Off-Farm Income (farming)

A while back I did a solo show defending farmers from a newspaper article calling them "hogs" for using the water that has been allotted to them for well over a century for farming  **See The Original Show Notes Below**

An article recently popped up locally for me that supported the idea of the "pyramid scheme" that small cities get involved with that leads to the need to continue to approve development projects so that they can create new tax revenue that will pay for aging infrastructure.  On today's Tuesday episode I've got a brief farm update for you, and then I want to read you this article and cite it as evidence that this "pyramid scheme" is really happening.

Direct download: OFI_1846_Tuesday_Episode_-_92523_3.39_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Eric Rickenbach is the owner of RescueTechs and devotes himself to teaching others how to respond to emergencies on the farm.  He has also been a first responder for decades and has been to many of these scenes himself.

When I found Eric's web page and what he did, I knew I wanted to have him on the show during National Farm Safety and Health Week, so we made it happen.  Today we will discuss some of the most common instances of injuries and death on farms.  We will also talk about taking the extra step to insure that you are working safely.  And, we will talk about why the buddy system is so important.

Stay safe out there everyone...

Direct download: Eric_Rickenbach_Episode_1842_-_52423_2.59_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

The biggest contributors to farm accidents are probably impatience and complacency.  Getting in a hurry, or thinking that danger doesn't exist just because nothing has ever happened before can lead one into a dangerous situation.

On today's show we are profiling the farm safety education philosophy of the Tunstall FFA Chapter in Dry Fork, Virginia.  Dr. Jessica Jones, the FFA Advisor and her colleagues have figured out that impatience and complacency can be overcome by keeping safety in the front of one's mind.  If you think safety first, then your chances of not overlooking a dangerous aspect of your job go way up.

Two of Jessica's students, Chapter President - Cole Abercrombie as well as sophomore member - Zac Chaney join me on the show today.  They will talk about farming in their area, what they see as some of the biggest risks and how farm safety is taught in every agriculture class at Tunstall, regardless of whether or not it is Farm Safety Week.

Direct download: Tunstall_FFA_Farm_Safety_Episode_1840_-_91323_1.38_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Jessie Jarvis is the owner of "Of The West" a job platform for agricultural jobs and Western lifestyle careers.  She is also a lifelong rancher from Southern Idaho with a deep legacy of ranching work in the Gem State.

On today's episode Jessie will discuss why she created "Of The West", and how the inspiration came to her. She will also discuss some of the challenges of looking for a job in agriculture, and why being part of the 2% of the nation involved in ag can lead to a defeated feeling before you have ever submitted a resume.

Jessie has a passion for connecting people with the right opportunity, and that definitely comes through in today's episode.


Direct download: OFI_1835_Jessie_Jarvis_-_83023_2.52_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode we are going to be talking about ag careers, starting an ag jobs website and delving into the entrepreneurial and professional employee aspects of a life in agriculture.  So, for today's re-cap show I went back to one of the best profiles of an agricultural career that I ever did.  Ironically, this took place on episode #002 of the show.  That's right, this was the second episode I ever produced and the first interview I ever conducted!

This show features my late uncle, Allan Romander.  Allan spent his entire working life in agriculture, and the bulk of his professional career as a crop advisor, then a pest control advisor and finally a certified crop advisor.  He had the same position all the way through but over time the titles changed and the certifications became more challenging.  Allan was the epitome of a professional and he loved agriculture.  I don't think there ever was anyone better suited to advocate for this career path than Allan.

Direct download: OFI_1834_Replay_Of_002_-_91323_2.17_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Well, the largest looming topic on our farm this week is remember 9/11 and trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it has been 22 years already.  Autumm and I will never forget that day, and we hope you found some peace and silence on Monday to take some time to reflect in your own way.

Also on today's show:

  • Oso the new livestock guardian dog
  • Treating chickens for mites with permethrin
  • The biography of Tom Horn

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Direct download: OFI_1832_Tuesday_Episode_-_91123_1.20_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Shawn Kapanke is the Business Development Manager of Silver Spring Foods from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  This company has its roots figuratively in 1929 and literally in the ground of Wisconsin where hot and delicious horseradish is being grown on 5-7 year rotation.

Today's show is a bit unconventional for an Ag Business Episode, as I am profiling a larger company.  Rest assured that Silver Spring is not a prospective sponsor, and they did not pay me for this episode.  However, I love horseradish and don't know anything about it, so when they reached out this was a great opportunity to learn more.

And, and this is a big I researched this company it dawned on me that almost 100 years ago this began with a need for extra revenue and the creation of a value added product.  Since we advocate for value adding on the show, looking at this awesome "after picture" seems like a perfect way to demonstrate proof of this concept.

Direct download: Shawn_Kaptanke_Episode_1828_-_82423_3.16_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hi everyone.  Big things happening recently on the farm, and I'll update you on all of those today, including:

  • Lost another goat to the coyote - hopefully the last
  • We now have a livestock guardian dog
  • We have expanded our goat herd again
  • I just started irrigation today for the first time in 2.5 weeks
  • Heading to our final minor league baseball game of the season this evening

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Direct download: OFI_1825_Tuesday_Episode_-_9523_12.27_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:32pm MDT

Joel Holland is the CEO of Harvest Hosts, a company that pairs up farmers with extra space with members who would like to spend a night in their RV in a picturesque setting on somebody's farm.  I have seen both sides of this idea.  As a person who likes to travel in my camper, I have spoke with individuals who are Harvest Host members, and I have found them all to be people that I would be comfortable having stay on my property.  As a farmer, I have a spot on my farm that would work well for this, and I have considered becoming a host.

In today's interview Joel will talk about how farmers generate revenue as hosts.  We will also discuss how you are kept safe and shielded from liability if you become a host.  And, we will touch on the very positive experiences that both hosts and guests have when coming together.

Direct download: Joel_Holland_Episode_1821_-_82223_3.22_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I've got more weather on the farm update show for you today.  It has been a wild 7 days of August weather here in Southwest Idaho.  August is historically our driest month, averaging just under a 1/4 inch of rain.  However, at our farm, in the past 7 days we have received 1.7 inches.  Do I have any culpability for the negative parts of rain like this since I am enjoying the storms?

Direct download: OFI_1818_Tuesday_Episode_-_82823_4.46_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Dan Miller is a mentor and coach to me and has been since about 2009 when I first started dreaming of an entrepreneurial lifestyle.  Between 2009 and 2015 I was unknown to Dan, but I was consuming his books and his podcast in an effort to figure out how I was going to achieve my entrepreneurial lifestyle.  Then, in 2015, three years after I started my first business I was able to put away enough money to go to one of his courses in Tennessee.

I have been a huge fan of his since discovering him in 2009, and I continue to be one today.  On tomorrow's show we are featuring an agricultural career coach.  However, for many of us we will need to look at ideas outside of agriculture and then bring them back and apply them here.  So, in preparation for tomorrow's show I am replaying my very first interview with Dan Miller to give you the inspiration to do just that!


Direct download: OFI_1813_Re-Cap_Of_330_-_82323_12.25_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

One week ago I was talking about how odd a weather event the wildfires in Hawaii were.  And during that discussion (fact check me on this) I stated that it would be like having a hurricane strike Idaho (although wildfires in Hawaii are more common than that).  This was well before I had ever heard of Hurricane Hilary.

Well, like magic, the biggest news story became Hurricane Hilary as she set her eyes on Southern California with a projected pathway that would march her right up to, you guessed it, Idaho.  At the time I am writing this the news is reported that what is left of Hilary is 125 miles due west of Elko, Nevada and racing north.  Well that happens to be a straight arrow right to my farm!


Direct download: OFI_1811_Tuesday_Episode_-_82123_4.10_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Mike Maxwell is the owner of Double M Ranch and a professional shearer of llamas, alpacas, sheep and even goats.  He also does dental work on alpacas and gives shots as well trims hooves.  Mike specializes in serving people on small farms with a few to many animals, but not enough to warrant hiring one of the big outfits.  Mike is taking care of folks who just cannot access the larger service providers.  

Mike's path into farming and working with animals came through his marriage to his wife, Kimberly, who had the property when they were married.   He was, and continued to, work in the corporate world while they were raising sheep and chickens.  Ultimately, he taught himself how to shear and take care of these livestock, and he started offering his services to others.  His business soon grew larger than he could handle since he kept his corporate job.  

Then, a twist came. Mike and Kim had planned on one day retiring to Costa Rica, and when Covid 19 ultimately resulted in a red hot housing market in the Treasure Valley of Idaho they realized that they could retire about 5 years earlier than they had planned.  So, they sold the farm and made it happen.  However, Mike did not want to abandon his customers in Idaho, so twice each year he flies back to Idaho and takes care of everyone's livestock for them.  

Direct download: OFI_1807_Mike_Maxwell_-_81623_3.53_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am interviewing a gentleman with a livestock care business that includes shearing llamas.  That interview has a quite a twist that you are going to want to hear about.  For today's re-cap episode I decided to go back to the interview I did with Mike Huffman in 2015 in which we talked all about his llama care business.


Direct download: OFI_1806_Replay_Of_042_-_81623_1.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update episode, and we will be discussing the following:

  • Cover crops are planted
  • August cool down is over
  • Coyote saga
  • Grazing volunteer kochia

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Direct download: OFI_1804_Tuesday_Episode_-_81423_4.21_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

You all know that I have been trying to solve a coyote problem for some time now.  Well, it still is not solved, and it has opened a pandora's box of how to do this and how to do that while not losing any more goats.  There has been one issue in particular that has plagued me, and that is how to pen up the goats at night in one particular pasture I'd like to graze them in.  Well, this weekend I got away for a couple of days and took some time to completely forget about the problems on the farm.  And poof!  Just like that I came up with a solution.  I'll talk about this method in today's episode.

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Direct download: OFI_1797_Tuesday_Episode_-_8723_3.27_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Well, since we last spoke I have been in a sniper's next every morning by o500 waiting for my chance to exterminate this coyote that has cost us 7 goats.  So far, no luck.  However, I did catch it on the game camera and confirm that it is a coyote.  This discussion will dominate today's farm update episode, but we will also talk about August weather, monsoonal moisture, the Canyon County Fair and corn, corn, corn.....

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Direct download: OFI_1790_Tuesday_Episode_-_73123_6.26_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Kyle Stockdale is a dairyman and entrepreneur from Ontario, Canada.  He first appeared as a guest on the Off-Farm Income Podcast in 2021 when he was about three years into the development of his company, KY Vision Sharpening & Clipper Repair.  Today, I am thrilled to have him back on the show for an update on his business as well as to learn about how he has advanced as an entrepreneur.

It is always very exciting for me to welcome a previous guest back to the show, and in Kyle's case I learned a lot and couldn't be more proud of what he is doing.

Direct download: Kyle_Stockdale_Episode_1786_-_71123_5.11_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode Kyle Stockdale is coming back on the show with an update on his business as well as his development as an entrepreneur.  I am very proud of what he is doing and excited to share tomorrow's interview with you.

Kyle first appeared on Off-Farm Income in 2021, and so for today's re-cap episode I am replaying that original interview to give you the before and after picture.  You are going to be impressed!

Direct download: OFI_1785_Replay_Of_975_Kyle_Stockdale_-_71123_6.02_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I thought I had dealt with the coyote issue near our farm and the threat was ended, but this morning I received a rude awakening.  I found four dead goat kids, clearly killed by coyotes with only one being consumed.  The rest, killed for sport or to train pups how to hunt.  One is missing and was probably hauled off.  That is basically all I am talking about in today's farm update.

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Direct download: OFI_1783_Tuesday_Episode_-_72123_3.27_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

It is said all the time that you should start farming, right where you are at, in whatever way that you can.  If you are in an apartment, grow some tomatoes in pots on your deck.  If you live in a neighborhood, raise some chickens and enjoy the eggs.  Don't wait to have 1,000 acres, start right now!

I believe in this adage, but I also understand the comparison that people might make to production agriculturists when they are doing something on such a small scale.  That is a reason that I am so eager to introduce you to this episode's guests.

Joanna and Brian Guza both grew up on production agriculture farms and have that as their background.  However, as a young couple growing their family they did not have the land to farm on a production agriculture scale.  They did not let that stop them.  They purchased their home on 2 acres, found a niche crop to grow and began farming and selling direct to consumer.  And, when this episode is released they will be in the middle of harvesting over 300 lbs of garlic that they will sell out of, almost immediately.

It's all about the farming folks, no matter what your situation is.  If you love it, do it.  Just take it from Brian and Joanna and their delicious garlic.

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Direct download: Guza_Episode_1779_-_62823_3.04_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hi everyone.  As I promised myself last winter, I am not taking one day of summer for granted this year.  That does not mean that it is not full of challenges on the farm such as slow pasture growth, parasites in the goats and pink eye in the cattle.  On today's farm update we will talk about it all.

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Direct download: OFI_1776_Tuesday_Episode_-_71823_2.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 3:02pm MDT

Forrest Durham was first a guest on the Off-Farm Income Podcast back in 2015 when he was an FFA student and running a roasted corn business.  As a high school student Forrest was attending an average of 14 fairs or festivals per year for a total of 28 days.  He was selling around 500 ears of corn per day at an average profit of $2 per ear.  That's around $30,000 in profit.  Not bad for a high school student working 28 days per year, right?

The roasted corn business was inspired by his father, who sold fudge and ice cream out of a mobile car and later a brick and mortar location.  When Forrest finished high school he went to the University Of Kentucky and got a degree in agriculture, but then he was right back at it, taking over his father's business "The Sweet Shoppe".

Forrest is currently expanding "The Sweet Shoppe".  They do mail orders and are starting to distribute fudge to local grocery stores.  He is also building his cattle herd and has plans for a direct to consumer beef business.  And, he already has a brick and mortar store front and large scale social media following for The Sweet Shoppe.  So, selling cuts of meat produced on his very own farm is just a step away.

Direct download: Forrest_Durham_Episode_1772_-_52323_4.11_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

My mom was a painter, and she used to watch Bob Ross on PBS religiously.  Bob had a saying that has become very popular.  When a brush stroke that he didn't intend happened, he called it a "happy little accident".  I have stolen that phrase, but I use it when I talk about why I raise goats.  Me becoming a goat farmer is definitely a "happy little accident".

On today's farm update episode, goats is what it seems like I have to talk about.  I'll be discussing using them in our driveway to control weeds and growth as well as in a new area of pasture that I have planted.  What amazing little creatures.

Direct download: OFI_1769_Tuesday_Episode_-_71123_4.58_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 5:03pm MDT

I have been fascinated with the idea of growing fodder as a livestock feed since I first learned about it in 2015.  Recently I began searching for a guest to come on the show who was using this model, and I found Al Noorda just one state away in Utah.

Al is the owner of Spring Creek Livestock & Feed in Cedar Foot, Utah.  He has been growing and feeding fodder for about ten years to his cattle and finishing them on nothing other than grass, hay and fodder.  Al also sells fodder production systems and sources barley seed for customers.  According to Al, fodder can replace 70% of your feed ration and allow you to feed lower quality hay to your ruminants.  Also, the fodder keeps your cattle or other ruminants gaining weight through the winter when ranchers traditionally only feed for weight maintenance.

I have a natural interest in this system, so in today's interview you get to hear me ask questions that comes straight from the perspective of somebody who is interested in producing their own feed in this manner.  I hope you learn as much as I did!

Direct download: Al_Noorda_Episode_1765_-_51823_12.36_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT



Today is a great day for Americans, farmers, and non-farmers alike.  As we celebrate the anniversary of American Independence we should think about the men and women who lived through this time.  With this in mind, let's look at how it impacted farmers in the colonies during the 18th Century.

Here are a few of the things that farmers went through during the Revolutionary War:

  • Trade routes to the market were cut off by war, either waterways or roads.
  • Farmers could not plant surpluses because they might not be able to sell the excess and it would just rot on their fields.
  • Herds of cattle and horses were depleted either by the plundering of the British or as provisions for the Continental Army.
  • Farmers were away from their farms for long periods of time and had to start over when they finally returned.
  • At this time, 90% of the population were engaged in farming so this really was a war fought by farmers.

I wanted to mention something that I read in Stephen Ambrose's book "Citizen Soldiers" about farm kids in World War II.  He said that the commanders loved the soldiers that grew up on farms because they had been hunting for their whole lives, knew how to handle a rifle, and could shoot straight.

I wanted to pay tribute to four of my ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War in this episode as well:

  • Samuel Hubbard
  • James Wilcox
  • Jesse Richardson
  • Jesse Rowley
Direct download: OFI_1762_Tuesday_Episode_-_63023_3.03_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Karsten Frecker is the owner of Frecker's Saddlery, a lifelong horseman and a lifelong craftsman.  Along with several members of his family, including his wife, brother and sister, Karsten runs their saddle business from Dillon, Montana.  The business was first started by Karsten's father, Kent, several decades ago, and Karsten just recently purchased it from him.

Like any business that looks straight forward on the surface, there are nuances and complexities to it that the owners make look non-existent.  In today's interview with Karsten I spend a lot of time asking about how a person becomes a saddle maker, what Karsten is looking for in an apprentice and how the business works, i.e. producing saddles for sale vs. doing custom orders.

A very interesting part of this discussion is the manner in which people go about learning this trade.  When Karsten brings on an apprentice, he hopes they will be with the company for the long haul so that they can recoup their investment in the apprentice and grow the business.  However, this does not always happen, and some lessons that were learned the hard way have taught Karsten that only he and his brother will commit to doing custom work for customers with special orders.  Therefore, they have over a 3 year waiting list for custom saddles, and they are constantly striking a balance between producing products and fulfilling orders.

Karsten states that the best way to learn to be a saddle maker is work alongside somebody with experience.  However, if somebody wants to learn the trade in order to start their own shop this has to be done in an ethical manner.  Karsten and I talk about this in the interview.

Direct download: Karsten_Frecker_Episode_1758_-_5523_9.25_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are profiling a family business with a long legacy of building saddles for the regular market and for custom customers.  This is a business that is so interesting for the folks who want to live in the world of horses.

Of course with saddle ownership comes saddle maintenance, and sometimes it is easier to outsource that work.  So, I thought for today's re-cap episode it would make sense to go back to this interview that I did with Sarah Banowetz talking about her small business bringing old saddles back to life.

Direct download: OFI_1757_Replay_Of_378_-_52423_1.24_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Alicia Tomlinson has become a friend and mentor over the years since I first interviewed her for the Off-Farm Income Podcast.  On tomorrow's ag business episode she is coming back on the show to update us on her business and what has gone on, over the past 8 years.  So, for today's re-cap episode I wanted to replay her first interview so you can have the complete before and after picture when you hear her tomorrow.  


Direct download: OFI_1750_Replay_Of_069_-_52423_1.32_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Autumm, Hattie and I just got back from an epic 9 day camping/road trip to Northern Idaho and across Montana to Red Lodge.  We concluded yesterday by going over the Beartooth Pass and driving all the way across Yellowstone Park.  I've got a lot to talk about in today's farm update episode, including:

  • Hattie's State FFA Competition
  • The Hiawatha Bicycle Trail
  • Priest Lake, Idaho
  • Noxon, Montana
  • A German Restaurant in Missoula
  • Camping at the fairgrounds in Bozeman
  • A great wedding in Red Lodge
  • The status of the farm when we returned

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Direct download: OFI_1748_Tuesday_Episode_-_61923_3.31_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Agriculture is unique in that it creates a passion and devotion in people unrivaled by any other careers that come to mind.  I often quip that only actors, artists and musicians will work a second job just so they can work the first, but farmers will do it too.  So many of them will work a full time job in the city just so they have the opportunity to farm.  That is what this show is all about.  

John Schomburg has this same devotion to farming, but he demonstrates it a little bit differently.  John builds scale models of farm equipment and farming scenes, and he photographs farm equipment to capture its legacy before it is no longer seen on farms.  And, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

In today's interview John talks about how he got started building models of farming equipment, why he has file cabinets full of old farm equipment catalogs, why he takes photographs if farms and farm equipment all over Wisconsin and how this all came together for him to win the National Farm Toy Show in 2005, 2012 and 2015.  He even takes us on a tour of his studio and expresses his deepest feelings over the realization that his families farming legacy ends with him.  

Direct download: John_Schomburg_Episode_1744_-_5123_2.18_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode I am profiling a gentleman who has an unbelievable passion for agriculture, but he is not a farmer.  However, he displays this passion through creating replica farm equipment and even replica farms.  So, for today's re-cap episode I thought this interview with Carol Herden, talking about how she got started sculpting farm animals, was a perfect tie in.


Direct download: OFI_1743_Replay_Of_1251_-_52423_1.43_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Last week we worked all of our goats, and we had some volunteers helping us out who were there for no other reason than they love the idea of farming and want experience.  It got me to thinking about the very first farm that I ever worked on, the one that belonged to my step-grandfather.  That would have never happened on that farm, but I was happy to allow it on my own.  He had a "closed" farm, and mine is "open".  So, let's talk about the pros and cons of an "open" farm on today's show.

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Direct download: OFI_1741_Tuesday_Episode_-_6523_6.23_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Natalie McFarland is a lifelong agriculturist turned agriculture entrepreneur.  Officially launching McFarland Productions in 2014, she began telling the story of agricultural companies to help them serve others.  Working primarily with business to business customers but frequently with business to consumer customers Natalie has grown her list of services from photography only all the way to being the marketing department for several of her clients.

Natalie and her team a great knack for capturing agriculture and the Western Lifestyle, and every single team member has an agricultural background.  On today's episode with Natalie I really tried to focus on what the keys to marketing to agricultural customers.  If/when you start your small, agricultural business you will be getting involved in marketing, like it or not.  What are some of the ways you can stand out to the customers that you want to serve?  Today, Natalie and I try to answer that question.

Direct download: Natalie_McFarland_Episode_1737_-_42723_3.01_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode I am speaking with a woman who discovered her niche in marketing to a specific agricultural audience.  She and her husband, like so many of us, are trying to carve out their spot in the world of agriculture and are facing the pressures of high land prices and encroaching urban areas.

I talk about this concept a lot on the show, and one of the premier themes I have dealt with over time has been that of existing in agriculture on the rural/urban interface.  I thought this was a great tie in with our guest tomorrow, and wanted to bring back a solo episode that I made about this phenomenon today.

Direct download: OFI_1736_Replay_Of_087_-_52423_3.22_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and took some time to remember those who have made the ultimately sacrifice so we could do exactly that.  I have a couple of thoughts that I have been wanting to share with you, and today I will finally get to do it:

  • Hard Work As a value - teaching non-traditional ag students about the world of work they are entering
  • Having a job or business that is not automatable and cannot be replaced by AI

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Direct download: OFI_1727_Tuesday_Episode_-_52923_3.30_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Colleen Cummings is the owner of 2 Farm Boys Soap, a goat farmer and a mother who was looking for a way to engage her two sons in agriculture on her small farm in Heber City, Utah.  There is a lot of family history on that small farm.  Colleen's husband's family started farming that ground in the early 1900's.  Since then, the land has been split up, and today they raise goats and grow hay on 15 acres of what was once a much larger, family farm.

Like so many people with goats, one thing led to another, and Colleen and her family ended up raising goats on their small acreage.  However, her husband had been raised on a farm, so keeping and feeding livestock just for fun was not an option.  The goats had to have a purpose.  Ultimately, with this in mind, Colleen was exposed to the idea of making goat milk soap and tried it out.  It took a bit to get the recipe correct, but once she figured it out product ideas and designs started coming out.

Today Colleen has a nice system in place.  She only milks goats part of the year, but is able to freeze enough milk to keep her making soap all year round.  Also, she sells at one farmers market only, every other week, for part of the year.  And, the big event is the National Finals Rodeo.  Colleen and the family have haded to Las Vegas two years in a row now, selling soap at one of the largest venues in Las Vegas - Country Christmas - which is held at the Rio.

Direct download: Colleen_Cummings_Episode_1723_-_42723_8.20_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Our woes on the farm this year continue.  I've known this was coming, but I confirmed it Friday at our veterinarian's office.  All of my cows are open.  We will be having no calves this year as our bull quit producing viable sperm sometime over a year ago, and I did not catch it because I did not have him semen tested, and I did not have our cows preg tested.

This is a hard lesson for me, and it is embarrassing....and I am telling all of you all about it on this episode.

Direct download: OFI_1720_Tuesday_Episode_-_52223_11.25_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tom Henson is the owner of T&T Services in Lapeer, Michigan along with his business partner and bowling partner, Tonya.  I found Tom and Tonya's ad on Craigslist and was immediately drawn to it because of the ad for wasp removal.  It was apparent that Tom was offering a suite of services that anyone in the world of farming would already have much of the equipment for, and I wanted to interview him to show other people what was possible.

It turns out that Tom has a very interesting story beyond his business.  He retired from Ford Motor Company where he spent a large part of his career hand building engines for Shelby Cobra's.  He is also a professional bowler with an average of 232!  Tom has bowled in professional tournaments, is in four leagues and averages 50 games per week!

I had a fascinating time learning about the Ford engines and the bowling.  Eventually we got into the business....

Direct download: Tom_Henson_Episode_1716_-_42523_4.01_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am interviewing an entrepreneur who drew my attention with an ad about wasp removal.  This made me think about the two hives of bees that I lost to wasps several years ago, and of course bee and honey production.  So today I am revisiting an interview I did with Alan Mikolich about this very business.

Direct download: OFI_1715_Replay_Of_1107_-_51523_6.30_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Well, I've definitely had better years on our small farm here in Kuna.  At this point in the year, this has definitely been the worst year we have ever experienced.  Last week, on two consecutive mornings, I found kid goats that had been killed by coyotes.  On top of that, we have other issues going on that are going to harm our bottom line on the farm in the future.

On the other hand, some ideas I have put into place on the farm are working great, and I have a new friend in agriculture and podcasting that we get to celebrate on today's episode.

I've got all of that, and a bit of discussion about people with no boundaries on today's show.

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Direct download: OFI_1713_Tuesday_Episode_-_51523_4.51_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Stacy Carr is an Agricultural Consultant and Coach from Johnson City, Tennessee.  Hearing her story, it is obvious what it takes to be able to consult young and beginning farmers with no experience in the way that can - decades of work and experience in agriculture.

Stacy has a fantastic, exciting and rewarding business, but it is not the type of business that you just choose and start.  This business takes a passion for all aspects of agriculture that has driven you to take your own risks, do your own work and spend your own money over a lifetime pursuing farming.  Stacy has done that, in multiple different states and in multiple different ways.  And today, she is reaping the rewards of all of that knowledge and experience by being able to share it with people from all walks of life, including young families who want a rural lifestyle, and help them to succeed in farming.

In today's episode Stacy and I discuss all of that experience, and how her business works.  We will also talk about who the people are that want an agricultural lifestyle so much that they are willing to pay for somebody to guide them to that destination.

Direct download: Stacy_Carr_Episode_1709_-_42423_12.20_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am interviewing a woman with an incredible breadth of knowledge and passion for farming, livestock, gardening and the soil.  She has a very unique and successful model of consultation for small farmers and left me realizing how little I actually know.  So, for today's re-cap episode I am going back to a 2016 interview I did with David Ridle of Skagit Farmers Supply where he was consulting with people on small acreages, as an employee of the co-op.


Direct download: OFI_1708_Replay_Of_101_-_5823_4.00_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On today's farm update I'll be talking about how I think I am overstocked on the farm, and the recycled and new methods I am using to try and take advantage of all the forage on the whole property.  Plus more....

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Direct download: OFI_1706_Tuesday_Episode_-_5823_4.15_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Caleb Branson and Shelby Redcorn are the owners of a business that is essential to keep production agriculture going in the U.S. and to keep their small community functioning in the Panhandle of Oklahoma where they live.  Caleb has been operating cranes since he was a child, and both he and Shelby have been self-employed for their entire lives.  Neither of them know anything different than getting paid when there is work and tightening the belts when there is not.

In 2017 they started C&S Crane And Steel, offering a myriad of services to farmers and other industries.  From building grain storage facilities to replacing augers on bins, it is this, behind the scenes business, that is there to keep farmers going.  During the interview I asked what motivates a farmer to build their own grain storage facility, and, as you would expect, it was all about giving the farmer the best chance of creating a sustainable business.  But those facilities and other pieces of equipment like them could not be built if it weren't for entrepreneurs like Shelby and Caleb who have the expertise and took the risk to purchase the equipment that provides their community the ability to continually improve their operations.

There is folklore surrounding the American Farmer that brings with it a certain prestige, and deservedly so.  We are all standing on someone's shoulders, and without folks like Shelby and Caleb, American Agriculture just couldn't operate and feed the world the way that it does.

Direct download: Shelby_Redcorn_Episode_1702_-_41923_3.11_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am profiling a husband/wife team that has a unique and fascinating business serving farmers in the panhandle of Oklahoma.  That gave me the thought of replaying Jonathan Demcack's interview from 2015 again for you.  He started a business called "Droplet Irrigation" here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, providing service to farmers, and I thought it was a great tie in with tomorrow's show.


Direct download: OFI_1701_Re-Cap_Episode_-_5323_3.55_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tyler Schake is the owner of T&T Mobile Washing.  Growing up farming, Tyler always took pride in, and got very good at washing the farm equipment.  In his mid-20's he came to the realization that he wanted to go out on his own, and working on the family farm was no longer the right fit for him.  At about the same time Tyler and his wife had their first son, and he knew that his responsibilities in life were increasing.

It was at this point that Tyler took the thing that he had developed a passion for on the farm, washing equipment, and turned it into a business.  Starting with just a pickup, box trailer and pressure washer Tyler is now running three trucks, 7 full time employees and serving an area with a radius of about 275 miles.  He is cleaning combines and other farm equipment for dealerships and farmers, and he is doing fleet cleaning for trucking companies.

In today's interview Tyler talks a lot about what he experienced when he decided to start his own business.  Also, he educates me quite a bit on the reasons why a mobile washing business like his is so valuable to trucking companies.  We talk a lot about entrepreneurship and a lot about this great business.

Direct download: Tyler_Schake_Episode_1695_-_41723_2.59_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

In today's episode I have a short farm update and some thoughts about why having a horrible job as a teenager is so valuable.  I'll even tell you a story from a job I had when I was 14 years old.

Plus, and update on the growth of my community.  Here is the link to the article that I read:

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Direct download: OFI_1692_Tuesday_Episode_-_42123_3.08_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Jerry Stephens is the Northern Plains, Regional Sales Manager of Agoro Carbon, and in today's episode he will be talking to us about getting paid to sequester carbon on your farm.

Today's episode is one of those in which I need to give a disclaimer before beginning.  Agoro Carbon is not a sponsor of the Off-Farm Income Podcast, and they did not pay me to record this episode.  Also, they are not a prospective advertiser.  I agreed to have them on the show today because what they are offering might be a source of revenue for you that can help you to achieve and sustain the lifestyle in farming or ranching that you are seeking.

Carbon offsets are a hot topic, and farmers hold some of the best possibilities of capturing carbon through the practices they use on their farms and ranches.  Agoro Carbon works in the area of voluntary carbon sequestration, meaning that there is no government involvement, and none of their buyers are compelled by the government to participate.

In today's episode I strive to have the conversation with Jerry that you would have, if you were considering working with Agoro Carbon to sequester carbon on your farm and to generate a new source of revenue.

Direct download: Jerry_Stephens_Episode_1688_-_41223_3.29_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Tomorrow's ag business episode is featuring a way of creating extra revenue on your farm.  This may be a fit for some of you and not a fit for others, but I like to bring these ideas forward for you to do your own research and find out if they would be helpful to you.  For our re-cap episode today I went back into the archives and found this interview with Ryan Conklin talking about another possible revenue source on your farm.

Direct download: OFI_1687_Replay_Of_1437_-_41823_4.13_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Forget the past, focus on the future?  Is it all or one.  Did I invent a metaphor.  You will find all of this out and get a detailed farm update on today's episode.  Also, what is the "DIY Death Trap"?

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Direct download: OFI_1685_Tuesday_Episode_-_41723_2.24_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Mark & Marcia Ruff are production agriculture farmers in Ohio and the owners of at least three businesses that compliment their farm.  Along with their three children and all of their, year round employees, they are farming 4,000 acres of wheat, soybeans and corn.  This all started back in 1997 when they knew they wanted to farm, and took a leap of faith with Mark leaving his full-time, city job to focus just on farming.  Back then they were leasing approximately 300 acres.

Today, Mark and Marcia have proven themselves very capable both in the world of farming and in small business  So much so, that opportunities literally come knocking on their door.  They have a container loading facility on their property now and run this business for farmers in their community, and, as Mark describes in the interview, he didn't know anything about container loading until some folks showed up as his door and proposed the idea.

In this day and age people will tell you that there is no way to get started farming without inheriting land or being independently wealthy when you begin.  However, Mark and Marcia are living proof that this is not correct.  Today's interview with each of them will inspire you and leave you with no excuses if you truly want to farm.

Direct download: Marcia_Ruff_Episode_1681_-_4523_3.38_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode I am speaking a couple who started their farm from scratch in 1997 and have grown it to 4,000 acres.  They say it can't be done, but tomorrow we are proving them wrong!

This episode with Matt Kellog, talking about different niches for farmers at all levels is the perfect tie in for tomorrow's show.


Direct download: OFI_1680_Re-Cap_Episode_-_41023_12.03_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hi everyone, I get to do something on today's episode that you have given me the privilege of doing.  I am reviewing a product that a manufacturer sent to me for free in exchange for me testing and reviewing it.  The product is the "Chickcozy" automatic chicken coop door, and I am giving it five stars!  This product has been in use on my farm for several weeks now, and I have been able to check it every night, in the middle of the night while I'm looking after our goats who are kidding.  Every night it is closed, not one chicken has been locked out of the coop and no predators can get into the coop to kill our chickens.  Then the next morning when I get up, the chickens are out in the run, hunting and pecking.

The "Chickcozy" has worked just as I had hoped it would, and it has taken one little thing, that sometimes seemed like a big thing, off of my daily workload.  I no longer have to make two trips a day to the chicken coop to let out or lock up chickens.  And, even if that is not a big deal for you, the "Chickcozy" will act as a failsafe for you on those rare occasions that you forget!

You all know that you are my priority, and I would not recommend a product to you if I had not used it and believed it was worth the money.  I can say that both of those things are true in the case of the "chickcozy".  You can find the "Chickcozy" at

In addition to my produce recommendation on today's show, I'll be talking about equipment breaking down, equipment getting fixed and the never ending process of the kidding season!  Happy Spring and Happy Easter everyone...

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Direct download: OFI_1678_Tuesday_Episode_-_41023_10.49_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hi everyone, I get to do something on today's episode that you have given me the privilege of doing.  I am reviewing a product that a manufacturer sent to me for free in exchange for me testing and reviewing it.  The product is the "Chickcozy" automatic chicken coop door, and I am giving it five stars!  This product has been in use on my farm for several weeks now, and I have been able to check it every night, in the middle of the night while I'm looking after our goats who are kidding.  Every night it is closed, not one chicken has been locked out of the coop and no predators can get into the coop to kill our chickens.  Then the next morning when I get up, the chickens are out in the run, hunting and pecking.

The "Chickcozy" has worked just as I had hoped it would, and it has taken one little thing, that sometimes seemed like a big thing, off of my daily workload.  I no longer have to make two trips a day to the chicken coop to let out or lock up chickens.  And, even if that is not a big deal for you, the "Chickcozy" will act as a failsafe for you on those rare occasions that you forget!

You all know that you are my priority, and I would not recommend a product to you if I had not used it and believed it was worth the money.  I can say that both of those things are true in the case of the "chickcozy".  You can find the "Chickcozy" at

In addition to my produce recommendation on today's show, I'll be talking about equipment breaking down, equipment getting fixed and the never ending process of the kidding season!  Happy Spring and Happy Easter everyone...

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


Direct download: OFI_1678_Tuesday_Episode_-_41023_10.49_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Brian Simpson is the owner of Dirt Man X and RV Dump Bucket in Austin, Texas.  He moved from Michigan to Austin about 9 years ago.  As a previous owner of an excavation company in Michigan, he had the equipment and expertise to bring with him on the trip south.  But, he couldn't bring his reputation because nobody in Austin knew him.

In today's episode Brian and I talk about serving farmers in Michigan and ranchers in Texas.  We discuss going a little bit backwards in business from having loads of business through word of mouth to having to advertise and build trust and a reputation again.  We also discuss how to move a business with that much equipment.  What gets sold?  What comes along?

Brian has great advice for those just getting started, and there are some stories of digging stuff up that you never wanted to find and the lights and sirens that come with those moments.

Direct download: Brian_Simpson_Episode_1674_-_31523_4.51_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There is a lot going on, on our farm and in our lives right now.  We have definitely broken into spring and are charging forward with our farming season.  Here is what is in our farm update today:

  • A change in advertising
  • College visits in Texas
  • Kidding season is underway
  • Our current stats on goats
  • Hattie's SAE project and grant
  • Afternoon feeding for afternoon kids and calves
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Direct download: OFI_1671_Tuesday_Episode_-_4323_1.43_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Other than 5 or so years in the Air Force, Keith Pearson, has lived and farmed in Tomah, Wisconsin for his entire life.  However, in 2015 the stress, long days and physical labor of farming was catching up with Keith and he decided to retire.  As a result he sold 1090 acres of his 1100 acre farm and went to work in town to keep himself busy.  However, a city job was not the right fit for Keith, and as life happened that became more apparent.  So, Keith decided that in order to stay busy he was going to start his own business.  

Keith missed being in the seat of a tractor in the spring and smelling the soil as it was newly turned over.  So, he found a way to do that and have a business.  Pearson Custom Tilling was born.  Today, Keith is busy from the beginning of spring planting season until the end of September tilling people's gardens, plowing people's land, seeding deer plots or mowing acreages. 

This side business gives him the ability to work on restoring Allis Chalmers Tractors over the winter, and bringing their life and luster back.  Keith is a farmer through and through, and now he gets to share all of that knowledge with his neighbors and the new people moving in around him with visions of farming and sustainability.  

Direct download: Keith_Pearson_Episode_1667_-_3623_2.03_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

There is something about the smell of dirt that moves some people to action.  On tomorrow's ag business episode I am profiling a farmer who retired, sold his land and took a day job in town.  However, after a year of that he missed the smell of freshly turned Earth, especially in the spring time.  So, he started a tilling business and is thriving.

For today's re-cap episode I want to go back to episode #54 that featured Larry Hildebrant.  He had a custom rototilling business, and he was also driven by working the soil.  In Larry's case he even did some of his tilling for free, depending on the situation for the customer.  Larry's interview is a perfect re-cap episode to lead us into tomorrow's ag business episode.

Direct download: OFI_1666_Replay_of_054_-_32723_9.12_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a true farm update episode after a couple of weeks of going topical on Tuesdays.  We will be discussing:

  • Water in the creek
  • A bit of green poking through in the pasture
  • Hattie selected as district president
  • Four kids on the ground
  • Still waiting on calves
  • Unseasonable cool and it seems like it is going to stay that way - the leaves and the birds don’t seem to care - must be all about daylight hours

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Direct download: OFI_1664_Tuesday_Episode_-_32723_9.24_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Kent and Shannon Rollins are the force behind teaching the world how to cook like a cowboy.  On their YouTube Channel, "Kent Rollins Cowboy Cooking" and their new book, "Comfort Food The Cowboy Way", they share the wisdom, weather and recipes of the American West.  

This all started somewhere around 1983 when Kent started cooking for an outfitter in a New Mexico elk camp.  But really, it started much earlier than that when Kent was a kid and in his later years of being a ranch hand.  At some point he traded in the branding iron for the cast iron, and he went to work making sure that cowboys were well fed before and after their long days in the saddle.  

There are some traditions of the American West that are thought to be gone, that still exist.  Cooking for cowboys on the range from a chuck wagon is one of those.  In Kent and Shannon's book you get a glimpse of this tradition through the incredible photos that Shannon has taken while they are on ranches cooking.  And in Kent's words, he captures the impact of the weather and how the right meal can ease the burden of facing the harshness of Mother Nature from the saddle all day.  

Direct download: Kent_Rollins_Episode_1660_-_31623_3.09_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I saw an article pop up on Bloomberg today with the title, “Farmers Can’t Keep Hogging the Water in Parched Southwest”.  I was unable to read it because it is behind the paywall, and I do not have a subscription.  However, this is a topic that I have thought a lot about.  

Direct download: OFI_1657_Tuesday_Episode_-_32023_8.05_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Kacee Bohle is a fourth generation farmer from Illinois, a career agriculturist and an Ag Coach.  On today's episode we are going to focus in on her business of career coaching in agriculture.  Kacee has two main customer bases - agriculture students and professionals moving into or out of agriculture.  She deals with a lot of diverse situations in this business, but being an entrepreneur gives her the flexibility to do so and to adapt to each unique situation.

Kacee's coaching is reflection of her own experiences.  When she was graduating high school she did not really know where her future in agriculture resided, but she knew that it was in agriculture.  She is the only one of her siblings interested in taking over the family farm, and she feels pressure to do so to keep the legacy alive.  And, she has had multiple experiences in agricultural industry that make her uniquely qualified to help other people find their paths.

Direct download: Kacee_Bohle_Episode_1653_-_13023_12.05_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode I talking with an agricultural career coach.  This got me thinking of what episode to replay for you on today's episode, and it became clear.  Our guest tomorrow specializes in helping people find their careers in agriculture.  The other side to that same coin is how can you develop your farming and agricultural lifestyle at home.  So, in today's re-cap episode I am going back to a special coaching session I did with Wendy from Ontario, Oregon about this very thing.


Direct download: OFI_1652_Replay_Of_318_-_31523_11.08_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Preston Sechrest is a 2022 SAE Grant Recipient.  He is also the treasurer of the East Davidson FFA Chapter in Thomasville, North Carolina, and he is going to use his grant money as well as money that he saved from working at a grocery store to purchase his first dairy heifer for showing.

This all began for Preston during his 9th Grade year of high school.  He was considering becoming a game warden in the future, he still is actually, so he took an animal science class as an elective.  When his teacher, Mrs. Leonard, did a unit on introduction to the FFA, he thought he had been tricked.  However, by the end of school year he had been hooked, and he was a full-fledged FFA member.

His advisor encouraged Preston to go to a dairy cattle showing clinic to get introduced to this event.  He went, and he took to it.  People could not believe that he had never showed cattle before, and he got several offers to show for other people.  He has done ten heifer shows for a neighboring farm since then, and this has sparked an interest that Preston believes he will have for the rest of his life!

Direct download: Preston_Sechrest_Episode_1651_-_21723_2.04_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today I am breaking down an article that is talking about the new phenomena of "Bare Minimum Mondays".  Here is the link if you'd like to read it yourself:

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Direct download: OFI_1650_Tuesday_Episode_-_31323_5.41_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Taylor Lacek is the 2o22 Minnesota State Star Farmer and a second semester student at South Dakota State University studying Agriculture Business & Communications with a newly added minor in journalism.  She has a passion for telling agriculture's story, and has her sights set on being a column writer in agriculture.

Taylor's grandfather got the family involved in raising show cattle generations ago, and Taylor has continued that onward.  Today, Taylor keeps abreast of the latest technology and methods in cattle breeding, employing embryo transfer and even looking into cloning to develop the genetics in her herd.  Taylor taught me about a method of dealing with calves that are not getting going after birth during the interview called the "Madigan Squeeze".  It was clear that she is constantly consuming information on the industry that she is passionate for, and it is this consumption that will turn her into a great purveyor of agricultural information.

Direct download: Taylor_Lacek_Episode_1649_-_21623_1.34_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Caite Palmer and Arlene Hunter are the hosts of "The Barnyard Language Podcast - "Real Talk About Running Farms and Raising Families".  They are both farmers in different situations.  Arlene and her husband are full-time dairy farmers in Canada with no off-farm jobs. Caite and her husband farm
about 200 acres of row crops and raise livestock in Northeast Iowa and both of them work off of the farm.  Caite and Arlene were brought together by a podcast, met on a Facebook group corresponding to that show and have only met in person one time.  However, they have been hosting a weekly show together for almost two years!

I was recently a guest on the Barnyard Language Podcast.  I enjoyed the conversation so much and was so impressed with how these ladies went about their business, I invited them to be guests on Off-Farm Income as well.  They tackle some tough issues on their show - everything from parenting to domestic violence in rural communities.  They have a mission and a big vision of how they can inspire more farming podcasts that will help farmers.  I love it, and am thrilled to have interviewed them and to feature them on the show today!

Direct download: Barnyard_Language_Podcast_Episode_1646_-_12723_2.36_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are featuring a team of agricultural podcast hosts who deal with real world issues and the challenges of parenting on a farm.  These two ladies found each other through a shared passion to help folks with these challenges.  One of them lives north of the border in Canada.

Their interview reminded me of the fantastic appearance that Elaine Froese had on the show discussing how to keep the family from splintering when farm transition and farm sale towards the end of a parent's career or life occurs.  This is a great tie in with tomorrow's show as we feature two guests who deal with the challenge of family on the other end of the spectrum, when children are at their youngest.


Direct download: OFI_1645_Replay_Of_Elaine_Froese_-_3823_10.35_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Dane Haverkamp is the owner of Triple H Custom Hay. He is also a junior in high school, his FFA chapter's vice-president and a family farmer with his parents on their ranch in Kansas.  Dane likes all aspects of agriculture, but his families operation is almost exclusively raising registered Black Angus Cattle.  Around Dane's 8th Grade year he told his folks he would like to get his own equipment for cutting, raking and baling hay on their farm rather than having it done by a custom business.  However, his parents told him that the amount of work needed on their farm would not justify the purchase.  So, Dane came up with the idea of starting a custom hay business of his own to justify the purchase, and made sense.  Dane purchased his own baler, swather and later a rake to start the business.  In exchange for the work he does on the farm, he uses his parent's tractors to operate the implements.  Today, Dane operates Triple H Custom Hay and has a growing business that he plans to operate for years to come.


Direct download: Dane_Haverkamp_Episode_1644_-_21623_7.32_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I think our farm is at a point where I could just cruise if I wanted to.  However, I keep looking at ways to improve, become more efficient and to become more profitable.  What is that in me, and in all entrepreneurs?  Does it ever go away?


Direct download: OFI_1643_Tuesday_Episode_-_3623_4.34_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Aaron Juergens is a very busy, very energetic, serial agricultural entrepreneur.  He first appeared on the Off-Farm Income Podcast in 2015 when we discussed his business spreading hog manure in Iowa.  He was busy then, but the scope of businesses he had was nothing compared to today!  Since our first interview Aaron has sold the manure spreading businesses and become involved in multiple other enterprises.  Looking at his Linkedin Page I count 7 other enterprises, six of which are still running today.

On today's episode with Aaron we catch up on what has been going on in his life for the past 8 years, including getting married and having two kids.  And we talk about partnerships, how to manage them and how he keeps all these different balls in the air!

Direct download: Aaron_Juergens_Episode_1639_-_12323_10.00_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Aaron Juergens was one of my first ever agricultural entrepreneur guests on the show.  Since we first met in 2015 he has continued to expand and grow in his entrepreneurial pursuits.  Tomorrow he is coming back on the show to update us all.  For this week's re-cap episode I am revisiting our first interview from 2015 so you will have the perfect before and after picture.

Direct download: OFI_1638_Replay_of_Episode_40_-_3123_2.58_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update episode, and we will be discussing:

Mother Nature is so deceptive - looking outside at snow and frozen ground knowing that sometime in the next couple of weeks it is all going to change and I will go from feeling like I am in winter to feeling like I am behind.

Winter is definitely my most relaxed time of the year when it comes to the farm.  This is the last week of that….everything starts to ramp up next week….

I bought an Indian motorcycle, and I wanted to get it done before the weather got good. I test rode it on the one 50 degree day we have had in the last 10 days and will have in the next 2 weeks…

I am very excited about it, but also a little sad to give up my Honda.

I start calving next week and calving season will be followed by kidding…so my chances to ride it very much is probably going to be delayed by more than just weather

Watched Borrowed Future with Autumm & Hattie as we start preparing for Hattie to go to college.  Watching this and hearing the realities of higher education in the U.S. made me so proud of what agricultural colleges throughout the U.S. are doing.  Just in the 20 or so that I have interviewed so far, I have found a multitude of very affordable options for ag students to get a four year degree if they want to.  In my interview with Kansas State I found out that Mid-Western States are losing population and thus, future students, so there are many affordable options for agricultural education in the Mid-West.  They need the students and they want to bring people to their states and try to keep them as permanent residents.

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Direct download: OFI_1636_Tuesday_Episode_-_22723_3.29_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Arin Whitemountain and Tom Masterson are partnering together in Southeast Missouri to bring a niche haying service to very small acreages.  Arin has invested in the necessary equipment to bale very small, round bales on small acreages with low horsepower tractors.  He did it for himself last summer, and has developed a passion for these small and easy to use bales.

Arin recently retired from the Coast Guard and moved to a piece of property he had previously purchased in the area.  Tom has become an agricultural mentor to Arin and has been helping to get him started in the world of farming.  At the same time, Tom knows many people with small acreages in the area and helps them as well.  This has made for a great partnership in growing this service, and they are both very excited about the production of small round bales and how it will help those folks with very small acreages to produce something off of their grass rather than just brush hogging it down.

Direct download: Arin_Whitemountain_Episode_1632_-_12323_12.17_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update episode, and we will be discussing:

  1. Urban Sprawl and disappearing farms
  2. The period between the Super Bowl and March Madness
  3. When is it a good idea to get a Harley Davidson
  4. A better mouse trap
  5. Our new Ag College Episode

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Direct download: OFI_1629_Tuesday_Episode_-_22023_7.29_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A.W. Erwin is a syndicated "cowboy cartoonist" with a quick wit and funny personality.  He has been drawing cartoons of cowboys and cowgirls in funny situations for decades now, and this is his form of "off-farm income".

Making his home in north central Texas, he is immersed in the cowboy lifestyle knowing people far and wide who are preserving the old ways and arts of cowboying.  To keep his commute as a short walk from his house to his studio, A.W. has developed a line of products he sells as well as services.  He has mastered "re-purposing".  A drawing he made yesterday might become a coffee mug tomorrow and a calendar next year.

A.W. made his first appearance on the Off-Farm Income Podcast in 2015, and he is back today with more inspiration and advice for artists who don't know how to turn their passion into a full-time business.

Direct download: A.W._Erwin_Episode_1625_-_12523_7.41_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's episode I get to catch up with A.W. Erwin, who first appeared on our show in 2015 on episode #15!  A.W. has a very quick wit, an incredible artistic ability and he has turned this into a successful business that has supported his family and his ranching endeavors for decades.

On today's re-cap episode I am going to bring the very first interview I did with A.W. back.  You can get the before and after picture on A.W., and you will definitely get a before and after picture of me as an interviewer and podcaster....


Direct download: OFI_1634_Replay_Of_015_-_21523_3.05_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Grace DiGiovanni is a 2022 National Proficiency Winner in the category of Service Learning.  With a title like that, you know that she had done something significant to help out her community, but after doing a complete interview with her it was obvious that she is wired to help her fellow human.

Grace is currently attending college at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.  She has her eyes set on medical school and oncology. She has a scientific and inquisitive brain, and all of us are blessed that people like Grace exist.  She has a desire to work on the macro and micro in oncology in her career.  On the micro level she sees herself helping individual patients through oncological surgery to address their specific needs.  On the macro she sees herself studying the tumors that she has just removed for the betterment of all of society!

Of course, this is no surprise when you learn what Grace's SAE was.  She saw that the food that was being included in a local backpack food program was not very nutrient dense or healthy.  So, she obtained a grant, community volunteers and donations from the community to change this.  Ultimately she wound up taking over the entire program and leaving a legacy in her community.  And, during all of this she obtained over 80 college credits through dual credit courses.  That number is a new record of college credits obtained in high school on the Off-Farm Income Podcast!

Direct download: Grace_DiGiovanni_Episode_1623_-_11823_1.34_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I have been on a twelve day quest to find the sun, feel it's warmth and find my people.....I succeeded and today I'll tell you all about it...

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Direct download: OFI_1622_Tuesday_Episode_-_2923_6.07_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Jessica Hart is the owner of Deschutes Farm Services in Bend, Oregon.  She is also a certified veterinary technician and former rancher.  Jessica moved to Bend about four years ago and found herself starting a new chapter of her life in a town that was starting a new chapter of its own.  As many native citizens of Bend were moving out and making room for people emigrating from places like California, Jessica saw an opportunity. 

Many of the California transplants had the money to purchase homes with acreage and had very options to purchase homes without acreage.  So, there wound up being a lot of people with no experience, who never planned on raising livestock or farming, trying to manage small acreages.  This is where Jessica came in with the skill set that she already had.  Deschutes Farm Services was born.  

Today Jessica specializes in hoof trimming for goats, farm and ranch sitting and consulting with new land owners on what type of operation to start and how to get it going.  She is a full-time entrepreneur, working with new landowners.  

Direct download: Jessica_Hart_Episode_1618_-_11923_11.08_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am featuring a guest who learned a lot of different livestock management practices over the years, and then found herself living in an area with a lot of small farms.  She took all of these skills and turned them into a small business helping these new livestock owners.

One of those skills is hoof trimming, and that reminded me of early interview with Randy Hettinga who has a hoof trimming business in my hometown of Kuna, Idaho.  He serves the dairy industry and took some time to speak with me about how this business works.  I thought it fit great to bring this interview back to you today.

Direct download: OFI_1617_Replay_Of_058_-_2123_11.30_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

I have failed a lot on my farm and as an entrepreneur.  It is all part of the journey, and if you frame your perspective correctly it is part of the fun.  In today's episode I am discussing some of these failures, including:

  • Cover Crop fail - only just a few days of feed on that
  • Holding goats until January 
  • Having listeners find Friday guests
  • Finding a producer

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Direct download: OFI_1615_Tuesday_Episode_-_2123_12.04_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Kate Ziehm is the president and owner of Morning Ag Clips and has an incredible story of agricultural entrepreneurship.  There are many ways and motivations that form people into entrepreneurs, Kate's was lifestyle.  Many times people choose entrepreneurship for lifestyle purposes thinking it is going to bring them passive income and the famous "four hour workweek".  Kate's lifestyle was a bit different than that.  She was adjusting to being a single mother of three sons, and being there to raise them was her #1 priority.  Entrepreneurship was what was going to allow her to fulfill that vision.

When Kate took over Morning Ag Clips it was simply an email sent to a list about agricultural issues in the State Of New York.  Kate's vision, passion for agriculture and love of this business led to massive growth under her ownership.  Today Morning Ag Clips publishes 28 versions, covering 35 states, with employees spread all over the country.  It has evolved from the email list to a website and most recently, a mobile app!

Kate is truly an inspiration in agriculture, and in today's episode we get to share her story.

Direct download: Kate_Ziehm_Episode_1599_-_121522_4.48_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are speaking with a very enterprising agricultural entrepreneur from New York State.  The crux of her story is that through entrepreneurship and a set of skills that she already had, she found her place in agriculture.  Today, she is making major contributions to our industry and keeping us all informed.

This made me think of my interview with Wil Crombie.  Wil definitely had a winding path that took him out of and then back to agriculture, and finally into a new way of participating in farming.  While Wil was away he was developing a skill set that would allow him to create the off-farm income that he would need and share the world of agriculture that he was passionate about.  This was the perfect prelude to tomorrow's ag business episode, and I am happy to bring Wil's episode back for you today.


Direct download: OFI_1610_Replay_Of_1011_-_2123_10.53_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update episode everyone.  We will cover:

  • Changing my security plans about goat theft
  • The tractor that ended horsepower
  • The lost art of manure pick up
  • How to irritate staff at the livestock auction
  • Why you should never put scrapies tags in your goats early

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Direct download: 1.31.23_Tuesday_Episode_-_13023_5.05_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Andrew Swafford is a county commissioner in Bledsoe County, Tennessee and at the time of this writing he is 25 years old.  Andrew is also the owner of three chicken houses, a 749 acre plot of timber, a forestry business called Four Aims Forestry and a graduate student at the University Of Georgia.  He clearly is a high achiever, and this is something that we at the Off-Farm Income Podcast have known for almost a decade.  

Andy, as he likes to be called, first appeared on the show in 2015 as a recently graduated high school student with a bee business called Andy's Bee Keeping.  Back then he was collected, bottling and selling honey to customers all around his community in Tennessee.  He was just getting ready to begin college at the University Of Tennessee back then, and oh how far he has gone since then!  

I like to see the progress the guests on the Off-Farm Income Podcast have made from time to time, and I was blown away when I read Andy's resume on Linkedin.  I am happy to welcome him back onto the show today to give us the details on the journey that he has been on and what is next to come!

Direct download: Andrew_Swafford_Episode_1605_-_11223_4.29_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Today is a farm update episode everyone.  We will cover:

  • Beautiful night skies during calving/kidding season
  • The lure of the predator
  • The great relief of remembering that goats are just dumb
  • The archeology of our local area of Idaho
  • The worst roads in America

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Direct download: OFI_1602_Tuesday_Episode_-_12423_6.50_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 6:59am MDT

The Shepherdess At Harmony Farms is named Grace, and she has an unbelievable story.  Starting at the age of 11 she lived in the suburbs of Austin, Texas and was purchasing and re-marketing garage sale items online.  She developed an incredible talent for online marketing during her teen years to the point that she developed a 7 figure apparel company using the marketing skills she had developed.  Then, there was a drastic change.

Grace was living with her parents at this time, and they decided that it was time to move to an area where they could purchase some land and get further away from encroaching urban sprawl.  This took the whole family to northeast Texas, where her folks bought 30 acres.  In an effort to keep their agricultural property tax exemption, they began raising sheep, and for the first two years, Grace wanted nothing to do with this.  However, in 202o that all changed.

Once Grace embraced taking care of the livestock and farming, she fell in love with the lifestyle and work.  This led her to develop a passion for findng a way to stay on the farm.  She took the online marketing skills that she already had and started applying them to the families farming enterprise and "The Shepherdess At Harmony Farms" was born.

Today Grace is selling premium Dorper Sheep, online courses, merchandise, sheep supplies and other SWAG.  She is fired up about telling young people how they will be able to get into farming and why that is a great choice.  And, she is putting outstanding content out on her blog and her YouTube Channel.  And, I am lucky enough to interview her today.

Direct download: Shepherdess_Episode_1599_-_11823_11.24_AM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hello everybody.  We have a farm update episode today, and I am excited about the developments at our place.  I hope you will join us to talk goats, a new market for goats, beef, word of mouth marketing and so much more!

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Direct download: OFI_1596_Tuesday_Episode_-_11623_7.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Darrell Anderson is a career, agricultural broadcaster.  He left his families farm after high school for college, and during college discovered his interest in broadcasting.  This led Darrell in several different directions.  Today, after a career's worth of the radio business Darrell is working as an independent agricultural broadcaster.  He hosts a syndicated, 90 second show, called Farm To Fork that is played on stations all around the country, five days per week.

In today's episode Darrell will retrace his journey to where he is at today.  And, we we will talk about how a young person who wants to be an agricultural broadcaster can start their own, independent show in the way that Darrell has, today.

Direct download: Darrell_Anderson_Episode_1593_-_12822_9.14_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On today's farm update show I want to inspire you on your journey in pursuit of your new lifestyle!  

Direct download: OFI_1590_Tuesday_Episode_-_1923_4.30_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Farm Link is a program in Nebraska that strives to match up retiring farmers and ranchers with new and beginning farmers and ranchers that are looking for an operation to take over.  The obstacles of entry into farming and ranching are very high, making it difficult for a newcomer to get started.  At the same time there are retiring farmers and ranchers that want to see their land support another family the way that it did theirs, and they are willing to work with a young person to make this happen.  

Allan Vyhnalek is an extension educator for the University Of Nebraska at Lincoln, and he started the Nebraska Farm Link Program in January of 2021.  In today's episode we will discuss how it works, options for transition plans and some of the things he sees that are holding new and beginning farmers back from taking full advantage of this resource.  

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Direct download: Allan_Vyhnalek_Episode_1587_-_12622_3.49_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's ag business episode we are looking at the concept of farm transition again.  It has been several years since I have done this, but it is a topic that we should keep front of mind because it is a valid way to begin farming or ranching.  Back in 2017 I interviewed a young man who was a National Proficiency Finalist and a sophomore in college.  He was raising his own cattle and working for a neighbor on his ranch, and that neighbor was ready to retire.  The neighbor did not have a family member who wanted to farm the ground, and he was transitioning the operation to my guest, Stetson Dittmar.  On today's show we will revisit that conversation.  

Direct download: OFI_1586_Replay_Of_389_-_1423_4.45_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On today's farm update show, let's talk about my goals for 2023, including:

  • Be better at gopher control
  • More frequent pasture rotations
  • Sell sweet corn in a road side stand
  • Start a working dog
  • Become more of a vagabond on Idaho’s back roads
  • Graze goats on our canal more
  • Start a couple of pack goats

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Direct download: OFI_1584_Tuesday_Episode_-_1223_3.51_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

A quick farm update on a "kind of" week off between Christmas and New Years.  This one has it all: goats, freezing rain and more....

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Direct download: OFI_1578_Tuesday_Episode_-_122622_6.20_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Gracee Poorman has overcome a lot in her life, and dealing with the difficult challenges of overcoming obstacles is probably what attracts her to agriculture.  She did not grow up in agriculture, but through a series of twists and turns she found herself working in a commercial hog barn.  She also found many people skeptical about her ability to put in the work and be successful working in that environment, and that drove her to prove them wrong.....which she did!

Today Gracee is married and living and working on the family farm that has been in her husband's family for two centuries.  She is what I would describe as a serial entrepreneur.  Gracee is running several businesses including photography, pressure washing, agricultural consulting and public speaking.  She keeps herself very busy with different streams of revenue as well as working on her families farm.  In this episode, we will get a glimpse into what drives her.

Direct download: Gracee_Poorman_Episode_1575_-_12122_3.18_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Hi everyone.  We have a farm update for you today and some more weather talk.  Yes, I love the weather and I love interesting weather.  We seem to have that in abundance right now, and I talk all about it in today's Tuesday Episode.


Direct download: OFI_1572_Tuesday_Episode_-_121922_3.43_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

Lance Irving is the program director for the Leopold Conservation Award which is presented to one farmer in each of 25 participating states.  The award comes after a farmer has been nominated for the conversation practices on their farm that are both financially sound and environmentally beneficial.  The award is facilitated and presented by the Sand County Foundation, which is named after Aldo Leopold's watershed book titled "A Sand County Almanac" which was released in 1949.

On today's episode Lance will speak with us about the award, the work of the Sand County Foundation, working for a foundation and his journey that led him into this position.  We will also discuss trends that he is seeing in agriculture and the use of conversation practices and the philosophy of the Sand County Foundation on educating people about this way of farming.

Direct download: Lance_Irving_Episode_1569_-_113022_3.28_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

On tomorrow's Ag Business Episode I am profiling the Leopold Conservation Award that is given out by the Sand County Foundation each year to one farmer in 25 states.  The Sand County Foundation has a significant tie to Wisconsin and, of course, Aldo Leopold.  Whenever I think of old time Wisconsin, I immediately thing of Jerry Apps and his great story telling ability.  So, on today's re-cap episode I thought it would be great to revisit the second interview I ever did with Jerry.

Direct download: OFI_1568_Replay_Episode_-_121422_2.46_PM.mp3
Category:farming -- posted at: 12:30am MDT