OFI 389: A Real Life Farm Transition Story | FFA SAE Edition | Stetson Dittmar | Sumner Eddyville Miller High School FFA



The goal of this show is and always has been to help you figure out how you can farm.  There are different levels of making this happen.  The level I am on is that I was able to buy a small farm, come up with a couple different niches and add our farming income to my overall streams of income.  Another level is going into farming full-time and producing enough crops or livestock to be in full-time, production agriculture.

In episode #22 of this show, way back in 2015, I interviewed an attorney named Adam Kline about “Farm Transition”.  It was a very interesting episode because we discussed ways in which farmers who wanted to retire could pass their farms to up and coming farmers.  The retiring farmer could do this, still be compensated for their farm and equipment, but it could be structured in such a way that the up and coming farmer did not need all the oppressive capital necessary to purchase the land, equipment etc. right away.

Our guest today is living proof of this concept.  Stetson Dittmar is not only a national proficiency finalist in beef production, but he is a future rancher.  And I believe he will be the farmer on that second level who finds a way to move into full-time, production agriculture in the beef industry.

Stetson is already in the process of farm transition with a retiring rancher who he is not related to.  What Stetson models in this episode is possible for any of us.  Only two things are necessary: Finding the right retiring farmer and being willing to relocate to where the farm is.  In Stetson’s case he found this rancher nearby by doing work for him on his place.  The rancher noticed that Stetson wanted into ranching, and he also wanted to start scaling back.  This led to an agreement in which this transition is possible.

These possibilities exist all over the country.  If you truly want to farm or ranch, this is a way in.  You just have to go find it!


HIGH SCHOOL: Sumner Eddyville Miller High School; Sumner, Nebraska

MASCOT: Mustangs

FFA ADVISOR: Janice Wolfinger


Click on the picture below to be taken to the Sumner Eddyville Miller High School FFA website:

Stetson’s FFA Advisor’s Email Address: jwolfinger@semmustangs.org 

Sumner Eddyville Miller High School’s Telephone Number: 308.752.2925


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


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

“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 

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