Achieve The Farming Lifestyle You Are Looking For Through Entrepreneurship!
OFI 1178: Replay Heather Smith Thomas | Freelance Writing | Agricultural Communication | Making Money As An Author
Today is an oldie but goodie in terms of podcast episodes. I reach back into the archives to bring you this interview featuring Freelance Writer and Agricultural Communications Specialist, Heather Smith Thomas.
Here are the notes from the original Episode:
ADVICE FROM HEATHER:
PERSISTENCE: Heather urges you not to give up, even after several editors have rejected your idea. She states that just because an editor has rejected your idea does not mean that it is without value.
KNOW YOUR SUBJECT: Heather states that if you are going to write professionally about a topic you become more successful and credible if it is something you are familiar with. So, pick something that you are interested in and know about.
OFI 1177: 4.5 Years Later She Is An American Star Farmer Finalist! | FFA SAE Edition | Raegan Klaassen | Hydro-Eakly High School FFA
There is something very special about being able to interview all of the American Star Award Finalists every year. It is definitely a time of year that is inspirational to me and that gives me the motivation to continue my quest into entrepreneurship. And the only thing that can make that even more special is when one of those finalists has been a guest on the show before.
After 7 years of interviewing FFA students, and increasing the number of FFA students that I interview from 52 to 104 per year, that has been happening more frequently, and that is happening today!
Raegan Klaassen is an American Star Farmer Finalist, and she first appeared on the Off-Farm Income Podcast in February of 2017 on episode #251 when she was just a freshman. I don't think I had enough experience to predict that she would have this level of success way back then, but looking back on what I wrote in the show notes for her episode I should have seen it coming.
OFI 1176: Drought In The West, Early Irrigation Shut Off On Our Farm
As it turned out, our good snow pack from last winter was largely diminished by the dry spring that we had. The ground in the mountains was so dry from lack of rainfall in the spring that when the snow started to run off they absorbed a large percentage of the water that would normally end up in our reservoirs. Therefore, my irrigation water shuts off tomorrow, about 30 days earlier than normal. I am done with irrigation early this year, but it is not a happy surprise. I will have less pasture than normal, which means I will be feeding livestock sooner than normal. With hay at a premium, that causes its own problems.
My problems pale in comparison to those of the production agriculture farmers in our area whose yields are going to be reduced because their crops are going to stop or significantly slow down on growth when the last of their soil moisture disappears. Out here in the West we are going to need a very wet winter followed by a wet spring to get us back to or towards normal and to help us avoid a crisis. We hope you will keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
OFI 1175: A Family History Of Unique Agricultural Endeavors | American Star Finalist Episode | Wyatt Harlan | Slaton High School FFA
I try to interview every American Star Finalist, every year at this time. To me, getting to spend 20-30 minutes asking these FFA members about their journeys is what it would be like for other people to get to interview a star athlete for that amount of time. These students have risen to the top of an organization with a lot of talent. When these students are finally named as an American Star Finalist they have overcome the odds and been selected as one of four students in their category out of a total population of students of over 700,000. That puts them in the top .0005% of all FFA students. Those are more difficult odds than making it to the major leagues, NBA, or the NFL!
Today's episode is another example of the talent level that the FFA holds. Our guest, Wyatt Harlan, knew at an early age that other extracurricular activities like sports or drama were not going to be for him. So, he chose the FFA based on his agricultural roots and lifestyle, and he poured himself into it. Six years after joining he had found himself as a Texas State FFA Vice-President, a business owner, and now an American Star Finalist in Agribusiness
OFI 1174: Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later, With An Agricultural Perspective
It's been 20 years since Autumm and I received a telephone call first thing in the morning telling us that the Twin Towers in New York City were on fire. Different then our normal morning routine, we headed out to the living room and turned the television on to witness the towers falling just a short time later. We were forever changed just as everyone else was on that day.
In today's episode I'd like to spend some time remember that day and discussing it from an agricultural perspective.
Here are links to three stories that I covered in the episode today:
Ohio Man Creates 9/11 Tribute Mural On Farmland
Farmers See 9/11 Impacts Each Day
OFI 1173: Women, The Entrepreneurial Spirit And Agriculture | Ally Spears | Ag Chicks Podcast
Today is my second time featuring Ally Spears on the Off-Farm Income Podcast. She first appeared on the show in December of 2020 on episode #945. She and her mother co-own a business called Junk & Disorderly, and it supports the farm and farming lifestyle in the Bay Area of California. Ally does not live in California however. She lives in Texas and works for Texas A&M as a program director. She definitely has the entrepreneurial spirit, which is easily recognized by all of the different ventures she finds herself in.
On today's show Ally and I will be talking about her journey in agriculture and entrepreneurship. We will also be discussing some of the issues faced and progress made by women in farming and ranching. These are the kinds of topics that Ally discusses on her podcast, Ag Chicks, and we are lucky to have her first hand with us on the show today!