I am the 4th generation to farm in my family where we raised corn, soybean and hogs. As a high school freshman I bought my first beef cow, started working on a cow/calf farm and have been expanding my herd and cattle knowledge since then. My wife and I are 1/3 owners of our 160 head black commercial cow/calf herd. Additionally, I farm 330 acres of conventional corn and soybeans on rented ground. I work very closely with my father-in-law and his brother, trading labor for use of their modern and technologically advanced equipment. Together the three of us farm nearly 2500 acres. I began my adult career as a high school Agricultural Education and FFA Advisor in 2003 growing our program to be recognized at the state and national levels for involvement and quality of programming. In 2012, I switched to the role of Farm Business Management instructor for Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
As a young farmer, I feel a passion to share the positive story of agriculture with our consumers. As a former teacher, I have a very broad base of contacts and can get a fairly accurate pulse of perceptions of an average consumer. I am often thinking of ways that I can share my experiences with others so they can see all of the activity that is happening on the farm. My wife and I are the host site for Skype sessions with an urban school in our state. We are able to open our barn doors without having a busload of kids go back with manure on their shoes. Students have been able to climb in a tractor and mix a load of feed and then help feed it to the steers.