Future Farmers, You Could Win a $100 Gift Card to Tractor Supply

Alex Tiller - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So you think you want to be a farmer?  What’s stopping you or making you think twice?  What do you think could be done to better to insure your success? 

As many of you know, I am working on a book for future farmers.  Now I need some help.  I have created a 16 question survey to try to better understand what motivates and what hinders wanna-be farmers.  

In return for filling out my questionnaire, one of you will be selected at random to receive a $100 Tractor Supply gift certificate. The gift certificate can be used at TractorSupply.com or in any Tractor Supply retail store. 

Your survey must be completed in full to qualify for the drawing.  I will only accept one survey per person and you will be required to provide contact information if you choose to be entered into the $100 Tractor Supply Gift Card drawing.  You may submit your survey anonymously if you do not wish to disclose your identity, but then I won’t have a way to enter you into the drawing. 

 Click Here to take the survey

Feel free to pass this survey along to other friends, family, or schoolmates who are considering making farming a career.  Email them the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=oSNXoA0B7TzLcgqLcwyXiA_3d_3d

Thanks for your help and Good Luck!

Super Farmers Recommendations Wanted! Can you Help?

Alex Tiller - Sunday, March 22, 2009

As many of you know, I am working on a book for young farmers.  I am looking for examples of farmers that have successfully diversified their farm operations.  I am looking for nontraditional examples. -Not necessarily the rancher that decides to just raise a different breed, but someone who has achieved true diversification in operation.   Examples of what I am looking for would be:

  • The row crop farmer who planted an orchard or vineyard on his least productive land. 
  • The vineyard manager that now also raises sheep to keep the cover crop down and for market. 
  • The corn/soybean farmer that set up his own solar array, wind turbine, or biofuel operation.
  • The chicken farmer that struck a deal with the vegetable farmer to sell all the waste.
  • The farmer/grower that is the only one growing a particular crop in any given area.

Put simply, I am looking for ag innovators. 

Can any of you recommend some super successful, innovate, or unique ag industry figures for case studies / interviews for the book?  Please email me your name and phone number, the name and phone and email of the person you are recommending, and how you know the individual.  Send to: alex (at symbol) alextiller (dot) com. You can also contact me via email by clicking Here: Email Alex



AgDay Ambassadors

Alex Tiller - Friday, March 20, 2009

The CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN) and the Missouri-Kansas chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) both believe in the necessity of educating consumers about today’s agriculture. The CropLife Ambassador Network (CAN) is a program of the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA), a non-profit association of manufacturers, distributors/formulators and allied industry of crop protection products in 13 Midwestern states. CAN works to provide scientifically based, accurate information to the public regarding the safety and value of American agricultural food production. (http://ambassador.maca.org) CAN which has approximately 160 ambassadors and regularly places those volunteers into schools across the Midwest, welcomed the opportunity to celebrate National Ag Day, www.agday.org, with the MoKan chapter of NAMA.

CAN located three schools in Kansas City, Missouri for MoKan members to visit the week after National Ag Week when students return from their spring break. The topics were chosen by the teachers from CAN’s six program offerings to correlate with their current classroom curriculum. 

  • MoKan member Lori Kruger will speak with fifty-two 3rd grade students at Satchel Paige Elementary School March 23 on Farmers, Stewards of the Land.
  • MoKan member Sarah Schmidt will speak with forty-two 6th grade students at Lee’s Summit Elementary School March 24 on Biofuels.
  • MoKan member Becky Johnson will speak with one-hundred 6th grade students at Antioch Middle School March 25 on Biofuels. 


Many ag-related organizations working towards a better agriculturally-educated consumer dot the United States. According to Janet Braun, CAN Program Coordinator, “This was a great opportunity to connect the dots.” When Lori Kruger of MoKan contacted Braun about this opportunity, “I jumped on the idea and would be happy to work with other groups in the Midwest.” said Braun. CAN already has the framework built for linking schools and speakers together, while providing presentation material and topic information to the speakers. Other Midwest Ag organizations and individuals are welcome to use our program as their outreach education resource. When our industry connects all the dots, Ag’s picture CAN be seen by the public.

For information on CAN contact Program Coordinator Janet Braun at
janet@maca.org, 800-625-2767, or visit the CAN website at http://ambassador.maca.org.

For information on the MoKan chapter of NAMA, contact Chapter President Melanie Acklin at
macklin@sfp.com, 816-377-9088, or visit the NAMA website at www.nama.org

Book For Future Farmers

Alex Tiller - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I wanted to let you all in a bit more on my book project.  In short, I am writing a book for future farmers and people that are considering farming as a career/lifestyle option – young people who play Xbox in between classes on botany and soil management at ag school, farm heirs/potential heirs thinking about whether the family farm is the right career for them, current and former FFA members, and young entrepreneurs (perhaps with a green thumb, or a passion for the environment) looking for an experimental outlet for their business energy. The book will inform the reader about coming global and national trends in the farming world, explore the merits and realities of the farming life, provide an overview of the core business concepts that future farm managers can profit from, and talk about the many ways for farm owners and operators to diversify their business, reduce inherent risk, and secure their operations for the future. The target audience for the book is young (and young at heart) people for whom farming is one possible option, and the book’s purpose is to instill excitement about farming as a career and lifestyle and to provide honest and accurate information supporting the decision to become a farmer. My goal is to have the book be the one volume people have in mind when they hear that a friend  or family member is interested in farming – “oh, then you have to read this book I just finished!”

I hope to have the book completed in the next 3 months.  If you would like to be notified when the book becomes available, please be sure to enter your email address to the right of this article in the “Get Notified” section.  (I promise I won’t sell your email address)