Off-Farm Income

Matt Brechwald

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Episodes

OFI 1994: A Fascination With The Cattle Industry | FFA SAE Edition | Cash Lehrman | Bridgewater-Emery High School FFA
Yesterday
OFI 1994: A Fascination With The Cattle Industry | FFA SAE Edition | Cash Lehrman | Bridgewater-Emery High School FFA
Cash Lehrman is the Chapter President of the Bridgewater-Emery FFA in Emery, South Dakota.  He is also a cattle rancher on his family's first generation operation, and he has his own business clipping cattle for other ranchers in preparation for their performance sales. Cash ranches with his family in Eastern South Dakota, and has been doing so all of his life.  By now, he is well aware of the challenges that come with raising livestock in South Dakota, especially in the Springtime, when they seem to get some late winter storms and lots of precipitation.  His long term, future plans, are to ranch cattle on his families property and continue to grow this business. Cash's short term plans really caught my ear as we spoke.  After he graduates this year, he will be heading to Oklahoma State University to get his degree in animal science.  The natural follow up question is "why Oklahoma State" when you are from South Dakota?  I thought his answer really demonstrated just how much he loves working with cattle. Cash's answer was all about nutrition.  He knows from the reading and research he has done due to his own curiosity that the methods of grazing and feeding cattle in the lower plains is different than that of South Dakota.  He wants to learn how and why ranchers in the Southern Plains graze on winter wheat and then can follow up with a wheat harvest of what was just a forage crop.  It is Cash's natural curiosity about raising cattle and his desire to know more that will take him to Oklahoma, and then who knows where else before he finds himself back on his families ranch.
OFI 1992: Was The FFA The Missing Piece | FFA SAE Edition | Kailee Adkins | Zane Trace High School FFA
3d ago
OFI 1992: Was The FFA The Missing Piece | FFA SAE Edition | Kailee Adkins | Zane Trace High School FFA
Kailee Adkins is her chapter's FFA President, a national finalist in agriscience and show goat producer from Chillicothe, Ohio.  She has had an interesting journey to where she is at today. When she was about 9 years old, she and her family moved to the farm on which they currently reside.  Kailee described her father has wanting she and her young sister to grow up with the responsibility of raising and showing livestock in the manner which he did.  The animal of choice for this was goats. For several years Kailee showed goats unenthusiastically, but it was part of her responsibility on the farm so she devoted herself to it.  Meanwhile, she had growing interests in plants and soils that were coming from the environment that she was living in.  So, when high school arrived she signed up for a class about plants and soils that interested her, and this led her into the FFA. Kailee is the first ever FFA member in her family, and she said that it really brought her out of her shell.  She started off high school shy and quiet, and the FFA gave her the time outside of her comfort zone to overcome this.  Then, one day when was about 15, something clicked and she became passionate about showing goats.  After all of those years, something finally clicked in.  Today she is growing a herd for both quality and quantity and developing a business.  This spring, she and her family, will hold their first ever "bid board sale" at the county fairground to sell their goats to other exhibitors in the area.
OFI 1989: Unequaled Passion For Massey Ferguson Tractors | FFA SAE Edition | Andrew Curtis Szalach | Cazenovia High School FFA
6d ago
OFI 1989: Unequaled Passion For Massey Ferguson Tractors | FFA SAE Edition | Andrew Curtis Szalach | Cazenovia High School FFA
Andrew Szalach is a really amazing FFA student.  He has been very involved in the FFA since 6th grade, even before he could officially join in the 7th.  So much so that he served as his chapter's vice president during his freshman year and has served as his chapter's president the past two, subsequent years. There is no doubt that when Andrew finds something he is passionate about that he goes "all in".  He has demonstrated this in the FFA for the past 5 years, and his supervised agricultural experience is another glaring example. Andrew has a passion for Massey Ferguson tractors, specifically those from the 1970's.  So, in 2021 he found one in Northern Pennsylvania that was for sale, a 1974 Model 14.  He and his father drove down from New York and purchased it, and he got to work on it once they got home.  He says that today he is 80% of the way done with the restoration and hopes to have it complete for shows this summer. In pursuit of this project Andrew applied for and received a $1,000 SAE grant.  He also sent out letters asking for donations for his project and received multiple, totally about another $1,000.  Just when I thought I knew everything about his SAE he told me that he was obtaining and selling both parts and manuals for 1970's Massey Ferguson tractors.  At restoration lots if he finds one that cannot be restored, he will pull parts off of them and sell them online.  In addition, he will locate hard to find repair manuals online and then offer them for sale online, printing and binding them only when they are requested.  He does this all for little to no profit, just to keep people interested in 1970's Massey Ferguson tractors!
OFI 1985: Discovering Your Agricultural Career At High School | FFA SAE Edition | Nancy Rivas | Sanger High School FFA
12-02-2024
OFI 1985: Discovering Your Agricultural Career At High School | FFA SAE Edition | Nancy Rivas | Sanger High School FFA
Nancy Rivas is a senior at Sanger High School and is very active in her FFA program.  She did not grow up on a farm or ranch and really had no exposure to agriculture as a child.  However, when it came time to start high school in 2020 she was aware of an "easy" class called "floral design" and she signed up for it. Nancy's start to high school was not as auspicious as other students may have experienced.  She began in 2020, so she actually started high school at home, behind a computer screen.  So, when she "attended" her floral class she was kind of tuned in, but not all the time.  Of course, floral design is a very kinesthetic type of class, but taking it online offered none of that.  Then Nancy noticed that she was being asked to recite things such as the FFA Creed, and she did not know how that related to floral. Finally, in her sophomore year she got to attend class in person and work with floral arrangements with her own two hands.  Something clicked for her when she did that, and she found herself working right through her lunch and not even noticing.  This led her to explore other opportunities such as showing dairy cattle.  And, she also joined the goat team and purchased a goat that she was able to keep at the school farm.  This has now led her to develop her own goat herd, which she keeps at a friend's farm these days. Nancy will be heading to college next year, and she has her sights set on becoming an agriculture teacher.  She says that she wants to have the impact on students that her ag teachers had on her.  That is a great goal!