OFI 270: Why Are You Ditching “Job Security” To Head For The Farm?

 

Show Notes

I wanted to take a deep….deep dive in this episode.  For those of us in this audience, something pulls us towards agriculture and the farm.  What is it?  That is a question that I have been trying to answer for some time.  I have faithfully followed the path I am pulled towards, but only on faith.  Being able to articulate why I would trade a life of good pay, lots of leisure time for more risk and harder work has never been easy to figure out.

Recently I came across an article through the Art Of Manliness Blog called “A Call For A New Strenuous Age.”  This article put it all in perspective for me.  Humans are called to work….to really work.  Their bodies need it.  It needs the physical labor and exercise.  We need to be able to look back and see what we have accomplished for the important intrinsic rewards that work can provide for us.

To feel whole and worthy, we must do something worthwhile.  A lot of work is worthwhile, but so much of it these days is repetitious and comfortable that we miss out on a lot of the benefits that work can give to us.  This is why working outside, using my muscles and farming called to me.  I was missing this, and I did not want to continue to feel like I felt without it.

I hope you enjoy the episode.

 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 

 

 


OFI 269: Driving Stock Cars And No Driver’s License | FFA SAE Edition | Hanna Raley | Randolph High School FFA


SHOW NOTES


Introducing Hanna Raley! 

 

When Hanna Raley was eight years old she started racing go karts.  Well, it turns out that racing is in her blood.  She has continued racing ever since, and along the way she has been learning about mechanics.

Fast forward to today.  Hanna is now racing stock cars – and winning!  She is doing it all, fixing the cars and racing them, and she has some great aspirations for her future in this sport.

I asked Hanna if she was inspired by Danica Patrick.  She had a great response – she wants to do even better!  

I look forward to seeing Hanna on the big track in the future and hearing all about her climb to stardom!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Mechanics

HIGH SCHOOL: Randolph High School; Randolph, Wisconsin

MASCOT: Rockets

FFA ADVISOR: Keith Gundlach

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR HANNA: Click on the picture below to be taken to the Randolph High School website: screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-37-52-pm

Hanna’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: gundlachk@rsdwi.org

Randolph High School’s Telephone Number: 920-326-2425

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO!

WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147!  “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern.

Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback:

Email: zacht@rfdtv.com
Website:  RuralRadio147.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


OFI 268: Custom Made Cooler Boxes | FFA SAE Edition | Jacob Watkins | Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School FFA

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

INTRODUCING JACOB WATKINS!

I spend some time working on a social media site called Linkedin.  As I was perusing the site a while back I came across a post by a business teacher, Kyle Dieppes, at Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School in Hector, Minnesota.  He was bragging about one of this students, Jacob Watkins.

It turns out that Jacob had come up with a great business idea.  He was constructing handsome wooden boxes to hold Coleman coolers and selling them.  Mr. Dieppes had put some pictures up, and I got to see first hand how nice of a product that Jacob was producing.  I started pursuing an interview with Jacob at that point.

I finally was able to put that interview together for you, and I hope you enjoy it.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Product Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School; Hector, Minnesota

MASCOT: Mustangs

FFA ADVISOR: Jill Grams

Business Teacher: Kyle Dieppes

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR JACOB WATKINS:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School website:

Jacob’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: jgrams@blh.k12.mn.us & kdepiesse@blh.k12.mn.us

Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School’s Telephone Number: 320-848-2233

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


OFI 267: Is There A Revenue Source Crawling Around Your Farm? | Alternative Protein Production – Snail Farming

 

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Our guest today has known his passion since he was in high school – snails.  He has always been interested in them, and obviously has wanted to work with them in one way or another. 

Later in life, sticking with his passion he was researching a variety of snails that was one the verge becoming extinct.  One thing led another and he began farming snails, and eventually he began selling escargots directly to restaurants in Seattle, Washington.

Ric Brewer is who I am talking about, and he is devoted to this idea.  Each weekend he drives 2 hours to get back to the farm and tend to his snails.  He is developing pamphlets on how to start a snail farm.  He already has a great website.  And he has gone round and round with government regulators trying to be able to ship snails across state lines – which he still cannot do.

ADVICE FROM RIC:

Interest – Be truly interested in what you are doing.  If you choose something just for income potential, the grit and devotion required to stick with it through the hard times might be absent.

Learn – Learn as much as you can about your chosen area of expertise.  Ric probably knows more than anyone else in the United States about farming, importing and transporting snails for human consumption. Be that person.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE RIC HAS RECEIVED:

Passion – Pursue what you have a passion for.  I certainly agree with this advice (if you can identify your passion).  Ric has known for years that his passion and interest was snails.  I count him as fortunate.  If you cannot identify your passion right now, get started in something.  Your passion will reveal itself to you.

Agility – Ric says that you need to be flexible and agile in your business.  He knew that snails were his passion, but his involvement with them has taken some twists and turns.  Your ability to work in your passion may not always look like you first imagined it.  But, if you are working in your passion, you are working in your passion!

PERSONAL HABIT THAT HELPS RIC SUCCEED:

Discipline – Ric found discipline by joining and Crossfit gym and becoming an advocate for this system.  The workouts were so hard, that he had to become very disciplined about eating, sleep, etc. to keep up.  As a result he lost over 60 lbs and has developed greater discipline.

BOOKS/RESOURCES:

Ric is currently reading Letter to a Young Farmer: How to Live Richly without Wealth on the New Garden Farm.  He highly recommends this book to all of us who are pursuing this lifestyle.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: snails@littlegrayfarms.com

Ric’s other, informational website about snail farming:  www.heliciculture.us

 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

Check us out on the D&B Supply Show where we get to focus in on very specific farming issues like tank heaters, fencing, regulations, etc.

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147


OFI 266: Pigs And Springtime, What Could Be Better? | FFA SAE Edition | Elizabeth Wright | Blue Valley Randolph High School FFA

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

INTRODUCING ELIZABETH WRIGHT!

In our continuing theme of pig-week at Off-Farm Income we bring you Elizabeth Wright.  I had her brother, Michael, on just a few episodes back and he hinted at an abnormal reason she chose to raise pigs.  You will have to listen to the episode to find that out.

Well, as the years have progressed Elizabeth has found different reasons to want to participate in raising pigs.  She is well on her way to a nice business, and he is serving as sentinel for her chapter at Blue Valley Randolph High School in Randolph, Kansas as well.

 SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Pig Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Blue Valley Randolph High School; Randolph, Kansas

MASCOT: Rams

FFA ADVISOR: Anthony Meals

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ELIZABETH WRIGHT:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Blue Valley Randolph High School website:

Elizabeth’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: ameals@usd384.org

Blue Valley Randolph High School’s Telephone Number:  785.293.5256

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


OFI 265: Raising Pigs And Taking Names | FFA SAE Edition | Michael Dowd | Springhill High School FFA

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

INTRODUCING MICHAEL DOWD!

This week seems to be pig week at the Off-Farm Income Podcast.  We just butchered two ourselves and took the rest to the butcher for our customers.  And!  I have two great guests this week who are raising pigs.

Michael Dowd is the president of his chapter at Springhill High School in Springhill, Kansas.  He is in his junior year and is developing quite a swine business.  

I hope you enjoy getting to know Michael Dowd!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Swine Entrepreneurship

HIGH SCHOOL: Springhill High School; Springhill, Kansas

MASCOT: Broncos

FFA ADVISOR: Alicia Hampton

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MICHAEL DOWD:

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

Michael’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: hamptona@usd230.org

Springhill High School’s Telephone Number: (913) 592-7299

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


OFI 264: How To (Or How Not To) Bid Jobs In Your Business | All Bidding Is Not Created Equal

 

Show Notes

This is the episode where you realize that those of you in business who are selling a product are lucky!

In all seriousness, everything has its ups and downs.  One of the challenges with a service type business is accurate bidding of jobs.  This has many aspects to it, and I have not mastered any of them yet.  But, where one appendage is weak, another becomes strong to compensate for it.  So, if this makes any sense, I have become good at being bad at bidding.

Over the past several years of running my business, I have been asked to give a lot of bids or estimates on what it would cost to complete a particular job.  This is a very fair question from a prospective customer, and there are some very fair responses from you.

Some business types lend themselves to be easy to bid.  For example, with lawn care business you can come up with a metric that you can apply to any job.  Basically, you can figure out what you will charge to mow a 1/8 acre lawn, 1/4 acre lawn and 1 acre lawn, etc.  When you have a new customer call you, all you have to do is determine how large the lawn is and apply your metric to it.  Bam, you have an accurate bid.

This is possible in a situation like mowing lawns because there is only one variable to consider – the size of the lawn.  That variable is fixed, and therefore you can come up with a solid number.  But on the other end of the spectrum there are those jobs with several variables, and variables that are very difficult to measure.

My business falls into the latter category, and I suspect that many of yours will as well.  When this occurs, you might not ever be able to accurately assess variables.  What do you do when that is the case?  Well, that is what I have become good at doing.  Let’s start off by looking at some keys to bidding jobs well.

Keys to bidding:

  • Take a good look at the entire job if at all possible
    • Do not extrapolate based on looking at a small portion of the job if you can help it
  • Understand the nature of your business
    • Lawn mowing is pretty easy – fixed cost per acre
    • Gopher business is pretty difficult – depends on soil moisture, amount of gophers – can’t just say it costs “X” for this many acres
  • Are you charging by the hour or the job?
    • I have not figured out how to charge a fixed rate in my business yet – I would like to.
    • Find a subset of the work you do that allows you to charge a flat fee for some of your jobs
  • Have the confidence to charge enough to make money
    • A lack of confidence manifests itself in one of two ways
      • If you are bidding a flat rate job, you need to bid enough that you make money.
      • If you do not display confidence that your service is worth the money, the customer is less likely to accept the bid.
        • This is subconcious, and the customer will just have a bad feeling about it.
      • If you charge by the hour and you do not have confidence that the service you will be providing is worth the money, you might underestimate the hours needed to complete the job in order to get the sale.
        • If this happens you find yourself in the position of either working for less or charging more than you bid.
      • Neither of these outcomes is desirable.  It is a tricky situation.  Going over the bid can be explained and understood, but it is never what you want to happen.
  • If you are not fully sure of how long it is going to take, then keep the customer in the loop and update them as the job is progressing.
  • Or, set a cap on the job, and if you hit that cap then re-assess.
    • If the customer sets a cap, and you do not think you can finish the whole job within that amount, have them prioritize what is most important and start there.
  • Explain to your customer what the variables are, and what might impact the bid you are giving them.

That is a quick list of bullet points that can help you do this well.  Since I have never been able to really give accurate bids on gopher extermination, I have had to concentrate on the lower portion of this list.  I have really developed my ability to work with the customer and mitigate the fact that I cannot give them a firm price in many cases.  When you do this honestly and ethically, all parties seem to be happy in the end.

 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 

 

 


OFI 263: Lessons Learned Developing A Goat Herd | FFA SAE Edition | Michael Wright | Blue Valley Randolph High School FFA

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

INTRODUCING MICHAEL WRIGHT!

 

I will admit, that throughout my whole life I had never intended to own a goat.  When Autumm and I bought our farm there was not a fence on it, and it was all weeds.  So, we had some serious development to do before we could start raising livestock.  However, we discovered electric netting and that we could keep goats in with it.  So, at Autumm’s insistence (and Hattie’s) we purchased goats.

Since then, the goats have grown on me.  There is always a market for our meat goats, they are easy to raise, usually have twins or triplets and are fun to watch.  

Our guest today is growing his goat herd, and he is enjoying similar experiences.  He is growing his herd of  Boer goats.  He has 26 kids on the ground right now, and he will be selling kids in just a couple of months! He shows some of his does and wethers and ultimately returns the does to his breeding herd.  He is selling show goats to other students in his area and is well on his way.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Michael Wright!

 SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: GOAT PRODUCTION

HIGH SCHOOL: Blue Valley Randolph High School; Randolph, Kansas

MASCOT: Rams

FFA ADVISOR: Anthony Meals

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MICHAEL WRIGHT:

Click on the picture below to be taken to the Blue Valley Randolph High School website:

Michael’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: ameals@usd384.org

Blue Valley Randolph High School’s Telephone Number:  785.293.5256

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


OFI 262: What Is Laying Around On Your Farm That Could Start A Business | FFA SAE Edition | Brenden Meek | Springhill High School FFA

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

INTRODUCING BRENDEN MEEK!

What a great interview!  This young man has a very bright future ahead of him.  He currently has taken a tractor from the 1950’s off of his family’s farm, and he is restoring it to be used on the farm.  When he finishes with that one, he has a another on line.

I was honored that I was able to talk to him about Machinery Pete who appeared on episode #56 of this show.  Brenden has a business sitting right in front of him that he would love to make a career out of.  He will continue his education and study mechanics further, but flipping tractors might be in his future.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: AG MECHANICS

HIGH SCHOOL: Springhill High School; Springhill, Kansas

MASCOT: Broncos

FFA ADVISOR: Alicia Hampton

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR BRENDEN MEEK:

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

Brenden’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: hamptona@usd230.org

Springhill High School’s Telephone Number: (913) 592-7299

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:

“Because American farmers are able to provide for so many of us, they give more and more of us the freedom to pursue goals and livelihoods beyond growing the food we need to survive.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack 

Other Places You Can Listen To Us:

D&B Supply Show

LISTEN TO US ON SATELLITE RADIO! WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO “FFA TODAY” ON RURAL RADIO SIRIUS XM CHANNEL 147! “FFA Today” airs on Rural Radio Sirius XM Channel 147 Saturdays at 7:30 AM Eastern and Sundays at 6:30 PM Eastern. Please let RURAL RADIO know that you like hearing us on their channel!  Here is how to contact them and leave feedback: Email: zacht@rfdtv.com Website:  RuralRadio147.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RURALRADIO147

 


If You Have An Agricultural Message To Share You Better Have A Podcast

I was driving through the San Joaquin Valley of California last September, and I went past a small ranch that I really admired.  Whoever owned this place was devoted to raising cattle.  They were surrounded by almond and walnut orchards which would pay them thousands of dollars more per acre than cattle, but they were determined to raise cattle.

On this ranch the fences were perfect.  There were brand new corrals and a separate area for the working chute.  Both had a pole barn structure covering them for those hot summer days that you get down there.  There was a shop/barn structure that was brand new, well built and sized well to take care of the owner’s cattle.  Then there was the house.  About 50 yards off of the road, down a short driveway, there was an unassuming, manufactured home with a very small footprint.

Looking at this property you could see the dichotomy.  All the equipment for handling, securing or working the cattle were luxury level (in ranching terms).  The house, although well kept up was unassuming and just beyond being a bunkhouse.  You could almost hear the rancher saying “oh yeah, I need somewhere to sleep at night.”  Obviously, the person who developed this ranch put their time, effort and money into where they were (and their livestock) were going to be spending the majority of their time.

Agricultural people spend their time outside, period!  This is where they want to be.  They are one with the dirt, the weather and the hot or the cold.  They are not up to date on the latest season of The Walking Dead, and they do not have a blog reader on their computer so they can sit down to read for 2 hours each day.  They all are forced to sit in front of the computer from time to time, but they do what they must and then they are back outside.

Until podcasting came around if you wanted to share your message with these folks you had to be a master strategist.  You had to catch them at the right place and the right time, or you were not going to be able to get their attention.  It was an expensive and ineffective process.  If you wanted to have the time to get your point across to agricultural people you needed to be leaning on a pickup bed speaking with them out in the open air or paying for a radio commercial on a channel you were hoping they listened to.

Commercials were expensive and only for companies with a significant advertising budget.  Agriculturists live in rural areas.  There are only so many pickup beds you can lean on in one day.  After you factor in the driving time from ranch to ranch or farm to farm, this number gets pretty small.

But now that we have podcasting and smartphones this has all changed.  Agricultural people are still not staring at computer screens and reading blogs for hours on end.  But they are carrying smart phones and listening to podcasts.

The reason that podcasts work for us in agriculture is because in one way or another we are all alike.  We are out the door in the morning and back in the door as the sun is going down.  The time in between is all spent in activities that require our hands and eyes: feeding, opening gates, driving tractors, driving pickups, pulling calves, etc.

The only way to communicate your message with these folks to give them a way to hear it while their hands and eyes are busy.

Who is the person you are trying to share your agricultural message with?  Are they farming or ranching?  If they are, are you still hoping they will change the way they go about their day and read your blog?  Or, will you change the way you deliver your message so they can really hear you?

Matt Brechwald is an agricultural broadcaster who creates custom podcasts for and consults with companies that have a story to tell. Matt is the host of “Off-Farm Income”, a 3X weekly podcast that focuses on agriculture and entrepreneurship; the host of the D&B Supply Show, a weekly podcast and radio show airing in Eastern Oregon and Southwest Idaho; and a contributor to “FFA Today”, a weekly national radio program that airs on Rural Radio, SiriusXM Channel 147.