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The Voice of Experience

Young or Beginning Farmers Offer Guidance to Others Getting Their Start

Landscapes Winter 2018

Agriculture is a complex enterprise, requiring farmers and ranchers to be managers, mechanics, economists and visionaries. It’s also a passion that comes as much from the heart as it does the work of your hands. Below, some of the Farm Credit customers in this issue of Landscapes pass along advice to smooth the way for their fellow young or beginning ag producers.

“While I don’t consider myself seasoned enough to give advice, I would suggest that young farmers respect those who came before us. Listen to them and try to understand the knowledge that experienced growers share with us. Advice from elders is invaluable.”

– Bryce Wilde of Lyford, Texas

“It would be valuable to work for somebody else for a couple of years in the field you want to go into. You might be the smartest person in the world, but you learn a lot getting hands-on education.  “Also, establish relationships with your lending institutions, even prior to needing a loan, and spend time educating your loan officers so they know your business inside and out. So much has to do with relationships — that’s something I did not understand when I first got started.” 

– Jon Hegeman

“Ask yourself if farming and agriculture are really in your heart. If the answer is yes, then continue. If you have doubts, change course.”

– Fermin Cadena of Gonzales, Texas

“Be prepared to manage risks. Know that you have to take a risk to succeed.”

– Todd Kimbrell of Itasca, Texas

“Like the most rewarding things in life, farming is not easy. It’s not a ‘set it and forget it’ job. It takes work. It take passion. It takes risks. Be prepared; plan, execute, repeat. If it’s not worth working for, then it’s not worth having.”

– Michael Paz of Artesia Wells, Texas

”Enjoy and cherish your time with your family as much as possible, because there will be times when long hours are needed and you won’t get to see them as much as you’d like. Make sure you have a financial institution that understands your operation and your goals. Most of all, don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue your dreams.”

– Justin Strube of Wall, Texas

“This is not the easiest way to make a living. To enjoy it, farm in a way that gives you pride of purpose and challenges you mentally, physically and creatively. “Produce a unique product of unparalleled quality, then build a brand that conveys your ideals. Find a team that believes in your goals, and together find ways to squeeze all the value you can out of your operation. Most of all, leave your most precious resource — your land — better than you found it.”

– Marshall Bartlett of Como, Miss

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