewing & Wine Company!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1419_Trent_Bushner-COMM13_36-061222.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tomorrow we are featuring a farm couple who has started a fun and successful brewery in Eastern Colorado.  I thought a look back and the opportunities surrounding hop farming would fit right in.

Below are the original show notes:

SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

I have three themes that I want to cover this week.  All of them have to do with entrepreneurship:

Hop Farming Business Opportunities

Currently we are planting record acreage of hops in the United States and there is still a shortage for craft beer brewers.  People are planting hops in small areas all around the United States to support their craft brewing hobbies or businesses.  In order to use and grow the hops certain things need to be done.  This creates an opportunity to serve these farmers.  This is very similar to the journey that Jonathan Demcak described in episode #12.  Here are some of the things they need:

Vertical Farming

I read about vertical farming a couple of weeks ago and had to share this with you.  People are using hydroponics to turn spare bedrooms and garages into farms!  They are suppling restaurants with fresh greens and making money.  The article I am linked to here profiles a gentleman named Dan Albert from Seattle, Washington who left his day job just to run his vertical farming business.

This proves that anyone can farm.  Even if you live in an apartment in the middle of a big city!

Loneliness

This is a bigger problem than you would think in entrepreneurship.  Once you go to work for yourself a sense of isolation can creep in pretty easily.  In agriculture many of the tips and tricks to combat this will not work.  However, the effects of this can also be countered by being outside, in the sun, working with animals and receiving intrinsic rewards from your efforts.

But, this is something that I have experienced, just in missing the hustle and bustle of things going on around me.  I have tried to replicate this occasionally by doing some of my computer work at a McDonald's where people are coming and going.

Here is an article that discusses some of "loneliness pitfalls" of being and entrepreneur and how to deal with them.  Remember that we have to take this "non-agricultural" information and convert back to make sense in our world.

Forbes.com

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1418_Replay_Of_Episode_162-COMM_23_37-031022.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am always happy and honored when a listener reached out and requests to be part of the show.  Sometimes it is a fit, and sometimes it is not, but I am always thrilled that they want to be part of what we are doing here.  Our guest today is one such listener.  Kyleigh Render is a very impressive FFA student.  She will be "graduating" from high school in one month, but there is a twist to her story.  Kyleigh is homeschooled, so her experience has been a bit different.

During Kyleigh's freshman year of high school, she actually did attend school on campus with other students.  This was in Michigan.  She took an agriculture class that semester, and thus, she was automatically enrolled in the FFA.  This stuck.  She relished the group and the roles that she could play.  Soon, her parents decided to move to be by family just outside of Belgrade, Montana and she went back to homeschooling.  However, she took it it upon herself to seek out the Belgrade FFA Chapter and inquire about membership.  They were very familiar with having homeschool students in their chapter, and she was welcomed right in.

Today, as Kyleigh looks forward to her career after high school, she is very motivated to educate others about and advocate for agriculture.  As a result, she started "The Farmer's Story Podcast" this previous February, and she has been telling the stories of how food gets grown and produced in the U.S. ever since.  Her long term goal is to interview a farmer from every state in the U.S.

Kyleigh wants to build "The Farmer's Story Podcast" into a full-time career, and she is ready to launch!  Just as soon as her high school career ends, she will be off to the races!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: The Farmer's Story Podcast

HIGH SCHOOL: Homeschooled and part of the Belgrade FFA Chapter; Belgrade, Montana

MASCOT: Panthers

FFA ADVISOR: Kyle Gavin

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR KYLEIGH RENDER:

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

Kyleigh's FFA Advisor's Email Address: kgavin@bsd44.org

Belgrade High School Telephone Number: 406 388 6862

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_1417_Kyleigh_Render-COMM_12_46-061122.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I have been saying for quite sometime that direct marketing grass finished beef at a premium price was the equivalent of selling a luxury item and that when the economy got bad there would be less customers for this type of product.  I've also been curious about the entire local food movement that has been growing and thriving for so many years now.

I believe that it is a foregone conclusion that the American economy, and really, the world economy, is heading into a recession or is already in one.  So, my predictions and quite possibly my business model is about to be tested.  A couple of things to consider going into this are:

  • If demand for locally produced or premium agricultural products decreases, can you lower your prices and survive as a business?
  • Will demand for beef in general diminish and be replaced with more chicken and pork consumption?
  • Will the memory of empty grocery shelves during the pandemic be enough motivation for people to continue to support local agriculture in spite of higher prices?
  • Will your off-farm business lose business due to people having less disposable income, such as an agritourism business?
  • If your off-farm business serves farmers, will they start doing the service you provide themselves to save money?
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Direct download: OFI_1416_Tuesday_Episode_-_62022_12.47_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Rarely does this happen, but today's interview features the daughter of my previous Friday episode guest.  Shelby Shuman has just finished her junior year of high school, and she has been conducting auctions since she was twelve years old.  Early on in her auction career she knew she wanted to start her own business, but she never really implemented it until her freshman year of high school when she joined the FFA and was required to start a supervised agricultural experience.  At that point, Shelby Shuman Auctions was born.

Inspired by her father, Scott Shuman (featured in episode 1413), she now travels all over the country conducting auctions.  Her niche is benefit auctions, and she has great success finding clients.  As Shelby puts it, it is rare to find a female auctioneer, but to find one who is in high school and in the FFA is extremely rare.  In addition to her outstanding skill conducting auctions, the uniqueness of her stature makes her a big draw.

Shelby has one year of high school left, and then she is off to Liberty University in Virginia to study entrepreneurship.  Being a career auctioneer is in the list of possibilities for Shelby, but she has not made up her mind yet.  She is going to go explore all of the options that are out there for her and find the correct path.  If it leads to auctioneering like her father, then so be it.  If it does not, she will always have the skills and experience that beginning an auction career at age 12 can give you!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Auctioneering

HIGH SCHOOL: Eaton High School; Eaton, Colorado

MASCOT: Indians

FFA ADVISOR: Heidi Lanning

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SHELBY SHUMAN:

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

Shelby's FFA Advisor's Email Address: hlanning@eaton.k12.co.us

Eaton High School Telephone Number: (970) 454-3374

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_1415_Shelby_Shuman-COMM_8_50-053122.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Keep you cell phone with you around the farm: https://wgno.com/technology/man-tracks-apple-watch-to-find-sons-stolen-car/

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://ktvo.com/news/local/man-uses-fake-67500-check-to-steal-tractor-hay-rake-from-outside-memphis

https://whky.com/tractor-truck-stolen-from-springs-road/

https://www.turnto23.com/news/crime/kcso-seeks-help-iding-farm-equipment-theft-suspects

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.herefordtimes.com/news/20214063.tagged-herefordshire-farm-burglar-sentenced-court/

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/crime/diesel-stolen-from-farm-near-woodbridge-in-suffolk-9036568

Africa

https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/politicising-stock-theft-doesnt-help-sas-farmers/

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/fuel-tanker-hijacked-driver-assaulted-petrol-stolen-old-airport-road-isipingo-kzn/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.wdhn.com/news/local-news/geneva-co-sheriffs-office-makes-arrest-in-the-theft-of-work-tools/

https://www.kttn.com/missouri-man-sentenced-to-8-years-in-prison-for-stealing-firearms-from-farm-supply-store/

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Direct download: OFI_1414_Rural_Crime_-_61722_6.05_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Is there any more fundamental business to the world of agriculture than that of auctioneering?  I say "no".  Auctioneers have been there in good times and in bad times, whenever folks need to sell farms, ranches, equipment or otherwise, for whatever reason.  The auctioneer is always there trying to maximize what these folks get for their lifetime of work and for their next chapter.

Today's guest, Scott Shuman, has made a life out of doing just this, both in good and bad times.  Scott is based in Northern Colorado, and has been involved in agriculture his whole life.  During high school and later college, he was doing anything he could to be around the auction industry and auctioneers because he found himself really interested in it, and it made a great job for a student. Eventually, Scott went on to get his master's degree in agricultural education, but there was something about the world of auctions that kept calling him back.  So, after a year and a half of teaching, he found himself heading back to the front of the auction and he has not looked back.

Today, Scott is a partner in Hall And Hall Auctions, and he travels all over the world helping to sell premier farm and ranch properties.  On today's show he is going to talk about the life of an auctioneer, how to get started in that industry and when your too old to start this career (hint: there is no maximum age).

In addition to the world of auctioneering, Scott as just released a book: A Million Acres & Counting, and he was pivotal in helping the National FFA to design a supervised agricultural experience to help students start their own auctioneering business during high school.  We have all of that an more for you in this great interview!

**Scott's daughter, Shelby, is our featured guest in episode #1415.

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1413_Scott_Shuman-COMM_20_41-053022.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are featuring a gentleman who has made an interesting career out of auctioning farm and ranch real estate.  On the following Monday we are featuring his daughter, who is in the FFA and is also an auctioneer.  It is a complete look into the world of this interesting and fundamental career.  So, for our re-cap episode this week I wanted to take a look back at some of the other auctioneers who I have profiled on the show.  Who better than Cotton Booker, who as the 2018 International Junior Auctioneer Champion!

The original show notes are below:

INTRODUCING COTTON BOOKER!

Today I get to introduce you to a humble young man who is having great success.  Cotton Booker is the 2018 International Junior Auctioneer Champion, the youngest ever auctioneer at the Barrett Jackson Auction and the Washington State Star winner in agribusiness.

Cotton's family is in the auctioneering business, and he has been learning about it his whole life.  Cotton has had a lot of success through auctioneering, and he went to a professional auctioneer's school when he was only 13 years old as the youngest student they had there.

Today, Cotton works for his families business, and he has also started his own auction company, Booker Auction.  He is carrying on the family legacy and trying to help people out in agriculture when it comes time for an estate sale or otherwise.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Auctioneering

HIGH SCHOOL: Colfax High School; Colfax, Washington

MASCOT: Bulldogs

FFA ADVISOR: Michael Heitstuman

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR COTTON BOOKER:

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

Cotton's FFA Advisors' Email Addresses: MICHAEL.HEITSTUMAN@csd300.com

Colfax High School's Telephone Number: (509) 397-4368

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_1412_Replay_Of_Episode_671-COMM_7_13-060822.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I am starting to think that plant breeders are born, not made.  At least every time I interview a young man or woman with this passion it appears that is correct.  In today's interview I am speaking with a junior in high school that has already obtained $10,000 in funding to begin an apple orchard on his high school's property.  Gabe Olson-Jensen is our featured guest, and look at this list of accomplishments:

  • Started working at a local orchard at age 12
  • Grafted his first trees at age 12
  • Obtained land at his school start a 1/4 acre apple orchard in 2020
  • Applied for and received a $1,000 SAE grant in 2020
  • Applied for and recieved $9,000 in funding from USDA SARE in 2020
  • Purchased 200 apple trees and trellising and began the orchard in 2020
  • Using integrated pest management to sustain and grow the fruit trees

Gabe really has an amazing story as so many of these seed breeders do.  Today, we will profile it all for you!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Plant Research

HIGH SCHOOL: River Falls High School; River Falls, Wisconsin

MASCOT: Wildcats

FFA ADVISOR: Ryan Pechacek

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR GABE OLSON-JENSEN:

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

Gabe's FFA Advisor's Email Address: ryan.pechacek@rfsd.k12.wi.us 

River Falls High School Telephone Number: 715-425-1830

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_1411_Gabe_Olson-Jensen_COMM_6_36-053022.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Baxter Black, who I have been a fan of for at least three decades has passed.  In 2015 Baxter generously agreed to be a guest on the Off-Farm Income Podcast when we had barely began and had no catalog and no reputation.  He provided me with a great, long-form interview as well.

The world learned that Baxter was ill and on hospice care back in January of 2022, and in February of 2022 we replayed his interview as tribute.  We are doing it again today as we have lost one of good ones.  The original show notes are below.

KEY IDEAS:

ADVICE FROM BAXTER BLACK:

WORK FOR FREE: Baxter's advice is to 1,000 shows for free before you figure out what you are worth.

HAVE SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT: Baxter related a great story about a young man that walked 15 miles to meet him because he wanted to become a cowboy poet.  But the boy was not a cowboy, so he did not know anything to write about.  Baxter sent him off to get ranch working experience, to learn his subject matter and THEN to start writing.

BAXTER BLACK'S PERSONAL HABIT THAT IS CONTRIBUTING TO HIS SUCCESS:

YOU NEED TO FORM A HABIT: Once Baxter started writing a column, he started a habit of writing everyday.  Now on every plane ride, or nightly before bed, he writes.  This is how he has produced so much content.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE THAT BAXTER BLACK HAS RECEIVED:

GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT: Baxter told me that it was not until he was addressing a group of ranchers in Colorado that one of the took him aside and suggested that he write a column.  The message that Baxter received was that he had a message to get out, and he needed to get it to a wider audience.  You need to take that step, and find a way to get your message to the people who are looking for it.

LINKS:

Baxter Black's Website: BaxterBlack.com

Baxter Black's Facebook Page

Baxter Black's Twitter Feed: @BaxterBlack

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Mr. Black recommends this book which is about entrepreneurship, overcoming obstacles and following your own path.  Click on the image to go directly to Baxter Black's webpage where he sells this book:

Baxter Black Book

 

 

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Direct download: OFI_1410_Tuesday_Episode.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It is so interesting how students answer the elevator question I ask them during my interviews.  Mallory Bowers' answer may be the most interesting that I have heard thus far.  She told me that "agriculture saves lives", and then she went on to articulate her thoughts on why this is.  Everything from people finding their purpose to the basic need for food was included in her explanation.

I guess I should not be surprised. Mallory was raised by an FFA advisor, and she has already began the transition process of taking over her families sheep operation.  In addition that, she joined the FFA just as soon as the rules would allow her, and she was just recently named the State of Indiana Proficiency Winner in Sheep Production!

Mallory will have graduated high school by the time that this interview airs, and she is headed to Lincoln Land College just over the state border to study agriculture, compete in livestock judging and prepare herself for the dual careers of teaching agriculture and running her own sheep operation.  As I told her during the interview, she is planning on being busy.  She replied with an "Oh, Yeah!".

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Sheep Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Tippecanoe Valley High School; Akron, Ohio

MASCOT: Vikings

FFA ADVISOR: Michael Jones

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MALLORY BOWERS:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Tippecanoe Valley High School Website:

Mallory's FFA Advisor's Email Address: jonesm@tvsc.k12.in.us

Tippecanoe Valley High School Telephone Number: 574-598-2100

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_1409_Mallory_Bowers-COMM_8_11-052922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

If somebody pays for $20 worth of gas but is pumping for hours, you might check it out.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.wwnytv.com/2022/06/08/thousands-gallons-thieves-using-modified-trucks-steal-gas-stations-police-say/

https://www.ocala.com/story/news/courts/2022/06/07/prosecutors-ocala-florida-drop-charges-death-600-pound-pig/9999829002/

https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/arizona/friend-remembers-gilbert-woman-killed-by-unknown-person-at-home-near-san-tan-village-parkway-and-ray-road/75-90972a32-0521-4913-93f1-adf690d099ac

https://www.ky3.com/2022/06/03/catch-a-crook-man-steals-egg-incubator-deceased-willard-mans-home/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/news/stolen-horse-boxes-recovered-by-police-9257998/

https://www.realagriculture.com/2022/06/risk-of-theft-a-key-hold-back-of-expanding-fuel-storage-survey-suggests/

Africa

https://dailytrust.com/farmer-bags-1-month-for-concealing-stolen-yams

https://lowvelder.co.za/784133/limpopo-saps-arrested-889-for-criminal-activities/

https://www.enca.com/business/zim-deputy-minister-arrested-alleged-fertiliser-theft

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.nj.com/hunterdon/2022/05/man-arrested-71-neglected-cows-horses-pigs-taken-from-his-rescue-farm-officials-say.html

https://turnto10.com/news/local/rhode-island-arrested-connection-with-animal-cruelty-investigation-north-kingstown

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Direct download: OFI_1408_Rural_Crime_-_61022_1.12_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

In today's episode I get to learn about a species of livestock that I had never heard of before, the Pacovicuna.  A Vicuna is the wild ancestor of the Llama, and they have characteristics in their fiber that just cannot be replicated by Llamas.  Jane Lavene and her husband, Arthur, raise the largest herd of Pacovicuna's in the U.S. on their farms in the Denver, Colorado and Salida, Colorado areas.

In today's episode Jane teaches us about the Vicuna, the Pacovicuna and the unbelievable process of starting a herd of these animals some 27 years ago.  In addition, she discusses her fiber business and goes into great detail about he sophistication of maintaining the genetic integrity of this animal as well as selling the best and most matching fiber possible.

Jane will also explain a lot about the fiber, and how it is graded and sorted.  In addition to this part of the business Jane talks about the benefit of selling into a luxury market.  The fiber and felt from a Vicuna is of such quality that it demands top dollar, and that means that it is used in luxury items.  Selling into this market creates a stable demand for Jane.

And if all the information about this highly sophisticated, value added business were not enough, Jane also discusses her multiple streams of revenue approach which includes horse boarding, vacation rentals and much, much more.  Enjoy this episode!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1407_Jane__Lavene-COMM_18_37-052922.mp3
Category:vicuna -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today, I am replaying my interview with James Budd of Alpacas Of Montana.  This is perfect segue into our ag business interview tomorrow, talking about luxury wool and fleece production.  At the time I did this interview with James he had built a worldwide brand with Alpacas Of Montana.  He continues to grow and succeed, and it is my pleasure to bring the interview to you again.

Below are the original show notes:

 

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Do you like to be warm in winter?  Who doesn't?  Would you like to farm?  Who wouldn't?  Our guest today combined these two things and now has 5,000 of his closest friends over on the weekend!

James Budd and his wife Sarah are accomplished professionals in their respective fields.  About fifteen years ago James decided that he had accomplished enough, and he wanted to try something on his own....anything.  He talked with Sarah about raising alpacas after reading an article, and she reminded him of the several reasons that would not be a fit for him.  She was right, but then he had two other things happen on the same day telling him he should pursue this business.  He tried again and Alpacas Of Montana was born.

James and Sarah moved from Colorado to Bozeman, Montana, bought property and of course, alpacas.  They began raising these animals and learning about them.  Eventually James came up with five different revenue generation models from these animals and started pursuing them all.

The revenue model we talk the most about today is the production of products from alpaca fiber - socks, hats, mittens, gloves, etc.  Alpacas Of Montana now produces a wide product line that are sold all over the world.  James has a passion for business in general and of course, his business.  This has led to their latest open house on the farm in Bozeman with over 5,000 people coming to visit.

ADVICE FROM JAMES:

GET HELP:  Nobody has accomplished great success without getting help from others.  Don't be afraid to seek your own.

SMART: When it comes to your particular product, service or area of expertise be the smartest person in the room.  Know the most.

NETWORK: The old saying is "it's not what you know, it's who you know".  James really believes that the power of your network will be a key to you being successful.....but he still believes that what you know is very important.

BEST ADVICE JAMES HAS EVER RECEIVED:

"A Little Bit Of A Lot Is A Whole More Than A Lot Of Nothing" - find your market and get a piece of it.  Then work on getting a bigger piece.

PERSONAL HABIT THAT HELPS JAMES SUCCEED:

RE-PRIORITIZATION: James prioritizes his day, everyday.  About mid-day he does it again to get the most productivity.

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

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCING LANE COLSTON!

There was a very consistent theme running through today's interview with Lane Colston from Western Hills High School FFA.....people.  When I asked Lane about why he had joined the FFA, he talked about all the great people he had known who had been FFA members, and he also talked about the great people he has been able to meet by being a member.  When we talked about the reigning horse world that he is such a big part, he was talking about being able to meet great people again.  I definitely get the feeling that Lane is the type of person that everybody likes, and that is certainly going to treat him well in the future.

Lane comes from a family with a horseback tradition.  And for him, it didn't really catch until he was 8 years old.  Ironically, being from Kentucky (a great horse state) he found his passion for horses in Wyoming.  On a family vacation to the Grand Teton Mountains they took a trail ride on horseback, and something clicked for Lane.  When they got home he looked around and saw the same horses that had always been there, but now he was determined to spend his time riding them rather than just looking at them.

Since that time Lane has become a horse trainer, exhibitor and rider.  He competes all over the U.S. on reigning horses, he purchases them green, trains them and then sells them. In addition to this, he is learning the family concrete business and plans on studying business in college so that he can help both businesses grow!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Reigning Horse Training & Sales

HIGH SCHOOL: Western Hills High School; Frankfort, Kentucky

MASCOT: Wolverines

FFA ADVISOR: Jenna Harrod

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR LANE COLSTON:

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

Lane's FFA Advisor's Email Address: jenna.harrod@franklin.kyschools.us

Western Hills High School's Telephone Number: 502-875-8400

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:

  b

Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1405_Lane_Colston-COMM_10_29-052922.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today, we take a look at what has been going on, on our farm and with the podcast.  We also take a few minutes to discuss the importance of creeds and some of the most well known creeds in agriculture.

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Direct download: OFI_1404_Tuesday_Episode_-_6622_6.55_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

INTRODUCING SAMUEL JIMENEZ!

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!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Koi Fish Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Madera South High School; Madera, California

MASCOT: Stallions

FFA ADVISOR: Tim Deniz

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SAMUEL JIMENEZ:

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: timdeniz@maderausd.org

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

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

Tip Of The Week

Keep a close eye on your copper and diesel.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/kcso-asks-for-publics-help-to-id-burglary-suspects/article_ac759778-e1f3-11ec-b4a6-479a9fa9db46.html

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/crime/2022/05/31/hobart-man-sentenced-after-admitting-3-counts-arson/9912721002/

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/monaghan-gardai-investigate-theft-of-power-washer-from-tractor/

https://www.tipperarylive.ie/news/home/824636/tipperary-gardai-investigate-theft-of-scrap-copper-worth-up-to-2-000-from-field.html

Africa

https://www.modernghana.com/news/1161670/cr-three-caged-over-lynching-of-suspected-plant.html

https://www.iol.co.za/mercury/news/sheep-worth-r14-000-stolen-from-howick-farm-recovered-f7bb8a7b-b3e9-4ed2-8a21-49643e7f5e0c

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://columbuscountynews.com/2022/06/tractor-theft-suspect-a-man-of-many-names/

https://www.crimevoice.com/2022/06/01/rural-crimes/

 

 

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Direct download: OFI_1402_Rural_Crime_-_6222_5.12_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It is amazing where an agricultural passion can take you.  Even though I know that, I am not quite sure I have ever profiled a story quite like today's episode with Daniel Oduntan.

Daniel grew up in the city of Ibadan in Nigeria, Africa.  Sometime, around the time he was 30 years old, a woman from Denmark put on a workshop about beekeeping that he attended.  This was the beginning of what would become a lifelong passion for Daniel that would eventually see him live on three different continents.

Daniel's interest in beekeeping was piqued, and he started studying, first obtaining a bachelor's degree in agriculture in Nigeria, soon to be followed by a master's degree in entomology.  Not long after this Daniel moved to Germany to study beekeeping in Bavaria.  His interest in and passion for bees allowed him to develop a global network of contacts in the beekeeping industry, and that eventually brought him to Pennsylvania for a conference.  During this conference he met a family with multiple generations of beekeeping experience which he had been admiring from afar as well as many other contacts.

This ultimately led Daniel to decide to base himself in the U.S., and after researching where to live he found Salt Lake City, came across the country and settled down. Today Daniel is operating his own business, Bee-Craft Consult, from Salt Lake City, he has authored two books on beekeeping and he has started a foundation to raise money to educate people worldwide on the art of beekeeping!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1401_Daniel_Oduntan-COMM_14_03-052622.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are talking all about bees with a fascinating entrepreneur who has traveled the world.  I thought that a look back at this great interview with Saralynn Smith would be a great idea as she talked to us about the very beginning stages of starting her bee business.

Below are the original show notes:

SHOW NOTES

If You Want To Raise Bees, You Will Need The Right Clothing!


Introducing Saralynn Smith! 

Sara Smith is involved in one of the most ancient of agricultural enterprises, bee keeping.  Her story is kind of unique.  Instead of developing her bee hives with the purpose of harvesting honey or selling products, she and her father started them to pollinate the plants and flowers in their yard.

Soon, they had 3 hives and excess honey!  After giving honey away to people in their community, the idea of "3 B's" came up.  Sara decided to make the beekeeping her supervised agricultural experience.  Now she will be producing lip balm from her honey with all natural ingredients.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Bee Keeping and Product Development

HIGH SCHOOL: Dinwiddie High School; Dinwiddie, Virginia

MASCOT: Generals

FFA ADVISOR: Cindy Blaha & Laurel Bishop

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR SARA SMITH:

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

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-12-06-28-pm

Sara's FFA Advisor's Email Address:   cblaha@dcpsnet.org

Dinwiddie High School Telephone Number:  (804) 469-4280

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:

 


INTRODUCING EMMA ALBERS!

I like to say that if you are hitting all of your goals, you aren't setting them high enough.  Today's guest understands that completely.  Emma Albers set a goal of becoming a national proficiency finalist when she was in the 9th Grade.  She just graduated high school a couple of weeks ago, and she is on the cusp of that accomplishment.

Emma actually has three very strong supervised agricultural experiences and proficiencies - beef production, grain production and veterinary science.  It is the rules that actually held her back.   In the State of Kansas, one student can only advance to state proficiencies with a maximum of two projects.  Ironically, on Emma's farm she gets the most enjoyment out of working with the cattle.  However, her strongest two proficiencies were veterinary science and grain production, so that is what she put forth.

Later this month Emma will find out if either of her proficiencies won at the state level.  If one of them does, she will be on to compete for that national proficiency award that she decided that she wanted so many years ago!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Beef & Grain Production Entrepreneurship, Veterinary Science Placement

HIGH SCHOOL: Doniphan West High School; Highland, Kansas

MASCOT: Mustangs

FFA ADVISOR: Hannah Adame

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR EMMA ALBERS:

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

Emma's FFA Advisor's Email Address: hadame@usd111.org

Doniphan High School Telephone Number: 785-442-3286

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_1399_Emma_Albers-COMM_12_44-052422.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is our farm update episode, and the theme is definitely "never give up".  With the odds stacked against it, spring rain fall has really made a big difference in our irrigation season.  And, I've got another project that I need the "never give up" attitude for!  Plus a success story on a new marketing effort.  I hope you enjoy!

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1398_Tuesday_Episode_-_53022_2.28_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Have you ever had the experience of speaking with a person and not being able to match what you are hearing to your preconceived notion about who they would be?  That was my exact experience speaking with today's guest, Ben Bugbee.  Fortunately for me, I interview a lot of FFA students, and that means that I have this experience frequently.  Ben is just finishing his 11th grade year of high school, and when our interview started I had an idea of what an 11th grader should sound like.  However, if you did not know that Ben was in high school and heard this interview you would think that he had been running his own business for a couple of decades and had the experience of his peers that are in their 30's!  Perhaps this is what led Ben to be named the Minnesota State Star in Agribusiness in 2022.

Ben is the owner of Water Ready Rentals in Paynesville, Minnesota, and he also works at his families resort, Bug Bee-Hive Resort, which has been in his family for 102 years.  In addition to that, Ben is a regional vice-president in the FFA and concurrently serves as a chapter officer in the Paynesville FFA Chapter.  Ben has owned his own business since he was 14 years old, and to hear him speak about the pitfalls of renting out watercraft is like listening to an expert put on a seminar about running a business such as this.

Ben is clearly a "non-traditional FFA student", and as he points out, capturing students like himself is exactly why the FFA changed its name decades ago.  With that said, Ben knows exactly how his water sports business relates to agriculture and is able to articulate that clearly.  Ben believes that with a lot of "blood, sweat and tears" that the FFA helps to teach students, from on or off the farm, the work ethic and tradition that is captured in American Agriculture!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Pontoon Boat Rentals

HIGH SCHOOL: Paynesville High School; Paynesville, Minnesota

MASCOT: Bulldogs

FFA ADVISOR: Natalie Utsch

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR BEN BUGBEE:

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

Ben's FFA Advisor's Email Address: nutsch@isd741.org 

Paynesville High School Telephone Number: 320-243-3410

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_1397_Ben_Bugbee-COMM_14_42--052322.mp3
Category:FFA -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tip Of The Week

Find the strength to be patient before passing judgment.

Rural Crime In The U.S.

https://localnews8.com/news/crime-tracker/2022/05/26/new-details-released-about-reported-animal-abuse-and-fire-investigation-at-local-farm/

https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/putnam-county-sheriffs-office-asks-for-help-locating-trailer/77-5a0c6a2d-6733-46f6-bad3-965ec315742d

Across The Pond, Down Under And Up Above

https://www.nfuonline.com/updates-and-information/fly-tipping-debate-in-parliament-gains-support-from-mp/

https://www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/rural-news/rural-machinery-products/techno-crime-hits-ag-sector

Africa

https://www.news24.com/witness/news/pietermaritzburg/body-of-a-missing-kzn-farmer-found-with-gunshot-wounds-20220526

https://chimpreports.com/40-guns-recovered-as-joint-security-forces-continue-to-pacify-karamoja/

https://chimpreports.com/soroti-sub-county-chief-2-lc-chairpersons-remanded-over-livestock-theft/

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/man-arrested-laton-recovery-stolen-135100990.html

https://www.thefencepost.com/news/ponca-city-man-arrested-in-larceny-of-domestic-animals-case-in-osage-county/

 

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

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1396_Rural_Crime_-_52722_5.00_PM.mp3
Category:rural crime -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There are very few things that make me happier than when I can pull a gold nugget out of an interview that I know is going to be helpful to the listeners.  That definitely happened in my interview with Kendall Teichmeier today.

Kendall works full-time in agriculture.  His first exposure was a fifteen year career of managing large hog operations in Nebraska until his body just could not handled the work any longer.  After a brief stint of factory work Kendall made his way back to agriculture and started working at a seed cleaning and production facility in Broken Bow, Nebraska, where he still is today.

Recently Kendall has started a side hustle, which is exploding with business opportunities.  He started a company called "Axe Kickers", which is a mobile axe throwing lane that he can take to corporate events, fairs, festivals and even weddings.  He built it so that it can be set up indoors or out, and it just happens to be a lot of fun!  Word of mouth about Kendall's business is now spreading like wildfire, and it appears as though he is going to work every single day this fair season between his full-time job and his new business.  I couldn't be more excited for him.

I also could not be more excited for you, because as Kendall told the story of developing this business he exposed me to a new idea.  And if the idea is new for me, I know it is new for almost all of you!

In January of this year Kendall took his idea to the Nebraska Association Of Fair Managers annual conference.  He purchased space for a small booth and spent his time talking with the managers of all the county fairs in his state about the event that he had created.  Each one of these fair managers wants to have a successful fair, and the name of the game for success is people having fun.  So, several of these fair managers were very interested in his mobile axe throwing lane and contracted with him to come to their fair.

I had never heard of an association like this or the fact that they had an annual convention with an expo hall in which performers, exhibitors, etc. could show off what they had to offer.  But as I listened to Kendall it occurred to me that all these different county fairs are a brand new market that many of us have never even considered.  And, most of probably had never given any thought to purchasing a booth at one of these conventions and having direct access to decision makers who can hire us!

If you have a business, talent or event that could be a part of a fair, you should start researching this right away!

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Direct download: Off_Farm_Income--Episode_1395_Kendall_Techmeyer--COMM_14_25-052222.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On today's show we are going back into the archives to look at an off-farm business that generates revenue at fairs and festivals.  This is a great tie-in to tomorrow's ag business episode.  

Mark Hufford has the fascinating business of doing educational displays and talks about the use of oxen in the frontier and colonial times.  Below are the original show notes from his first episode with us.  

SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Today we are heading to Indiana to talk with a 6th generation farmer about how he and his wife changed their farming model to something that was more palatable and profitable for them. 

Mark Hufford of Double M Farms will be joining us and talking all about their direct marketing model for beef as well as pork.  It is a bit different than what I do, and quite possibly a bit better. He was also be discussing one of his forms of off-farm income, raising oxen and taking them to exhibits and shows in their region.

Mark has a lot of great advice for us in this episode and a great story.  He and his wife's pursuits have taken them all over the country to ultimately wind up back in Indiana and trying to figure out a way to make it in farming.  Today they are well on their way, and he will share that with us here today.

CONTACT INFORMATION AND LINKS:

Blog: http://www.thefarmerspitchfork.com

Facebook Page: LINK

Telephone: 765-268-2104

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

 

 

 

 


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.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Dairy Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Niangua High School; Niangua, Missouri

MASCOT: Cardinals

FFA ADVISOR: Cody Starnes

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR LILA WANTLAND:

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

Lila's FFA Advisor's Email Address: cstarnes@nianguaschools.com

NianguaHigh School Telephone Number: (417)473-6101

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

Today is a farm update episode everyone.  Here is what I will be talking about:

  • A big strategy change in the way we are raising goats.
    • Less means more
    • Work smarter not harder
  • The inverted bell curve of grass growth on our farm in Idaho
  • I am unable to imagine being short on forage later this summer
  • Some farmer/inventors who were innovating themselves out of an obstacle and found their invention being very desired and successful
More Places You Can Listen to Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald:

 

 

Direct download: OFI_1392_Tuesday_Episode_-_52322_3.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

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!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Custom Bale Wrapping

HIGH SCHOOL: Lyndon High School; Lyndon, Kansas

MASCOT: Tigers

FFA ADVISOR: Tim Kilgore

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ETHAN KNEISLER:

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

Ethan's FFA Advisor's Email Address: kilgoret@usd421.org 

Lyndon High School Telephone Number: 785-828-4413

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

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

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

 

 

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!

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

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.

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

 

 

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.

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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.

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

 

 

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!

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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!

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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