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Equipping Yourself Mentally

Brad Johnson

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During this class we will explore questions such as, what is your mentality towards farming? How much do you need to make? How passionate are you about farming? Do you have what it takes (what does it take)? And where to get the knowledge. 

Presenter

Brad Johnson

Owner and Operator of Wooley Farms in Gridley, CA

Sponsor

Recorded

  • January 26, 2017
    9:30 AM
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Good morning. My name is Brad Johnson My wife Judy we farm in Northern California and we're going to present today. Quite a quite a large topic. Of what our farming operation is about and and also this Zucker session you know that what it mentally. What's it take. I mean that's that's a huge thing but and just just let you know I don't you heard in the main session that one of those I was dividing my session to disaster new with David over Miller. And so he's not here. Now you had you coming in late. So he's going to move to tomorrow and I'm going to move my class from tomorrow today so we're going moving establishing your market. Just after this. And the we're taking the future of egg and moving into tomorrow. So you so you understand. So this this is pretty much. I'm going to run through my Power Point. And then this is fairly a long session. And if you have questions we'll. We'll try to maybe move or is there going to be here in session next session or is there really moving around or. Oh no you stay in this for Tuesday do sessions. If you do then you will kind of. This could kind of blend into the next one. Pending on time. So we're going to get started here. This presentation begin in my mind as more of a discussion or presentation of how and what the farm but the question that developed is why I would touch on that being it is the question to answer the real reason or motivation because behind the what and how where the passion and motivation come from. So there was a farmer a doctor and a lawyer in a three way split on a large sum of money in an interview. They asked the doctor what he was going. To do with his money. He said he was going to build a surgery suite on his hospital. They also a lawyer and he said he was going to invest it in some stocks when they came to the farm or he thought about it awhile and then said Well I guess I'll keep farming till the money runs out. There could be some truth to that a point I'd like to make is you can make it in farming. But I wouldn't be where I am now without all the help along the way from acquiring land support from family neighbors and friends generous with their kit Quitman land and time great marketers research people and the people who want what we grow. In this presentation we will endeavor to cover many things regarding farming gardening. Business family and answer questions enjoy our time together. I will try to make time for questions but there is a lot to cover in this. So please remember your questions. And we will try to have time for them. My concern is we try to gather up a lifetime of this in a day or two and it be dissed be discouraging. Like eating too much. And getting into gesture. But hopefully not. These topics we will go over one. These are the topics we will go over equipping yourself mentally counting the cost. The future of Ag business models embarking on your egg egg venture business management establishing your market and how does family fit in. So that's for the next six sessions when I first receive these topics in questions for discussion. I thought it sounded like asking what is the meaning of life. The process of putting this together. Seems more difficult in some respects and farming for me I have struggled to come up with my own answers to these questions and put them together in a coherent way I'm trying to present something to you. Meaningful and practical. So you can apply it to your situation. It is personal. So not not so much theoretical. I'm to. And you what we do where life has taken us not as experts but through an experience will knowledge over time though some of these questions need a more general answer that you will need to make personal the sequence of these days and topics will likely blend into each other kind of like asking me what an elephant looks like. When Perhaps all I'm seeing is the feet and tail because I've been in the same circle for sixty some years farming the same ground in the same place. Some may think where major operation a picture perfect model we are not we innovate make do improvise try to work within the dollars we have sometimes stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. I consider as relatively primitive and small scale. This can be like I said before this can be somewhat encouraging. And discouraging hopefully we can leave you encouraged. I have a clock pray disk plant pray cultivate irrigate pray fertiliser pray pray weather repairs pray it set or someone gave me a ring tone when they get my call it would go work work work work we're not all that way but sometimes it seems so. So this is our today's topic. Equipping yourself mentally counting the cost. What is your mentality towards farming. How much do you need to make how passionate are you about doing farming you have what it takes what does it take. How long will it take to reach viability. How much training does it require to ten thousand hour rule internship degrees where to get the knowledge. These are some questions I was given to help answer. But first I will show you an overview of some of what we do. Primarily the vegetable production of our farm and then get into more detail on these questions. I like to look at dirt. When I look at dirt. I start to think about growing stuff. People ask. What do we do my answer as a farmer. We turn sunshine water dirt and the grace of God into something good to eat as a sales when we grow produce and so romance. I will try to give you a taste or flavor of our farming experience. How can you fully describe it. You can't. There's nothing else like it it's beauty and the Beast. In more ways than one and I'm not just talking about Judy and me but dissatisfaction and the struggles to put it lightly. What keeps us sane and insane. I'm picking a few features to share with you some of our farming roots. I'm I'm guessing most here involved in farming or gardening in some fashion organic conventional or combo of the two. My personal land is in organics. And that is prime my primary emphasis. But I have some involvement in the conventional side as well I think both have something to offer our economic and learning experience. So I'm wondering what your experience is just for my own help here. How many of you farm for your primary source of living. How many of you guarded could be ornamentals to. How many neither. How many know what you're doing. Alan Maybe you have. My presentation is part information part inspiration part of our journey a little romance and part what was that but I think it speaks more to the human side of our farm. First I have a few core motivating directives that form some of my thinking. I have this for a stuck in my head every human being. Created in the image of God is in doubt with a power akin to that of the Creator individuality power to think and to do. And this of course I'm bending this to the farming side and dirt a verse says God placed man in this special garden called the Garden of Eden to ten to keep it beautiful. And another god arranged a special garden for man to live in which was located in an area called Eden. This is the place where the first man made his home. In this garden God not only place trees for food but also ornamental trees most beautiful to look at so I picture a garden as the origin of my first home and a place of pleasure to work. Also rest. We have made a day of rest a priority taking Saturday as a day of rest many associated with us may wonder at times. Why. And I as well. At times find it difficult to make the discipline the biology of the work calls and many needs do not stop the plants need water the cows need milking it cetera. Though the human side of our farm stops to rest to look enjoy and learn without the driving force of business. We love to visit. Or not and enjoy the quietness and beauty of life. This is a favorite quote of mine in the cultivation of the soil the thoughtful worker will find that treasures little dreamed of are opening up before him. No one can succeed in agriculture or gardening without attention to the laws involved. There are some good things that have developed for me over the years. This is one of them. When developing orchard crops with a no till system I was warning how to get the trees a better benefit of green manure and soil applied organic matter. Here is one way that is opened up with a few downsides. Nightcrawlers. You may be thinking worms. Everyone in farming has worms but these are my worms. Look at it this way in the dog world. My dog is better than your dog. These are not regular earthworms many of you know these are huge topside night feeders with very deep holes. I have dug at least two to three feet deep following their holes to see where they went all the organic matter compost and manures leaves produce left overs get eaten taken down and reduced the worm castings. With tremendous soil areas Sion this is fun to see at times I will walk the orchards in the middle of the night to watch them. My daughter and I didn't experiment to see what their favorite food was the populations are huge I pick these up and in just a very short time walking around my orchard. If you stomp your feet you can hear them moving back into the ground. They have a HUGE have a large expanded tail much like a cobra head which keeps them anchored in the soil as a feed out in a ten to sixteen inch diameter around their hole as it was said treasures little dreamed of our opening. I think this was one of those night crawlers. And you thought I was growing worms for the soil. This post photos says a lot to me because I know some of the history and it encourages me. It also tells me a lot about my grandma grandpa my mom's parents they homesteaded here in the one nine hundred twenty S. or so in the northeast corner of Montana and built this over the years. Here's the original home right here. If you're wondering about building something from nothing. This is thirty minutes to the nearest town. Mom said sometimes fifty below in the winter. Horse Power was a mode of the day no electricity. Except wind generated my cousin about my age now farms this. My dad was from Idaho in Oregon. But this Montana farm is where he and mom. That they settled in California in the fifty's camping under a fig tree. The first summer and progressed in farming and raising a family of ten kids. A spontaneous tribute to my mom at her memorial was everyone thought they were her favorite. My other grandma and grandpa moved from Oregon to California. Grampa my dad has also had a commercial fertilizer business selling fertilizer to local farmers. Now THAT's how to get eighty two percent nitrogen. How's that for balance nutrition. This is a nine hundred fifty seven calendar from their business. I still love to look at this calendar. Every month. This fascinating. But the future was different for me. So how do you farm and be successful at it. For us. Maybe it was just staying at it and thinking I'll do better next year. Or maybe kind of like how to make a fort. First you have to find a place to make a fort then you outline and after that you start digging till you get deep enough then you put boards on and while there's still a little hole in the roof. You make a fireplace. After that you make a door then you get in and seal off the cracks. Then you get out get a bucket or something and fill it. About two inches up with water and put dirt in it after that you get some old newspapers and put them on the boards and put the mud over it. And it's all finished. I guess. So what's the point of this. There really is more to it than that but you've got to start somewhere or in other words. Starting with what you know and have imperfect or not. So how do we really do things. There is some work involved in these next lives I'm going to run through our Just a quick run through of very fast of some of our operation just to get you a picture of some of the things we do. That's my daughter one of my daughters. But in alfalfa. Working ground. Work more ground running compost. Steaming that's ammonia though I think but not beds. Really California. Get rid transplant take transplants out of fields. Northern California. You have five feet as a sixty four inches. If we drive straight. So we're taken off the covers off our trees. I mean are you counting them we're now we're harvesting. We'll go through some of this later Chili Peppers are packed line back an apricot. Back and watermelons. Pichon. Truck ships and stuff shipped in a plant taken down to getting just prep in the fields for fall for the winter. Now those cigarettes are an annual occurrence. So we did all this work and we had all this produce. But what do you do with all of it. This load is going into San Francisco to one of our first produce distributors back in the mid seventy's. That's me by the way we still do business with them today. But besides all the work we did fall in love with the beauty these next lives are run through some of our produce. Harvesting melons cumbers. Eggplant. Uppers. Sumber or more for Ambrosia melons while the best. Yellow many watermelon. Watermelon packed bunch beats. White eggplant. Syrup LUMS longs. On the tree apricot on the tree. But one of our favorites is homegrown tomatoes. We're just going to run through quickly a bit on tomatoes. My girls in the majors. Growing tomatoes. My dad. We get these three pound tomatoes one of the drawbacks of growing that kind right there. Is having fun. We grew these one year. Dried tomatoes. I love that. There are bands of great adventures along the way. One is getting married. Judy and I have this fun banter her phrase Happy Wife good life my phrase good wife happy life but duty asked for this because she wanted to marry a farmer. Little did she know truth be told it takes a brave and wild woman to move from the city a merry a farmer. What kind of woman would want to marry while woman who would want to marry a farmer were just I'm fine now we're truckin some equipment. He's over me hall equipment. As a general store. On the farm. This is her real passion. Is care for the horses. Sometimes you need someone to hold you tight. We have a lot of fun along the way one of my brothers and his wife made a fund nine hole golf course and a driving range on the farm. We are not golf first. In fact only. I think all I may ever made it through five holes but it made a good way to get together with business friends and family look around the farm in a fun and casual manner. Often we would meet in the cool of the evening shade and with family to enjoy dinner and have fun watching each other trying to hit those things. Here you can see a map of the course one of the individual individual holes. We call the group greens. Browns. On occasion we have a right for some of our family and friends when they come to visit. This is a favorite quote of mine farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field. Dwight Eisenhower. On the left as my one page original growing practices papers for my markets. I have included this illustration. Because when we first started organic farming in the mid seventy's that was what we gave our customers to explain our growing practices before certification started since then it has been a growing avalanche of paperwork. So my song about carrots you would say paper seeds if there were such a thing I have put this in as a very mild expression of the expense of paperwork. We will cover that later in this presentation carrot seeds are not the only thing that has grown over the years. I would be content to let everyone grow their own food. And I grow mine are all help you grow yours and we share. As I was working in my garden the other day I realize a simple goal to grow my own food and share with friends has really come true. But my thinking has been too small and my field of friends has grown with my garden to a much broader field around this country. I think we're going in there don't you. So what is the mentality towards farming for the sake of time I will share just a few quotes but please take time to read more on your own especially fundamentals of Christian education Chapter forty one or most of these are from. Now felt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy soul and with all the mind and with all the strength God desires the love that is expressed in heart service in soul service in the service of the physical powers where not to be dwarfed in any kind of service for God whatever he has lent us is to be use intelligently for him a man who exercises his faculties will surely strengthen them but he must seek to do his best there is need of intelligence and educated ability to devise the best methods in farming. Dulness and ignorance are no virtue. You can choose to become stereotyped in Iran course of act. Because you have not the determination to take yourselves in hand and to reform or to or you may cultivate your powers to do the very best kind of service and then you will find yourselves in demand anywhere and everywhere. You will be appreciated for all your worth whatsoever the hand find it to do do it with I might not slothful in business fervent in spirit. Serving the Lord. There must be education in the sciences and education in plans and methods of working the soil. There is hope in the soil. But put but brain and heart and strength must be brought into the work of telling it. This country needs educated farmers the God who made who has made the world for the benefit a man will provide means from the earth to sustain the diligent worker the seed placed in thoroughly prepared soil will produce its harvest God can spread a table for his people in the wilderness. As. They make the book of nature their study a softening subduing influence comes over them before they realize that God's care is over all from the glorious sun in the heavens to the little brown sparrow or the tiniest insect. That has life. The time is not far distance when the laws against Sunday labor will be more stringent and an effort should be made to secure grounds away from the cities where fruits and vegetables can be raised agriculture will open resources for self-support and various other trades also could be learned this real earnest work calls for strength of intellect as well as a muscle method in tact are required even to raise fruits and vegetables successfully. Many kinds of Labors labor adapted to different persons may be devised. But the work of the land will be a special blessing to the worker there is a great want of intelligent men to till the soil will be thorough. This. Knowledge will not be a hinderance to the education essential for business or for usefulness in any line to develop the capacity of the sore requires thought and intelligence. Not only will it develop muscle but capability for study because the action of brain and muscle is equalized we should so train the youth that they will love to work upon the land and delight in improving it. The hope is advancing the cause of God in this country is in creating a new moral taste in the love of work which will transform mind and character youth taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden would accept instruct man today there is wisdom for him who holds the plough and plants the seeds sow the seed the earth has its concealed treasures in the Lord would have thousands and tens of thousands working upon the soil. Many are unwilling to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. And they refuse to till the soil but the earth has blessings hidden in their depths for those who have courage and will persevere together her treasures are fathers and mothers who possess a piece of land and a comfortable home are kings and queens. How much do you need to make in farming. So here's an old joke. If you want to make a small fortune in farming start with a large one. The simple answer is at least as much as as your expenses. If your expenses are too much cut them down or increase your income. I think you should make as much as you can and save and give as much as you can using it. Well reminding myself. This is first a people business. Someone once gave me a saying live within your harvest and that is helpful but I personally think it needs to be more sight farsighted than that I think living. Do the minimum for personal expenses as much as you can regardless. And holding on to as much as you can to improve the profitability of business. And paying down debt as fast as possible. If you have any and then spend and live and give and improve as your business increases is my general attitude attitude and even then I'm wary of crop failures and for these reasons. So as not to sugarcoat this. I have seen two different years of thirty plus acres of peaches fail from Frost a huge loss of late. Peaches from rain this last year is what my worst prune crop we have ever had in my years of farming Another time we had five acres of tomatoes burnt with Frost also certain tomatoes taken out with a virus. We've lost all of some crops from a foods to different years of production loss and nursery crop from my own mistakes. My first green house burned completely down with all my planting trees in spring production two times about ten years apart we lost the largest portion of our key we've endured from what winters. We did not replant a third time we had a complete crop loss this year and safflower corruptly planted another year. All of our wheat or geese died from a neighbor's chemical spray drift or we had we have had money losses from several different people going bankrupt and leaving us with a loss the troubles and trials can be rather brutal. There have been price cycles of prunes up and down peaches up and down doing what we call green drop destroying part of our crop and triple programs pushing out trees to take out as many out trees in an industry to reduce production in the markets. There are many blessings but the bugs. We'd see whether and market need to be addressed because of the damage they can do. My experience is not necessarily yours. But just because there are bad years doesn't mean there always will be and vice a versa. Along the way we need together the roses. Lilies and pinks as I'm sure you have heard quoted not the thorns and thistles on the good side we have seen some excellent crop years with excellent prices. We have developed some great relationships in the market. Some of the systems we have adopted have shown some great biological balances. And financial rewards. So we would not still be in this if there wasn't enough to keep us ahead. The loving kindness of God is not all reserved for the future eternal reward but it is abundant for the present needs of its people all the changes of life all the hard places in the way to heaven will be blessed by the grace that is sufficient for every trial. We have as assuring promises of protection and help. The everlasting arms would we be beneath us to encourage sustain and uphold poverty or wealth sickness or health simplicity or wisdom all are provided for in the promises of His grace. There is light for the intellect love for the heart and vigor for every faculty signs of the times during twenty nine. Eight hundred eighty. But the question How much do you need to make in farming remains. That will be unique to each of you. I think the design of agriculture with the plan of why. What when where how is the process of developing the spiritual physical mental emotional development along the way and financial as well. A simple way of putting it. Decide what you want make a plan to get there and follow your plan. How passion are you about forming a passion. My thought about passion is make it your own this is going to be unique to each of you as well but passion may be in the proportion to the amount of time spent educating the. Researching looking into the portions of and rewards of and why farming or gardening and finding the joy and satisfaction in it make it a fit for you. Not all people will be farmers or the only source of living when you read the Bible and spirit of prophecy and other sources of information you may find your direction the body is not all hands. There are many skills needed in this world but I think the idea is that all should be involved in some form of physical or manual labor of which farming or gardening is one of the best forms for personal development. I like as a motivator thinking of farming in the New Earth. They shall not build and another inhabit they shall not plant and another eat for as the days of the tree or the days of my people and my Alexia long enjoy the work of their hands. Why farm is it the goal or motivation or passion. Because that in of itself is a lot of work. I thought I would be speaking mostly to the physical man mechanical parts of how and what we do vs Why. Or the spiritual. But as I progress it seems to become more pronounced in this process. One of the reasons I think agriculture is given as an avenue to take it encompasses so many things. There is nothing else like it for our development in the life of God's design. Agriculture being the what and how and one of the best ways for personal development which is a given but yet perhaps the more important part. So why farm I think it's in our D.N.A. for me that stands for designers nucleic acid. So I think discover the why of farming and make it your own to find your passion. You have what it takes. What does it take. My thought about this is taking what is nearest at hand. What is available and using it to the best of my. Realty working and looking for Providence and direction. Yes we all have what it takes to a large degree because every human being created in the image of God is in doubt with a power akin to that of the Creator individuality power to think and to do you will come up with ideas that nobody has thought of and works better for you than anything else. I'm not saying to reinvent the wheel. But if someone else has an idea that works use it. But you have also have a riginal thought and abilities that no one else has. Use your original God given power to think and to do. For example wear out work on our fields this picture on the top left. With a more weight on our disk off the edge of the feel we have them a log. So we just load of the logs on the on the disc to give it more weight work is perfectly this other picture on the right is a. An old mobile home frame that somebody dumped on the side of our field and we used we needed a ramp for loading our equipment so we just put some stands underneath and wheels on it and it worked perfectly worked very well or God gave builders of the temple certain skills how that happens I don't know. The wind blows where it will and we can't see it but we can see the result. So the spirit with The Spirit of God but that is what we made what may be in life skills and personal direction. We each have received from God to you are unique. Some of what it takes learning to get out of bed. Getting things done on time. Looking Ahead. Planning. Being consistent person of varying keeping accounts making decisions. Reasoning through things taking initiative. What does it take. Good help. We have had some very good help over the years. Dear family. We've had some great people that enjoy working with us and forming and show up every day to help. We've had we've had people working Forth with a credible work ethic. I had one man that would come to work for me an hour's drive away short before everyone and leave after everyone. Sometimes I would need to tell him to go home when he was finished when he was finished he had tell me I will come back and play tomorrow. He enjoyed every day. That's him on the bottom with the cucumber though the trip. Though the truth be told. This business can be rather ruthless in our natural condition and we may all want to sit on our behind. But I think the real happiness comes from productivity and accomplishment and serving for me I found you have to work pretty hard to find time to sit on your behind unless you're living on someone else's dollar. I also have found it can be I can be a bit anxious trying to get everything done when I want to and I usually gather all up in my mind at once. Usually at about two am in the morning. Sometimes I just need a plan. Make a list and get going on the things to relieve the pressure. And start knocking off the tasks. It can take a lot of patience because what you thought to get done is stopped because of weather equipment breakdowns visitors cetera. What has been described to me as sequencing you've ever heard of sequencing. Well here's an illustration of the here's sequel Here's a sequence. That's just a simple one marking out the field. Flattened get plant the trees. Get your stablished and that's one year's growth on a tree with my daughter off beautiful but here's another example of sequences. This is a story by by Patrick my main. Enos if you haven't heard of him. This is one of his I'm reading now from his story. I have long been a student of sequences. Probably because of my upbringing on a farm and perhaps a larger influence of my association with my stepfather Hank My mother remarried several years after my father died and Hank came to live with us on our Idaho farm. He was a city person and at one time a manager of a major league baseball team. Who had spent most of its working life in the grocery business. You would expect that someone in the grocery business would know about farming and sequences. But bulls forever remain a mystery to Hank. What Hank never seemed able to grasp was that on a farm. You simply don't go out and do a piece of work. No The first thing you do is determine the link please sequence of activities necessary even to begin the job then you realize that the sequences were per Terry activities is so long. You'll never get done get to the intended task. So you go fishing. Instead this is been my family approach to farming for generations and it works fine. But Hank could just never get the hang of it one day Hank said to me Pat. Let's take off the day and go fishing up Ruby creek. Sounds good to me I said let's go. OK but first we have to fix the whole the pasture fence won't take but twenty minutes. My shoulder sagged. Hank I said either we go fishing or we fix the fence which is that both he said. First we fix the fence then we go fishing. Now go get the wire stretchered We'll get started. I saw that it was hopeless. No matter how often I tried to explain sequences to Hank he could never grasp the significance of the wire stretchers broke and I said Oh that's right. Well we'll we'll just run over to the heaviest at to morrow there's. Yeah but the Malloy's borrowed a postal digger we could swing by the Malloy's and pick up our post a digger on the way back from barring the harbor. If it's worth traitors. Then we fix the fence and go fishing easy as pie. We're out of fence stables too is that right. I guess we borrow the have or says we're a stretcher pick up our post hole digger from the Malloy's we can zip in the town to get some stables and Jergens hardware come back fix the fence and go fishing. But Hank you promised Sam Juergen you would haul him a load of hay bales from the Nelsons the next time you came to town and that's what I promised. I've got to I've got to take Sam hay when we go to town to get staples Otherwise we'll be he'll be mad as hops. Will have to take the truck. But first we better pick up the spare tire that's over at Lee were a shop getting fixed. So here's what we'll do we'll borrow the postal digger from the House did pick up the wire transfer from a lawyer stop at Lee worry shop get the spare go over to Nelson's and load the hay all the hated you're going to chop get the staples come home fix the fence and go fishing. How does how does that sound you're getting mixed up. Hank we mark we've borrowed the wire stretcher from the however stands pick up our post hole digger from the Malloy's good leap in lizards. Well my this is getting complicated where we start. I better write it down in the proper sequence I said we started out to go fishing. But first you wanted to fix that stupid hole in the fence. So now this is me this. This may be a bit twisted but it makes my point. Of sometimes trying to get things done. But I've discovered I'm Hank in this story. That's why I hardly ever go fishing. Or have you heard a song. There's a hole in the bucket or something like that or just waiting for the right timing like rain or no rain or wind direction or no wind. For example. For example I just put in some wheat this fall and as much as I wanted to get started I needed to wait for the first rain. So I could work the ground this land has no irrigation and the ground is sandy and it needed more if you're for the traction of the try. After as well as for getting the seed planted in morse or at the right time to sprout and get ahead of the weeds timing can be critically important like getting in a cover crop or alfalfa or spring planting so you have watermelon to move to the market by the Fourth of July. I don't generally measure my days in hours. But in tasks to be done and accomplished when it needs to be done. And not always by day or night and many projects to start on the list taking years to accomplish. I spent. I spin years working on soil and don't try to do it all at once. Maybe you have a more trusting way. We're told not to be anxious. I'm sure I don't have it all together. I guess my style of what it takes is pray plan trust God and get to work. Trusting God in Genesis eight twenty two. As long as the earth and doers see time and harvest cold and heat summer and winter day and night will never cease. Every day every year there are decisions and directions to take. When you are the point man like to lead goose. You are the one responsible. It is nice to have some help. If you have more than you can do yourself. But being willing to do the things that need to be done when they need to be done whether you like it or not. An example of training is starting young milking cows something like that it was my work and my business starting at nine years old twice a day till I sold my cows at eighteen starting with milking cows definitely causes discipline friends would come to play milking always had to be done. They would rather sleep in or play than help with the milking chores etc but I would still need to do the milking helper no help when the family got home from an outing cows still need milking in the summer set the sprinklers to irrigate the pasture by the. Hay and grain for the winter figure the cost taken the money to pay the bills. In other words the idea of starting habits of responsibility and discipline and business early to help for any other things in life. What does it take. If you take initiative think it through and don't procrastinate I think you are ahead of many I remember reading a book about procrastination and the take away for me was Each your biggest ugliest frog first as a directive of how to get things done. Easier said than done. How long does it take to reach viability. I don't know what it will take for you. I started forty years ago and before that nine years of milking cows as a small business and I don't know that viability has a time frame or definition here but having land and no debt is a great start to reaching viability. This can be multigenerational in in its endeavor. I consider my grandfather home sitting in the northeast Montana starting in on open ground and my dad and mom starting here in Gridley underneath a fig tree in the early fifties just camping out until they found some land. They worked hard balancing a family of ten kids several business enterprises and farming. Some think they're going to get into farming expect an income as if they were earning a salary or wage comparable to something and and that may be but I'm not sure what comparing it to what I look at more as earning a life. It could be a lot. It could be not so much. It depends what are your markets. What kind of crops for you grow. How much land you have what kind of resources backing equipment experience. I have tried to use every piece of available ground an asset to be productive. I've often thought or said if you come. But the cost and what it takes a head of time you may not do it. It's like my mom said when someone asked what it was like raising a family of ten children she said I wouldn't trade it for the world but I wouldn't do it again or go through it again or something like that. We do our best to track our business and project ahead. And at some point you are invested and you have to see it through whether it be vegetables or tree crops and you move on ahead. How much training does it require. The ten thousand hour rule internship degrees where to get the knowledge. So of course if you are taking classes in regular school make use of your current schooling Now if you're in high school or college or industrial arts. F.F.A. in four H. when I was in school I did not make use of my opportunity as I should so it put me at a disadvantage and more of a need of learning through experience. Although I think one of the best classes I took in high school was home ec. Even though it was for the wrong reasons. But I learned some basic business skills writing checks and balancing accounts. Take classes in the many skill areas needed in high school or college or night classes learning skills like construction concrete welding fabrication mechanics hydraulics chemistry biology math geometry accounting economics soul science typing English grammar. Besides any type of any other ed classes. So I've been asked about the ten thousand hour rule how it applies to farming. So is that about five years six days a week eight hours a day to be proficiency. And the examples given for the ruler using more repetitive like the Beatles playing an instrument and emerging at the right time or Bill Joy doing the work of computer programming in the early years of computers. Most of it being lots of time. Good old hard work talent and timing but in farming you work through seasons and years to repeat and do the same things. So there are a PEP repetition is over a longer span. I look at I look at it as based repetition. But not as tight of a time as a ten thousand hour rule. I see every year the same every day different. I think for some things it is taken twenty to thirty years or so to see the cycle and experience some results at least for the biology and change in the farming experience. But you see I never went to kindergarten. So I'm still out of step and being laughed at. That's that's my a five brother and some of my brother and sisters right there. And that's me out of step and being lapped that you can't see it very well but my next oldest brother is laughing at me and way with this I'm building projects will put a roof on one of our sheds horns and concrete. I don't really talk about the pictures that much. And that's why I say maybe time wise it's hard to do it all so also were to get the knowledge experience literally and figure Lee come from walking or riding with or behind other growers getting their old equipment and being innovative and economic with ideas. As a small grower sometimes you can find other farmers who are improving their operations and have usable equipment that for them is obsolete and available to purchase at less a new cost. I have a farmer friend who is most generous in this aspect. And we being acquainted. He considers me when he is changing his operations. I will stop and visit farms and other farmers equipment yards and shops to see their set up. This is a tractor from a farmer I bought or an old one but well kept great for cultivating the idea of finding what others have moved on from an example as a neighboring farmer with a single row planter and me learning from him and his wife. Who work together putting in their crops each year. It doesn't need to be high tech simple can work very well. So maybe can't see it very well but this this is taken on all back in the seventy's. So that's me on the tractor at my mom is helping me plant some probably melons or or or fry melons and that platter is on a skid got shoes underneath this we made the tracks Here's a skid tracks and here's a platter see where the piracy goes right here. And all that is a funnel goes down into a piece of metal planning to it's an excellent construction it slices through the dirt and covers it over in the back gets it right down the moisture all you do is dropping the seeds in as you move along very effective what this does gives you a drive seed bed where the seed can sprout up through before the for the weeds come up and get ahead of the weeds and just it's an excellent excellent low tech planner. If you have the option to work and learn on a form of the like then that gives you gold money and experience. So where to get knowledge. These are if you have listed eg University accent. Classes. AG conferences chemical company education classes. Agha Quitman trade shows auctions. This is it in the other farms. Field trips two or three. This is a tour. That's going on right at this time in in California. We go to every year. Usually this is a tour we take a bus to or go and look at other forms. Interning and agrees. That's the ecological see it's ecological farming conference in Monterey. It's a good one. You know a lot of things it's actually probably international lot of people come there. So you know I for some of the farm equipment I've looked for in the past the market farm dot com address is another website to get information from. Ear Gannicus and then just for fun I googled So you want to be a farmer or Wiki how you want to be a farmer. And those are kind of interesting. Just to see what they have to say. You would also go here. Also. A book that I've been enjoying over the years is family friendly farming by Joe Sullivan. Some accomplishments white and green print by David over Miller counseled on AG by John Di singer and. I'm wondering. Maybe if anybody has any experience in interns or degrees we can discuss at some some point. So but I kind of put this in how is this for a degree the village of debility to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions. So the way it ought to be. If you open it close it. If you turn it on turn it off if you unlock a locket. If you break it repair it. If you can't fix it. Report it to someone who can. If you borrow it return it and promptly. If you use it. Don't abuse it. If you make a mess of it clean it up. If you move it put it back if it belongs to someone else and you want to use it. Get permission before taking it. If you don't know how to operate it. Leave it alone. So that's this is what we put on our wall in our shop. We hope everybody gets a green in this. So I know we're about in our time now so we have a session coming up. If they're not time for a question answer now we can ask them in the next session but yeah you got a question. Well these have developed. Quite frankly. We bought this property from an old fisherman and when he would take is night crawlers come back with a night crawlers he would dump them out as York. And then we bought this land in there just as they are this is my guess because they're not native. And they've multiplied and moved through our fields away I do now is I'll go out at night time and collect them. If I want to move into another field and they come up at night and use a red light to to to collect I'm not a white light because they're afraid of white light but a red light. They don't run. You can grab them pick them up and then we use or they come up the maid or whatever they do out there stuck together. And so we pick them up and then we'll just move into other fields and and place them in other fields to to move them around but we have this one area we kind of consider our nursery. It's right near our house we have trees. And they will literally clean all the leaves off the by the time spring comes. They've taken all the leaves from the trees back down into the soil. So a lot more questions if you want and then we have another bit. Coming up there's more time in my next session. Because I don't have as long a presentation on that part. So if you want to talk more. But then that's fine. Go after less used out of filing your so can you summarize your question for. What. So once you get where you want to be as far as income. What do you do after that to maintain it. OK you're going to have to look at what are you doing now to get that I mean at any even to where you are you producing something at that is starting out life. So then I start looking at what I'm going to do to get there as far as crop. If I'm going to far are going to grow something. Yeah. What do you WOULD YOU CAN YOU DO THAT LAND how you're going to produce something on. And then I start working through all my numbers. What's it going to cost you know for two to develop it. What kind of couple of investment I have to make on that. And what's going to be the return on that investment over time if you have to borrow money to get there if you. You know say I don't know what what's available to you. What do you have that you would grow so you have to research that and and look at what's what's your what's what I mean I there's probably already somebody in that round that might help maybe in the we got numbers we've got numbers of what we do and we've kind of tried to track the detail of that priest pretty. Yeah what a cost of produce something. And the market is the difference because now we're sometimes you're losing and sometimes you're breaking even sometimes you're making money because the price of what you make the price of what you're selling for isn't always the same this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons. Please Visit W W W audio verse or.

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