OFI 582: How To Find The Perfect Farm | American Farm Bureau Federations 2019 Rural Entrepreneur Of The Year | Steven Brockshus | Farmland Finder

 

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

One of the mantras of this show is that if you want to farm and to farm successfully you need to be willing to relocate.  This has everything to do with land prices and land quality.  If you live in an area that has inflated land prices due to land buyers that are not ag related, your chances of making it and farming full-time decrease because of this increased land payment.

I have never had a great answer, only a good one, for how to go about finding the right place outside of your area.  There are millions of farmable acres across the United States.  How can a person truly go find just the right spot?

Fortunately for me I was connected to Steven Brockshus, the founder of Farm Finder, through the American Farm Bureau Federation.  In today’s episode I get to speak with Steven all about this great business and website that he started that is designed to allow anyone to find the perfect piece of farm ground for their interests.  This can be done by entering the exact parameters you are looking for, checking the soil types, viewing the sale prices of comparable farms, etc.

And, in addition to all of this I get to profile a wonderful success story of a previous FFA national officer who has taken his time in the FFA to the next level.

ADVICE FROM STEVEN:

PURPOSE: Know your purpose when you start a venture.  It is important to know where you are trying to go in order for you to get there.

LIVE: When looking at farm ground it is really important to know whether or not you want to live there.  This really influences the decision process and how good of a farm you purchase.

FINANCE: Have your financing in order and understand the numbers.  Without this the best farm in the world might still fail.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email: steven@farmlandfinder.com

Website: LINK

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 581: An FFA Politcal Dynasty | FFA SAE Edition | Grace Olinger | Soroco High School FFA

SHOW NOTES

INTRODUCING GRACE OLINGER! 

As an agricultural podcaster who covers the FFA, I get to meet a lot of interesting people and hear a lot of great stories.  Today’s episodes definitely qualifies.

Grace Olinger is a gold proficiency winner for pork production in Colorado.  She also has her own flock of Southdown sheep. She has been showing animals since she was 9 years old and building her flock ever since.

As soon as Grace was eligible she joined the FFA, and she has been very active ever since.  Now, as a senior in high school she has been serving as an officer for several years.  This is all culminating with her as her chapter’s vice-president.

But wait, there is more to the story.  Grace has a twin sister.  They are not identical, so you can tell them apart.  Her sister is her chapter’s president.  You heard me right, two sisters serving as president and vice-president of their FFA chapter, and they are twins!  Plus, Grace’s mother was an FFA member in the same chapter!  This is definitely a political dynasty!

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Sheep Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Soroco High School; Oak Creek, Colorado

MASCOT: Rams

FFA ADVISOR: Jay Whaley

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR GRACE OLINGER:

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

Grace’s FFA Advisor’s Email Address: jwhaley@southrouttk12.org

Soroco High School Telephone Number: 970-736-2531

FFA LINKS:

National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA – One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start – pay it forward.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 580: “I Will Work For Barrel Racing” | FFA SAE Edition | Anslee Heard | Wadley High School FFA

SHOW NOTES

INTRODUCING ANSLEE HEARD! 

One of the things that I find most appealing about interviewing FFA student entrepreneurs every week is the passion that they have for what they do, and how nothing scares them or seems impossible.  If I had to rank them by category, today’s category might be in the top spot for passion.

Anslee Heard is a barrel racer.  She has a passion for horses and a passion for competition.  She mirrors what I see every time I get to interview one of these young ladies who likes to go fast on her horse – passion.  This passion has led her to being a state proficiency winner in equine science.

In Anslee’s case she had to make a deal with her parents for her to be able to pursue this sport.  So, she trades her labor on their farm in order to be able to have the funding and support to compete in this manner.  Anslee is off to college now, but still wants to keep a firm connection to horses and barrel racing

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Horse Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Wadley High School; Wadley, Alabama

MASCOT: Bulldogs

FFA ADVISOR: Brittany Sutton

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ANSLEE HEARD:

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

Anslee’s’s FFA Advisor’s Email Address: bsutton@randolphboe.org

Wadley High School Telephone Number: (256) 395-2286

FFA LINKS:

National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA – One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start – pay it forward.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 579: Selling Rural Lifestyle Properties | Al Wisnefske (update) | United Country Real Estate

 

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Today I get to update you on a previous guest from the show.  Way back in January of 2015 I interviewed Al Wisnefske in episode #008.  Right when I was getting started with the podcast, he was getting started with wildlife consulting and selling rural real estate.

Four years later Al is still at it, and talking to him now is a lot different than talking with him then. He knows a lot more about the business now, and he has dropped the wildlife consulting part of his business. Today Al focuses exclusively on selling “rural lifestyle properties” to people who want to have a certain lifestyle.  He focuses exclusively on this area so he can become the best at it.

He has made a progress in the last four years as well.  Namely, he has moved out of his parent’s basement, which was a chuckle we both had together during the interview.  It was great to speak with Al again as he was one of the first 10 people I profiled on show.  I am sure I sound a lot different to him today as well, as we have both come a long distance from the seeds of ideas we had back when we recorded episode #008.

ADVICE FROM AL:

LEARNING: Al suggests that you always be learning.  He has done a lot of this over the past four years, and you should too.

SPECIALIZE: Find the thing that really excites you and specialize in it.  Become the best in a certain area.

TIME: Make the best use of your time.  Once you are making money, the only thing you won’t have enough of is time.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE AL HAS EVER RECEIVED:

“Keep going and be patient”.  One thing that Al has learned is to persevere and know that your time will come.

PERSONAL HABIT:

Be Authentic – Be who you really are.  If you are not, people will see right through that.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Facebook: LINK

 

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 578: When You Herd Grows So Much That Your Parents Have To Buy A Farm | FFA SAE Edition | Mikayla Endres | Lodi High School FFA

SHOW NOTES

INTRODUCING MIKAYLA ENDRES! 

There are lots of electives you can register for when you are picking classes in high school.  And, there are lots of choices of extra-curricular activities.  All of these impact your parents in some way from having to purchase athletic equipment to paying for materials in a class.  But there is only one of these that will cause your parents to purchase a farm to support your activities, and that is the FFA!

Our guest today, Mikayla Endres, has been involved with raising and showing dairy cattle since she got her first heifer at the age of 9.  Her brothers are also involved in raising and showing cattle.  their involvement really took off when they got into the FFA and discovered all of the opportunities for them there.

When this all began Mikayla’s parents were renting a farm with a cattle facility on it.  As the years went on, her and her brother’s herds began to grow, and grow, and grow.  Eventually they started to outgrow the facility they were renting and her parents were forced to make a decision.  Luckily, Mikayla’s grandparents had a farm that they were ready to sell, and they were able to sell it to her parents.

Today Mikayla has been very successful with the dairy cattle she has been showing, especially with her milking shorthorn breed as well as her Ayrshires.  She has heifers that have now been purchased and gone all the way to the East Coast where they have been showed and continue to succeed.  Mikayla is very proud of the genetic heritage in the cattle that she has helped to create.

As a sophomore in college now, Mikayla is still active in her FFA chapter and has big plans for the future.  She is waiting until her last year of eligibility to give herself the best possible chance of success, and then she is going to apply for her American degree and compete to be the American Star Farmer.  It’s amazing what getting started with a heifer when you are nine years old can lead to.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Dairy & Diversified Livestock Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Lodi High School; Lodi, Wisconsin

MASCOT: Blue Devils

FFA ADVISOR: Conner Anderson

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MIKAYLA ENDRES:

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

Mikayla’s FFA Advisor’s Email Address: anderco@lodischoolswi.org

Lodi High School Telephone Number: 608-592-3851

FFA LINKS:

National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA – One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start – pay it forward.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 577: Payment From Pelts And Controlling Nuisance Wildlife | FFA SAE Edition | Caleb Hinck | Mission Valley High School FFA

SHOW NOTES

INTRODUCING CALEB HINCK! 

So many of us have something that we truly love.  Then for some reason we start to think that if we really love that thing, it could never be what we do for a living.  This is one of the things that I enjoy so much about interviewing FFA students about their supervised agricultural experiences.  Nothing has convinced them that you cannot really enjoy your work.

Today’s guest exemplifies this very quality.  Caleb Hinck loves to hunt, trap and farm.  He has been able to combine those three things in a money making venture, and work them into his plans for the future as well.

Caleb runs trail camera’s on his families farm.  He then uses the photographs he gets of animals passing through to help him hunt, trap and to control nuisance wildlife.  Caleb traps coyotes, bobcats and raccoons. He has the greatest amount of success in trapping raccoons, and this has caused him to really learn what the market for their pelts are.

There are other animals on the farm, like whitetail deer, that can really damage crops.  Caleb takes it upon himself to hunt these animals as well, to minimize the losses on the farm due to over population of these species.  At the same time as he is thinning their numbers, he is also protecting them from disease and myriad other problems that can be caused by overpopulation.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Planting Food Plots & Wildlife Management

HIGH SCHOOL: Mission Valley High School; Eskridge, Kansas

MASCOT: Vikings

FFA ADVISOR: Kelly Hoelting

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR CALEB HINCK:

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

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.08.48 AM

Caleb’s FFA Advisor’s Email Address: khoelting@mv330.org

Mission Valley High School Telephone Number: 785-409-6218

FFA LINKS:

National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA – One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start – pay it forward.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 576: Escaping The Cubicle For The Forests Of Florida | David Bunye | ShadowCat Land Clearing

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

I talk about escaping the cubicle all the time.  Today I get to interview an actual “escapee” who has a business that is very suited to farmers trying to produce off-farm income.

David Bunye spent over two decades living the “cubicle life”.  This was wearing on him, and he was looking for a way out.  He lives in Florida and needed to clean up the land that he owns.  To do this he rented a piece of equipment to clear the land.  As he was operating the equipment he thought to himself, “I really like this”.  That got his mind going.  From that point on, all of his free time was devoted to investigating the business of land clearing and trying to determine if it was a viable opportunity for him.

David finally decided to make the leap, but the question was how would he fund this business.  I ask this question on some interviews, and I skip it on others.  I am so glad I asked it on this interview, as this is the most create way of funding a business that I have ever heard.

David had some knowledge of model airplanes from the WWII era.  He also figured out that a lot of people were selling these at well under market value.  He started finding and purchasing these model airplanes, and then re-selling them on Ebay for a profit.  He did this for a significant amount of time, finally gathering enough extra capital to purchase a dump truck!

With the dump truck David was able to start his land clearing business.  But in the beginning stages, all he was doing was hauling things off with the truck.  After some time doing this he borrowed the money to purchase a Caterpillar skid steer with the “forestry package”.  He also purchased a trailer to tow it on and other implements.  He converted the use of the dump truck to his tow vehicle and hauled his implements in the dump bed.  ShadowCat Land Clearing was officially born.

David found his niche with land clearing.  There are several, larger companies that are very busy and very expensive.  The fact that they are very busy means that they are less responsive to customer desires and only offer one option, which is a total clearing.

David is taking advantage of the space left between the “do-it-yourselfers” and the big companies.  He tailors his land clearing to the desires of his customers, and leaves their properties with a “park like setting”.  He is also cheaper than the larger companies, which is where he likes to be.

David has successfully made the transition, and now he is thrilled to go to work and is no longer on a countdown to retirement.

ADVICE FROM DAVID:

SLOW: David advises that you make your transition slowly.  This helps you to avoid overwhelming debt, and it also allows you to prove your idea before you abandon your day job.

KNOW: David says that you really need to know your market.  This is what helped him to find the small space that he exists in, and this is also what helped him to thrive.

FINANCES: You had better know your finances going in, and understand what it is going to take to keep the business operating.  A new hydraulic filter for David’s equipment it costs $20,000.  So, he needed to understand the money necessary to be put aside to cover expenses like this.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE DAVID HAS EVER RECEIVED:

“Treat the customer right”.  David was able to make this transition because he found a narrow niche.  If he did not treat his customers well, he would lose this competitive edge.

PERSONAL HABIT:

David “can talk to anyone” which allows him to work with retired land owners, farmers, ranchers, property managers, etc.  He believes that communication skills are very necessary.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Facebook: LINK

Website: LINK

Email: LINK

Telephone: 407-312-7779

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 575: Getting “Pushed” Into A Ph.D | FFA SAE Edition | Cole Diggins | Bronaugh High School FFA

SHOW NOTES


INTRODUCING COLE DIGGINS! 

From the moment that Cole Diggins picked up the telephone for our interview, I could tell that he was passionate about everything that he does.  I found out about Cole for today’s episode because of his success with his beef production supervised agricultural experience.  Success that took him to the highest levels of achievement at the state level, with a state proficiency award in Missouri.  And that success took him all the way to the national stage as a national proficiency finalist in 2017.

Cole has learned from his parents, and his father is emulating what we teach here on the show.  His dad has a contracting business that he uses to support his endeavors as a cattle rancher in Bronaugh, Missouri.

Cole is now a junior at the University of Missouri, and he is majoring in soil resource management.  In addition to his love of cattle, he has also developed a love for research.  He believes that a Ph.D in soil resource management will get him right where he wants to be – at the forefront of improving agriculture while still being able to work out in the fields.

Cole directly attributes his educational goals to his FFA advisor, Travis Wait.  He talks all about how Mr. Wait “pushed” him to achieve more than he thought was possible, and how that push is propelling him into graduate school very soon.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Beef Production

HIGH SCHOOL: Bronaugh High School; Bronaugh, Missouri

MASCOT: Wild Cats

FFA ADVISOR: Travis Wait

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR COLE: Click on the picture below to be taken to the Bronaugh High School website:

Cole’s FFA Advisors’ Email Addresses: twait@bronaugh.k12.mo.us

Bronaugh High School’s Telephone Number:  417.922.3211

FFA LINKS:

National FFA Organization

Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE’s)

Support FFA 

Donate to FFA – One way that FFA students are able to start small businesses is through an FFA grant of $1,000.  In 2014, 141 FFA students received these grants.  With your donations, more students can get this head start – pay it forward.

REASONS TO DONATE TO FFA:

  • Only 2% of Americans grow and raise most of the food and livestock consumed by the other 98% as well as the rest of the world.  FFA is providing the needed education, training and resources to Americans that will carry that torch forward and insure that America continues to have inexpensive, quality food.
  • Rural Communities will rely on entrepreneurship in the future for population growth and job creation.  The FFA is a major catalyst to that entrepreneurial growth.
  • Farmers, ranchers and those working in agriculture give the rest of America incredible amounts of freedom because the search for food is as simple as going to the grocery store:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 574: From Sole Proprietor To LLC In High School | FFA SAE Edition | Carter Beaulieu (update) | Randolph High School FFA

SHOW NOTES


Introducing Carter Beaulieu! 

In today’s episode we are actually “re-introducing” Carter to all of you.  Carter first appeared on the show in April of 2017 when he was a freshman in high school.  Back then he was just starting his lawn care business “No Mow Worries Lawn Care”.  Today the name has changed just a bit, as he is now “No Mow Worries Lawn Care, LLC”.

Carter has grown his business and reached the point in which he is concerned about liability and has built equity that could be lost.  So he has formed an LLC.  This was something that he was able to do as a minor in his home state of Wisconsin.  However, to open his business checking account he had to have his parents sign on the account with him.

Today Carter markets his business with a Facebook Business Page, he has the ability to drive himself to different job sites and he has expanded the geographic area that he can service.  This has sparked an entrepreneurial interest in Carter that continues to serve him well, and as he approaches the end of high school will serve him well in his adult life.

SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE: Turf Grass Management

HIGH SCHOOL: Randolph High School; Randolph, Wisconsin

MASCOT: Rockets

FFA ADVISOR: Keith Gundlach

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR CARTER: Click on the picture below to be taken to the Randolph High School website:

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-37-52-pm

Carter’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:

“The future of American agriculture depends on the involvement and investment in America’s youth, In order to prepare for the population of tomorrow, we need to encourage America’s youth today, and show that careers in agriculture are profitable, rewarding, and vital.”.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue

 Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters


OFI 573: When You Discover That You Loved Growing Up On A Farm And How To Fund Your Return | Shelby Smith | GYM-N-EAT Crickets

 

 SHOW NOTES

KEY IDEAS: 

Our guest today has a very interesting story.  Shelby Smith grew up on her families farm just outside Ames, Iowa but her passion never seemed to lie with farming.  Shelby is an exceptional athlete, and this is where she concentrated her time during high school, college and later in graduate school.

As a standout point guard on her high school basketball team Shelby was able to pay for her undergraduate degree on an athletic scholarship doing the same thing.  Then she was offered an opportunity to do it again for her master’s degree at a college in Ireland.  One thing led to another, and Shelby found herself with a master’s degree, no college debt and a prestigious position as a commodity trader.

A whirlwind of sports, collegiate and career success had taken place and now Shelby was settling into her career as a trader.  Only one problem, as the dust settled and she was working full-time she found out that somehow she had unwittingly found herself in somebody else’s dream position.  Shelby states that for every trader that has her previous position, there are 10,000 people trying to get that job.  This created a lot of pressure for Shelby as she realized that this career was not the right fit for her.  That realization contrasted with how lucky she knew she should feel to have obtained this position at such a young age.

As Shelby searched for the solution to this dilemma, something came back to her.  It was memories of the 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans she grew up around on her families farm.  This farm had been cobbled together by her father and mother over the past 30+ years, and her dad was farming it faithfully.  Her brother was a natural fit to take it over, but he was achieving his own career success as an F-16 pilot in the military.  So, the farm and the opportunity was sitting there, waiting for Shelby.

Everything happens for a reason.  When Shelby told her parents of her desire to return to Iowa and take up farming her dad imparted some hard earned farming wisdom.  He told her that if this was the life that she wanted she needed to find some sort of niche that would create income for her, apart from rising and falling commodity prices.  Shelby gave this some thought and came up with the idea of cricket production for human consumption.  Within 9 days of research and planning “Gym-N-Eat Crickets” was born.

Shelby is off to a great start with this niche, selling out of her entire supply of crickets in 2018.  She is selling multiple products created from just a small fraction of the 2,000 acre farm to which she has returned.  She also has plans to increase production and build a commercial facility on the farm.

Cricket production was a bit more extreme than what her parents had in mind when they said to develop a niche.  However, Shelby has discovered an emerging market with lots of exciting possibilities.  The time it takes her to manage the crickets and the overhead required to start are minimal.  This leaves her a lot of time to farm successfully!

ADVICE FROM SHELBY:

GO FOR IT: Shelby has had many interesting athletic, educational and career opportunities.  She has pursued all of them with enthusiasm and suggests that you do the same.  She is not one to hold herself back.

UNCOMFORTABLE: Shelby suggests making yourself uncomfortable.  If what you are doing doesn’t bother or worry you a little it, you are not experiencing any growth and you are not getting any better.

BITE SIZE: Shelby says do not bit off more than you can chew.  Find an aspect of your business that you can really concentrate on and develop your skills within.  When you have mastered that part you can look at expanding into other areas.

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE SHELBY HAS EVER RECEIVED:

“Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable” – this was advice that Shelby received from a professor and it has led her to a lifetime of growth and improvement thus far.

PERSONAL HABIT:

UNWAVERING CONFIDENCE: Shelby believes that she can succeed.  She states that she has fear, just like everyone else but she has found a way to not let that show.  Her successes in sports have probably contributed to this, but she believes she will win, and this has led her to a lot of success.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Facebook: LINK

Website: LINK

 

Where Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald Can Be Heard:

 

Member Of The National Association Of Farm Broadcasters