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Cops, Robbers, and Blue Jackets w/ Matt Brechwald of the Off-Farm Income Podcast
Episode 304th May 2023 • Barnyard Language • Caite Palmer and Arlene Hunter
00:00:00 01:42:42

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Today Arlene is getting all of her criminal questions answered by retired law enforcement officer, Idaho farmer, and ag podcaster Matt Brechwald. We're talking about the FFA, podcasting, quitting your job, how to steal a barn, securing your farm, and a LOT more. Matt's work can be found at his website and you can subscribe to his podcast Off-Farm Income here

Thank you for joining us today on Barnyard Language. If you enjoy the show, we encourage you to support us by becoming a patron. Go to Patreon to make a small monthly donation to help cover the cost of making a show. Please rate and review the podcast and follow the show so you never miss an episode.

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Transcripts

hunter]:

So stay on the podcast. We're excited to be talking to Matt Breckwald, who's joining us from Idaho. I think this is probably our first Idaho guest.

hunter]:

Am I right, Katie? Yeah, she's nodding.

[caite]:

so.

hunter]:

It's an audio medium, but Katie always nods for me. So Matt, we start each of our interviews with the same question, and this is a way for you

hunter]:

to introduce yourself to our listeners. So we ask the question, what are you growing?

hunter]:

So for our farming guests that covers crops and livestock, but it also covers families, businesses, which I know you've got a few of,

hunter]:

and all kinds of other stuff. Matt, what are you growing?

brechwald]:

Let's see, beef cattle, chickens, goats, the occasional pig, and a little bit

brechwald]:

of sweet corn. We're a small farm here in Idaho, so that pretty much covers

brechwald]:

the extent of it.

hunter]:

So we have a scale, what does small mean to you? Because small, depending where you live, means different things.

brechwald]:

That's right. I think mine is on the far end of the scale. So we have

brechwald]:

33 acres. So we're really small very niched in serving this this growing

brechwald]:

municipality called Boise, Idaho

hunter]:

and what kinds of breeds are we talking about? Cause farmers always need to know that kind of info.

brechwald]:

Yeah, you know, I have almost exclusively pulled herford cattle. And I mixed

brechwald]:

in a couple, I mixed in two black baldy heifers just two years ago. And

brechwald]:

but other than that just pulled her furs. And I've just stuck with that. And

brechwald]:

then as far as goats go, we started with just a smorgasbord of everything.

brechwald]:

I mean, people just started giving us goats. That's how we got into the

brechwald]:

goat business is they found out we had land and they just started donating

brechwald]:

goats to us. us. So that was everything. But now that it's turning into

brechwald]:

more of a business, I've been refining it. And so we've been increasing our

brechwald]:

the amount of Kikos we have in our dough, herd, and then we're running

brechwald]:

a bore buck on those Kikos.

hunter]:

the idea that you just have a drop off goat.

brechwald]:

It was crazy.

hunter]:

Yeah, you must give off a certain aura that people think that, oh, he looks like a goat guy.

brechwald]:

No, I think it's the goats give off a certain aura and people think they're

brechwald]:

cute and they want to raise an animal and then about six months later they're

brechwald]:

like, what do I do with this thing? Yeah.

hunter]:

Yeah, it's yeah, it's wrecked all my fences and

brechwald]:

Uh huh.

hunter]:

No, I don't know what to do with it

brechwald]:

Yeah, exactly.

[caite]:

So

hunter]:

And we're also parenting pot.

[caite]:

do you have to lock the, oh,

hunter]:

Oh, sorry, Katie.

[caite]:

sorry, do you have to lock the gate to keep people from dropping them off when

[caite]:

you're not home?

brechwald]:

No, well, I mean, technically, I want to keep it closed herd. So I don't really

brechwald]:

want them dropping them off. But man, they're at the beginning. I was like,

brechwald]:

fine, bring them, you know, we'll take them. We bought this place in 2011.

brechwald]:

It was nothing but weeds. And the only reason we got this first two goats

brechwald]:

was my wife and daughter were impatient. And they wanted some something.

brechwald]:

So we I tried staking goats out. That was an absolute disaster. So we got

brechwald]:

electric netting. and we would start letting goats eat weeds and we had weeds

brechwald]:

for days and then over the years we got some fencing put in and we developed

brechwald]:

the place and developed it and kept going. And then the goats turned into

brechwald]:

a business. I mean they've been, I'm really into it now. They are a great

brechwald]:

commercial business. They're kind of, you know, a guy like me or a family

brechwald]:

like us on a small scale, we can't raise commercial beef. The margins

brechwald]:

are too low. We can't raise enough to make any real money. direct market

brechwald]:

everything and and have a marketing plan and develop a niche and do all

brechwald]:

of that but with goats we really can the goat price has just been fantastic

brechwald]:

and so I don't market them at all we just take them to the livestock auction

brechwald]:

and we let people compete for them and it's been great

hunter]:

So you already mentioned that you have a daughter as a parenting podcast. We always like to check in near the beginning too

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

about ages and stages of where your kids are at. So how old is she?

brechwald]:

Hattie is 16 and she is really, really kicking butt in the FFA. It's been going

brechwald]:

really good. And that's been this like, uh, I don't know how much my audience

brechwald]:

has been, uh, thinking about it over the past eight years, but I cover a

brechwald]:

lot of FFA students in the country and, uh, they, I think they've been

brechwald]:

waiting to hear if my daughter was going to join the FFA. And I just actually

brechwald]:

finally featured her on the show, uh, this January. Uh, I, so I had done

brechwald]:

about. 11 or 1200 interviews with FFA students and then finally interviewed

brechwald]:

my daughter. So I waited until she reached a point where I went, wow, she's

brechwald]:

doing good. Let's have her on the show.

hunter]:

It's pretty exciting to get to that point.

brechwald]:

Yeah, yeah.

[caite]:

matter you from a farm background yourself.

brechwald]:

Yes and no, if that's possible to answer it that way. So I grew up in a really,

brechwald]:

really tiny town called Valley Home, California, which is in the, we call

brechwald]:

it the Central Valley, but the San Joaquin Valley there in California.

brechwald]:

And back then it was extremely blue collar and mostly agriculture people.

brechwald]:

I mean, we're talking to town of like 40 or 50 people in the actual town

brechwald]:

core itself. And back then it was mostly rice farmers and a few permanent

brechwald]:

crops. people that had almonds and walnuts and then out on the fringes of

brechwald]:

town you got into the dairies and then even a little further out you got

brechwald]:

in beef cattle and that's what it was like where I grew up. Really really

brechwald]:

tiny so I was always around it always exposed to it it was just always

brechwald]:

there but my family per se were not involved in agriculture. And then

brechwald]:

my my folks got a divorce when I was 10 I think and my mom ended up remarrying

brechwald]:

when I was about 15 and my stepfather and his dad they raised cattle on

brechwald]:

a really small scale in a town on the kind of the southern part of the

brechwald]:

county that I'd grown up in and that got me exposed to actually hands-on

brechwald]:

with the cattle and then that got me very interested and then ever since

brechwald]:

then I've always had my eyes on having my own cattle in my own place.

hunter]:

So Matt, I know from listening to your podcast

brechwald]:

ស្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្្�

hunter]:

or one of your podcasts, you've got a few of them called Off-Arm Income that you were doing a bunch of other things before you actually

hunter]:

got into agriculture or back into agriculture.

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

hunter]:

So can you tell us kind of the short version of what you were doing before and what brought you back to being involved in this industry?

brechwald]:

Yeah, I'd be happy to. I don't know if there's a short version of this story

brechwald]:

is the only

hunter]:

That's okay. Yeah, I just said that, but it doesn't have to be short. Talk as long as you want.

brechwald]:

So I got like I said when I was about 1516, I finally got my hands on

brechwald]:

cattle, you know, working in the barn and around the cattle and all of

brechwald]:

that and really got interested in it. And then came time for college and I

brechwald]:

graduated high school. I had no idea what I was going to do. I mean, to

brechwald]:

this day, I've never taken a placement exam. I've never taken an SAT or

brechwald]:

ACT or anything to go on in a higher education. But I started school at

brechwald]:

Modesto Junior College there in the Central Valley, and I started out and

brechwald]:

said I was going to be an animal science major. And I was really into

brechwald]:

it. I used to just drive around the county in my free time with a textbook

brechwald]:

and try and identify breeds of cattle. And I would match them up to the

brechwald]:

pictures in my textbook. And that's my free time. I just drive around. I

brechwald]:

find the ranches I like the most and try to identify breeds very interested.

brechwald]:

I ended up transferring after three semesters up to Montana State University

brechwald]:

and finished my bachelor's degree in animal science up there. And during

brechwald]:

this time, I worked on cattle ranches in Montana, I even lived on a ranch

brechwald]:

in Montana, I fed cattle from my room and board. I did a couple internships,

brechwald]:

I sold ag chemicals in the row crop and production ag industry. I worked

brechwald]:

in the fertilizer industry back down in the Central Valley of California.

brechwald]:

kind of was I worked in almost every aspect of Ag that you could think of.

brechwald]:

I did sales. And when I graduated, I got a full time offer. I got a job or offer

brechwald]:

for a full time job as a territorial sales rep in the ag chemical industry. And

brechwald]:

I just didn't want to do sales. And I didn't feel like I had enough experience,

brechwald]:

even though I had the degree to go manage somebody's ranch. And there I

brechwald]:

just couldn't find my place in agriculture. When I graduated and I got

brechwald]:

that degree and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I just knew that at some

brechwald]:

point I wanted to buy my own place and have my own cattle And so I actually

brechwald]:

left ag and I went and became a police officer That was an interest and I

brechwald]:

was young I was 22 when I graduated I think and I was like well, this

brechwald]:

will be fun. This will be a cool job What a way to make a living so I

brechwald]:

joined the police academy and paid my way through there and I got hired

brechwald]:

by a medium-sized city in the Central Valley of California became a police

brechwald]:

officer and and I mean, there was a few years there where I felt like I was

brechwald]:

stealing money. Like, I couldn't believe they were paying me to do this. I would

brechwald]:

pay to do it. You know, it was so fun and so exciting. And I just wanted

brechwald]:

to try it out and do it. But it turned into more than that. You know, it

brechwald]:

turned into, wow, I really am providing a service. I'm doing something

brechwald]:

good for the community. It turned into a career. And there was a point

brechwald]:

in time where I thought I would run it all the way through and I would

brechwald]:

get the retirement and the pension. that. But about probably 10 years

brechwald]:

into it, I think that season of life had passed for me. And I was, I was

brechwald]:

getting antsy and I wanted to do something different. My wife and I, we

brechwald]:

had a mutual goal of buying a farm and raising livestock and raising cattle.

brechwald]:

And but we were living in the city at that point. And we had looked many,

brechwald]:

many times, but we hadn't figured out a way to get it done to buy

brechwald]:

I was just getting more and more pulled back. Like it had always been the

brechwald]:

goal, but I was willing to put that goal off for a while so we could build,

brechwald]:

you know, some some capital and some money to be able to do this capital

brechwald]:

intensive type of idea. But by about year 15, because I spent 15 years

brechwald]:

as a police officer, I was like, we have got to get this done. And that

brechwald]:

ended up coinciding ironically with our daughter turning five and getting

brechwald]:

ready to begin school. And we had promised ourselves that she would be

brechwald]:

raised the way we were raised, which was rural, agricultural, blue collar.

brechwald]:

And at the same time, it coincided with the bottom of the real estate market here

brechwald]:

in the Treasure Valley of Idaho. We kind of were behind the rest of the

brechwald]:

country during that housing crisis. And so our bottom was right at 2011.

brechwald]:

And so we got even more motivated as how he was getting ready to begin school.

brechwald]:

And we saw the lowest prices that we'd ever seen because we're right on

brechwald]:

the very bottom of that housing bubble here in Idaho. And so we were able to

brechwald]:

sell our house. We didn't lose money on our house, which was good. And

brechwald]:

then we were able to buy the farm that we sit on today, the first part of

brechwald]:

it, I should say. And we got, I think, a really good deal on it. Even though

brechwald]:

it was completely undeveloped, we had to do all the work to develop it and

brechwald]:

make it produce. But still, we got the ground and that was the big part.

hunter]:

So at that point, were you continuing?

[caite]:

All right.

hunter]:

I know the answer to this question, but were you going to continue to work in law enforcement

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

and also develop the farm at the same time, or was that a commutable distance, or were you having to actually make a change

hunter]:

in your employment at that point?

brechwald]:

Yeah, you know, I didn't have to make a change and it was a very commutable

brechwald]:

distance. As a matter of fact, I was a detective for five years, and they

brechwald]:

gave me a car when I was a detective. But when I left detectives and I

brechwald]:

went back to patrol, because I was going to promote and become a supervisor,

brechwald]:

I started riding my bike to work. This was when I lived in town. And I

brechwald]:

loved it. I'd love that's the only thing I miss about having a job is

brechwald]:

I really enjoyed having a reason to get on my bicycle every day. And

brechwald]:

but when we moved to our farm, ironically, uh, it was a shorter bicycle commute

brechwald]:

from our farm to the police headquarters than it was from the house we

brechwald]:

had when we actually lived in the city. So that's how close we are, uh,

brechwald]:

into Boise is we're really not that far. I rode my bike from here into

brechwald]:

work and that was the plan. I, you know, my, my role models, my examples,

brechwald]:

uh, in life are always folks who had full time, 40 hour a week jobs, town

brechwald]:

jobs, and then they farmed on the side. One of the things I witnessed,

brechwald]:

that I said I could overcome was burnout. You know, trying to get that 40

brechwald]:

hour a week job done, working the overtime you need to work to make the extra

brechwald]:

money, all of that. And then having the farm and feeding and irrigating

brechwald]:

and fixing fence and all of that be another obligation on top of a job.

brechwald]:

And so it kind of changed the love of the lifestyle to an obligation

brechwald]:

not something you get to do but something you had to do. But initially

brechwald]:

for me that was the plan. I was going to work full time. I was going

brechwald]:

to run it out through my government retirement, and then I would finally be able

brechwald]:

to just farm full time and stay on my farm. That was the plan, but I had

brechwald]:

already started dreaming of a different lifestyle before we bought the

brechwald]:

farm, and so I was actively looking, and then once we got out here, it

brechwald]:

really kicked into high gear. I really felt like I was living two separate

brechwald]:

lives. I was putting 40 hours a week in the

brechwald]:

And then three days a week, because I worked a 4-10 schedule, three days

brechwald]:

a week out in the rural community, meeting with farmers and working in agriculture

brechwald]:

and just kind of felt like a split personality almost. And so I got busy

brechwald]:

and I started my first business at that point. In 2012, it was called Idaho

brechwald]:

Gopher Control and it was a piece of equipment I bought that allowed

brechwald]:

me to infuse carbon monoxide at high pressure into gopher burrows and exterminate

brechwald]:

pocket gophers. problem for farmers out here in the West, especially those

brechwald]:

who are growing alfalfa. And that business went really, really well. And

brechwald]:

I developed a city customer base as well, which was surprising. And that

brechwald]:

went really, really well. So I started that I made my first dollar in

brechwald]:

that business ever May 25 of 2012. And on June 15 of 2013, I officially

brechwald]:

separated from employment as a police officer. time entrepreneur. And

brechwald]:

man, there was just a morning, a while after that where I found myself on

brechwald]:

my own farm, running my own business completely self employed. And I couldn't

brechwald]:

believe it. I couldn't believe this transition that had happened at one point,

brechwald]:

I wouldn't even allow myself to dream about it because I didn't think it

brechwald]:

was possible. And it would make me kind of depressed, but it had happened.

brechwald]:

And here I was and I was so inspired. And I had listened to so many podcasts,

brechwald]:

trying to get the courage to do what I had done. that I decided to start

brechwald]:

Off-Arm Income and interview other entrepreneurs in Ag about what they had

brechwald]:

done and try and hopefully inspire other people to do the same.

[caite]:

So Matt is an American farmer who I work remotely for a tech

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

[caite]:

company, which has been an absolute godsend for our family.

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

You know, and I think the pandemic has been great for remote work because it's

[caite]:

a more normal thing now.

brechwald]:

Thank you for watching.

[caite]:

You know, I know it's a different situation in Canada, but you know, the USDA is saying

[caite]:

that 91% of farm families in the US have at least one family member working off

[caite]:

farm

brechwald]:

Right.

[caite]:

that 89% of farm families rely on not farm income for basically

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

all of their family income, especially for health insurance. So I'm wondering...

[caite]:

Sorry, what the common characteristics are that you see in folks who are able to make

[caite]:

their entrepreneurship or remote work or whatever a successful thing.

brechwald]:

Oh, sure. And I should clarify, my wife actually does work off the farm. So

brechwald]:

she's a schoolteacher in town. And that's probably, I think the last time

brechwald]:

I researched it, I think schoolteacher might be the most common profession of the

brechwald]:

spouse who works off the farm. I think it is. And so we're, we're right in

brechwald]:

that. We're right in that mold. But when it comes to the entrepreneurs

brechwald]:

that I interview that are doing well, obviously hustle is going to be

brechwald]:

a big part of it. I mean, you've got to have a work ethic. But really,

brechwald]:

people making it work are people that recognize that they're buying equipment

brechwald]:

for their own operation and when they don't need that equipment, it's just

brechwald]:

sitting there. And that is a revenue source that's just sitting there

brechwald]:

and it's depreciating and they could fire it up, they could take it out

brechwald]:

and they could provide that service to other people. And that is a big

brechwald]:

thing I see with entrepreneurs who are also farmers being able to do that.

brechwald]:

And then the other thing I see are people who are farmers. I mean, we're

brechwald]:

just a special breed, right? We're self reliant. We think we can fix anything.

brechwald]:

We can solve any problem, all this type of stuff. And you can take that

brechwald]:

mindset into town with you if you're close enough to town. And you can

brechwald]:

provide service and know how to people that either don't have the time,

brechwald]:

don't have the desire, or they just don't have the skill set. And that

brechwald]:

can be a business as well. And so I see a lot of people in agriculture

brechwald]:

in the, in the space of entrepreneurship that I tend to cover. these smaller owner operated

brechwald]:

type service businesses. I see a lot of people just taking what they already

brechwald]:

own or what they already have as a personality characteristic and parlaying

brechwald]:

that into a revenue source and in recognizing how important it is that

brechwald]:

flexibility to help them be successful as a farmer because they can be

brechwald]:

on that farm when they need to be there.

[caite]:

So I guess I'm going to add to this. What advice do you have for farmers getting

[caite]:

passed? You know, cause we're also, it's so ingrained to be self-reliant and to

[caite]:

just do

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

[caite]:

it yourself. To get past that and to just hire the folks that are doing, you know,

[caite]:

custom manure hauling or like we

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

hire somebody to wrap bales for us because there's no point in us having equipment

[caite]:

for that, for the number we do.

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

or even to the point that like we hire a house cleaner because it's financially not

[caite]:

worth it for me to be cleaning instead

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

of working. So how do you see folks getting past that have to do everything myself

[caite]:

mindset to actually doing what's reasonable.

brechwald]:

Yeah, you know, it's funny because I find myself falling back into that

brechwald]:

too. And then realizing, no, I need to delegate. I need to hire this out.

brechwald]:

I need to focus my energies here. I need to have I do the same thing. And

brechwald]:

I fall back into that. And then I see more success when I get out of that,

brechwald]:

even though you sit there and you write that check, and you're like,

brechwald]:

man, I could have done that myself. And I would have never had to have

brechwald]:

written that check. But what I think it boils

brechwald]:

And, but it's more than that because you've got to be able to see the alternatives.

brechwald]:

But I think if, if you're, if you're determined, meaning I'm going to

brechwald]:

make this work and I'm going to use entrepreneurship or whatever it may

brechwald]:

be to get me there, this is going to be the vessel that's going to take

brechwald]:

me from the life I'm leading right now to the life that I'm envisioning

brechwald]:

or it's going to keep me in the life I've got right now and I've got to

brechwald]:

do something to kind of hedge against input prices, commodity prices, all

brechwald]:

this type of stuff. I've got to do something that gets me through those

brechwald]:

rough patches. Then I think if you get really serious about it, then you're

brechwald]:

just by default, you're not even going to think about it, you're going

brechwald]:

to be researching how can I be successful in this. So, saying I have

brechwald]:

on the show on off-arm income is always, sometimes you got to leave agriculture

brechwald]:

to go get what you need and then bring it back to agriculture and apply

brechwald]:

it here. And so with podcasting, when I started, there was nobody I could call

brechwald]:

and say, you're an agricultural podcaster, will you be my mentor? I had to

brechwald]:

leave podcasting. I went to this conference in Tampa, Florida called podcast

brechwald]:

movement. And I found one other agricultural podcaster there. There was

brechwald]:

one guy in the crowd of 3000 people with a cowboy hat on. I said, Oh, there's

brechwald]:

my guy, you know, there's, there's my crowd right there is just he and

brechwald]:

I. And so sometimes you got to leave and you got to bring that back. And

brechwald]:

so for me, when I was studying And I was finding my mentors, whether they

brechwald]:

were people who had written books, they were people that were hosting podcasts

brechwald]:

or radio shows or whatever. I listened to them and I studied them and I

brechwald]:

took notes. I mean, I took it very seriously. And a recurring theme that

brechwald]:

kept coming up was, look, you can't do everything. You've got to work

brechwald]:

on your business, not in your business. That is the, you know, that's the

brechwald]:

cliche that's out there when you learn about entrepreneurship. And I had

brechwald]:

to leave ag. succeed in business. And then I had to bring that back. And I have

brechwald]:

I've it's constantly a balancing act for me on where do I delegate? What do

brechwald]:

I do myself? And for me now, and this is years into this. But for me, now

brechwald]:

I have the luxury of going, I get to delegate the things I don't like to

brechwald]:

do in favor of the things I do enjoy doing. And but back when I was first

brechwald]:

starting, I had to delegate the things maybe or like you, it didn't make

brechwald]:

any sense for me to be doing this thing. I could hire it done because the

brechwald]:

hours invested were just as high, but the output in terms of financially,

brechwald]:

we're completely different. And let's face it, it's not about material

brechwald]:

wealth or getting rich or anything like that, but you're going to need

brechwald]:

some capital if you're going to stay in the game of agriculture. It's just,

brechwald]:

you just have to be careful about that. You've got to have that nest egg,

brechwald]:

that rainy day fund, whatever you want to call it, you've got to have it

brechwald]:

there. And so you can't be frivolous with money, especially at the beginning.

[caite]:

I know the other thing that's really helped me is trying to delegate to other entrepreneurs

[caite]:

that are really hustling themselves for their

brechwald]:

Um.

[caite]:

own businesses. If I pay a house cleaner but she's running her own business, then I'm

[caite]:

supporting someone else. They're like,

brechwald]:

Sure.

[caite]:

we buy a CSA share every year instead of me growing vegetables, even though I like

[caite]:

to garden because it's

brechwald]:

Okay.

[caite]:

a lot more efficient on all levels to

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

[caite]:

pay somebody else business than for me to spend the same amount and get you know

[caite]:

three tomatoes and a lot of crying.

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

So

brechwald]:

Well, I'll

[caite]:

you

brechwald]:

tell

[caite]:

know

brechwald]:

you,

[caite]:

it's

brechwald]:

Katie, I love that because one of the special things about using entrepreneurship,

brechwald]:

I think, and supporting small businesses is it's it's more than just a revenue

brechwald]:

source. It's more than just flexibility and freedom. It's also a community.

brechwald]:

And so by you saying, No, I'm choosing to support another small business,

brechwald]:

you're helping to build that community. I think it's great.

hunter]:

So you already mentioned your involvement with FFA,

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

hunter]:

and I'm gonna show my Canadian ignorance here and ask you to describe a little, or explain a little bit about FFA,

hunter]:

because it's not a program that we have here. So this is for my benefit,

brechwald]:

Sure.

hunter]:

but also for our non-American listeners who maybe don't really know what it is. I know the colors, I've seen the outfits.

brechwald]:

Ha ha ha

hunter]:

I think I understand a little bit,

brechwald]:

ha!

hunter]:

but even, yeah, just kind of how it's structured, like on a national level, well, all that kind of stuff, I don't really have any context. So if you can just do kind of an outline for me,

hunter]:

I think that would be helpful.

brechwald]:

Yeah, you bet. So until I think it's until 1988, Katie, you might know

brechwald]:

the exact date, but they were called Future Farmers of America. So I grew

brechwald]:

up knowing Future Farmers of America. And then they changed the name

brechwald]:

just to the acronym FFA, because they wanted to they wanted to make they were

brechwald]:

getting broad, they didn't just, you know, and it was a student organization

brechwald]:

that didn't just involve people who were going to be, you know, boots on the

brechwald]:

ground farmers, there was ag technology and all this involves so they

brechwald]:

change the name. So the FFA is a student organization in, well, in public

brechwald]:

and in private schools and in home schools, a lot of home school organizations

brechwald]:

throughout the United States that is there for the promotion of agriculture

brechwald]:

and agricultural education. And they have the recipe. I don't know how

brechwald]:

they did it, but they've got the recipe. It is got to be the, well, it's

brechwald]:

the single largest student organization in the world. Currently there's

brechwald]:

over 850,000 students enrolled in the FFA. I mean they're almost to a million

brechwald]:

which is just insane. They're all over the United States and the territories

brechwald]:

of the US. Every year at the National FFA Convention when I go you see jackets

brechwald]:

walking around from Puerto Rico. I mean there's FFA students there. Really

brechwald]:

incredible and what they do is they and oh my goodness I hate to butcher

brechwald]:

this. I

brechwald]:

but they've got this approach to teaching agricultural education. So there's

brechwald]:

leadership, there's hands-on practical application, and then there's the

brechwald]:

classroom stuff as well. And where I specialize in, the thing that fires

brechwald]:

me up is what they call their supervised agricultural experiences. So when

brechwald]:

a student at school, high school generally, but some middle schools as

brechwald]:

well, when they join the FFA and they're taking ag classes, the FFA, it

brechwald]:

takes what they're learning in the ad classes and it adds all this stuff

brechwald]:

onto it. Leadership, public speaking, different competitions, how to write

brechwald]:

a resume, how to do job interviews, all these different things that are giving

brechwald]:

these 850,000 plus students this incredible skill set to where when they

brechwald]:

step out of high school, they are ready to go. They are so far ahead of your

brechwald]:

typical or your general high school student in the in the United States.

brechwald]:

They can speak to people, look you in the eye, shake your hand, do a

brechwald]:

job interview, fill out a resume. A lot of them have certifications and

brechwald]:

things like welding, small engines, landscaping, horticulture, floral

brechwald]:

design. It's just incredible what they do. And what I love about it is these

brechwald]:

supervised agricultural experiences where they have to do, they're required to

brechwald]:

do one of three things. They're required to do either a research project, a

brechwald]:

placement project work for somebody in agriculture or something where

brechwald]:

they do their own entrepreneurial venture. And that's where I interview FFA students.

brechwald]:

And so I'm interviewing students all over the country who are starting their

brechwald]:

own herds. I've interviewed high school students who already have their

brechwald]:

own farms. They were working for a neighboring rancher and the rancher wanted

brechwald]:

to retire. They didn't have anybody to pass the farm along to and they

brechwald]:

did a transition plan with a high student. I mean it's incredible. I've

brechwald]:

interviewed students with lawn businesses where they're making a hundred

brechwald]:

thousand dollars a year and they're in high school. I've interviewed multiple

brechwald]:

students who have started businesses and they had to hire their very

brechwald]:

first employee because they didn't have a driver's license yet so they

brechwald]:

had to hire somebody with a driver's license to get them to and from

brechwald]:

job sites. And it's this incredible organization that is producing this leadership

brechwald]:

class in the United States of these unbelievably talented students. What

brechwald]:

I love about the FFA too, and boy did you open the can of worms here,

brechwald]:

Arlene, I could just go on and on, but what I love about it too is how

brechwald]:

many students I've interviewed who are accomplishing amazing amazing things,

brechwald]:

who said when I started in the FFA as a freshman in high school, I was

brechwald]:

shy, I wouldn't talk to anybody, I never would get up in front of an audience

brechwald]:

and speak, and now they're a state officer or a district officer or a

brechwald]:

national officer or something like that, And they're giving these, they're

brechwald]:

like the best public speakers our nation has to offer. It's just unbelievable

brechwald]:

what this organization does. And it's all centered around ag and the furtherance

brechwald]:

of agriculture. And man, it just gives me a ton of pride to be involved

brechwald]:

in agriculture and to have the premier student led organization to ever

brechwald]:

exist be agriculturally based. I think it's awesome.

[caite]:

I think as a livestock farmer who does sell stock to FFA students, one of the coolest

[caite]:

things I see is that it feels like for so long, you know, generational farmers

[caite]:

have kind of lived in their dad's shadow or their grandpa's shadow, you

brechwald]:

And.

[caite]:

know, that you just kind of stayed out of the way until somebody died. And working

[caite]:

with FFA students, they're consistently more prepared and more, you know, more focused

[caite]:

able to speak to adults, then

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

most adults are certainly. And seeing kids developing those leadership skills before

[caite]:

they're working with family, I think is so great to see them getting that experience

[caite]:

of being a leader themselves and not just staying in somebody else's shadow until

[caite]:

it's time for them to, you know, figure it out as they're

brechwald]:

Oh,

[caite]:

doing it, I guess.

brechwald]:

Katie, you are, I mean, you are spot on with that. And there's, there's

brechwald]:

two things there. I've noticed that I am just so thrilled for FFA students.

brechwald]:

One of those things is I've interviewed numerous FFA students who started

brechwald]:

a enterprise on their farm. It could be, well, I just interviewed one the

brechwald]:

other day from Georgia, who started raising and direct marketing hogs on

brechwald]:

his family's farm. There's another student I recall interviewing who they

brechwald]:

were a production ag and he started raising and marketing grass like free,

brechwald]:

not free range, but the chicken tractor type chickens, the grass fed chickens,

brechwald]:

broilers. And both of these students, I said, Oh, is this something your

brechwald]:

family's always done? You know, I ask all the typical questions. No,

brechwald]:

my family's never had a pig on this farm in five generations, or my family's

brechwald]:

never, you know, we've had some laying hens, but they've always been cooped

brechwald]:

up. We've never done this with And I asked, well, why did you do this?

brechwald]:

Why didn't you just do cattle like your family did or corn and soybeans like

brechwald]:

your family did or whatever it may be? And I've had so many students say,

brechwald]:

I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to try my own thing. And I love that

brechwald]:

because they've got the courage and the insight and the confidence coming out

brechwald]:

of the FFA to go, no, I've got to do this project and I want it to be

brechwald]:

mine. to own this project. I'm still working on the family farm. I'm still

brechwald]:

part of this operation. I haven't, you know, detached from them and said

brechwald]:

they're wrong or something like that. But I've got this thing that I own

brechwald]:

and I'm succeeding with it. I've seen family farms adopt what their students

brechwald]:

were doing in the FFA because the student, you know, the 15 year old or the

brechwald]:

16 year old proved it to mom and dad and mom and dad went, whoa, we can

brechwald]:

make money from chickens like that and it can be an actual another revenue

brechwald]:

source on this farm and they did it. And I think it's great. And the other

brechwald]:

thing I love about it is one of the most poignant things that I've encountered

brechwald]:

when in this last eight plus years of hosting the Off-Farm Income podcast

brechwald]:

is there are so many people out there in the world who want a farm. They're

brechwald]:

out there on social media. And they all say the same, I shouldn't say

brechwald]:

they all say the same thing, but in general, you hear a lot of people say,

brechwald]:

man, if I could just inherit ground like this person over there, then I

brechwald]:

could be a farmer. I, you know, poor me, I didn't inherit any ground.

brechwald]:

But then I started coming across generational farmers who did inherit

brechwald]:

ground and they felt so much stress and so much pressure because if they

brechwald]:

lost the farm, if they had to sell it, if it got foreclosed on, they were

brechwald]:

the link in that chain that failed. That chain might be three generations

brechwald]:

long. It might be eight generations long. lost the farm, then they were the ones

brechwald]:

they're letting down like this chain of people they never even met they

brechwald]:

just have this attachment legacy to but see when you see these FFA students

brechwald]:

who are getting independent and they're breaking with that pattern they're

brechwald]:

going no I want to try it this way I want to try my own thing. They're

brechwald]:

coming up with these alternatives and these alternative revenue sources and these

brechwald]:

different streams of revenue off of the same piece of property that will

brechwald]:

relieve them of that stress because they know they're And I love that part

brechwald]:

of it too.

hunter]:

As a parent too, it feels good to know that there's a program that's allowing kids to do some research, come up with some ideas, and then as a parent, you know, like you can support those projects.

[caite]:

I think the...

hunter]:

But like you said, there's not that stress of, you know, everything depends on this, right? You know, like, be creative, try something new, you know, we've got you, you can have this plot of land, you can try it out with these animals, or, you know, we can support your,

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

brechwald]:

Oh yeah.

brechwald]:

Thank you.

hunter]:

your efforts and to try it out early, right? is when you're in your 40s, like I'm guessing we all are,

hunter]:

or maybe in your 50s, you know, like if you're trying to diversify when you're older and you're looking

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

hunter]:

at your debt or you're looking at, you know, like what the bank is saying is coming down the line,

hunter]:

there's not a lot of room for experimentation, but, you know, in youth, that's when you've got

brechwald]:

All right.

hunter]:

that adventurous spirit, hopefully still, and lots of enthusiasm, and like you said,

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

hunter]:

that work ethic, creative spirit to be able to try something new and see if it works and maybe it doesn't but at least you gave it a shot

brechwald]:

Yeah, Arlene, you are so right about that. You know, a 16 year old student

brechwald]:

who lives at home, they have not felt the weight of a mortgage payment or

brechwald]:

of health insurance or car insurance or whatever else you wanna put on

brechwald]:

an adult's shoulders. They haven't felt the weight of that yet. And so

brechwald]:

they're fearless. Their question is never why. Their question is always why

brechwald]:

not? Why couldn't I do that? I've seen students the craziest businesses

brechwald]:

and then taken places you couldn't believe because their question was

brechwald]:

well why not? Why wouldn't I try that? What what so what if it fails?

brechwald]:

This will be cool. Now I started my very first business when I was let's see

brechwald]:

I started in 2012. So I think I was 38 38 when I started that I had a mortgage,

brechwald]:

I had a wife, I had a daughter, I had a new farm, I had a lot to lose. And

brechwald]:

so I gave myself one chance. I did it on the aside for a long, long time,

brechwald]:

seven days a week, tons of hours every day because I was in this transition

brechwald]:

period from my full-time job to my new business. And if I had failed in

brechwald]:

that, I really don't know if I would have allowed myself to try it again

brechwald]:

because it felt like a big stretch at that point in time. And certainly,

brechwald]:

the fact that I had to mitigate all these other concerns in starting my business,

brechwald]:

that played into what I tried. Or, you know, know how practical the business

brechwald]:

I was starting had to be versus I've seen students start dream jobs, businesses

brechwald]:

for themselves, and they're going to be able to do that the rest of their

brechwald]:

lives. And they love fishing, they love hunting, or farming, or whatever

brechwald]:

it may be, or fixing up old tractors or whatever. And that's going to be

brechwald]:

their full time income for their whole life as long as they want it. Because

brechwald]:

they got started, they figured out how to do it and they're going. Whereas

brechwald]:

the rest of us who start later in life, some of us just can't do the whole

brechwald]:

dream thing right off the bat because we got all these other considerations.

[caite]:

I know it seems like another one we encounter a lot with other youth programs is

[caite]:

that when they're more competitively based, you know, there's such a bias towards

[caite]:

the kids who can walk out to the bar and, you know, look through a whole string

[caite]:

of expensive cattle and pick the best one and take that one to show or, you know,

[caite]:

mom and dad will drop $3,000 on an animal, you know. It's, you know, I know I

[caite]:

hear from my husband who showed a lot in 4-H. you know, they were looking at the

[caite]:

names over the stalls, not at the cattle in them, you know, when

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm

[caite]:

the when the judging happened. And one thing that I love about FFA too, is that

[caite]:

it seems like it's so much more based on personal development. And what you're doing

[caite]:

with your business, rather than what you can walk in with the, you know, I feel

[caite]:

like, when we sell livestock to FFA kids, you know, they're coming in with money

[caite]:

that they earned, or that they've been saving, and their buying three sheep and you

[caite]:

know, raising some lambs and buying some more sheep and it's it's a business rather

[caite]:

than how many ribbons can I get thing and you know

brechwald]:

Thank you for watching.

[caite]:

I'm all for competition and winning ribbons but

brechwald]:

Thank you.

[caite]:

it's pretty shitty for the kids whose families don't have a whole string of show

[caite]:

cattle in the barn already, you know, or who don't have those resources to just,

[caite]:

you know, if adults would leave the kids alone it would probably be a lot nicer.

[caite]:

is when the, you know, adults start living their own childhood out again.

brechwald]:

Well, I'll tell you, I mean, that right there is a huge can of worms and

brechwald]:

my daughter showed sheep at the county fair for many, many years and I've

brechwald]:

sat around a lot of those, those shows and those auctions and I've, I've

brechwald]:

watched what you're talking about. And certainly there, I don't want to

brechwald]:

give the impression that that's not part of FFA. There's overlap there. There

brechwald]:

are students in blue jackets that are out showing some premier show animals.

brechwald]:

I mean, that, that absolutely goes on. And honestly, I, no value judgment

brechwald]:

there. students are excelling and they're getting fired up and they're getting

brechwald]:

into, you know, embryo transfers and they're getting into artificial insemination

brechwald]:

and developing of genetics. I mean, it's really amazing where they go and

brechwald]:

we've all got these different starting points on where we're going to get

brechwald]:

in life and we've got to go with what we've got in front of us. So certainly

brechwald]:

that is there. I mean, showing livestock, there's a lot of FFA students out

brechwald]:

there throughout the country who their SAE is taking an animal or a few

brechwald]:

animals to fare and showing them. And so that's definitely definitely part

brechwald]:

of it. But to touch on what we're saying, one of the things I really enjoy

brechwald]:

about this too, is when I get students on the show, who are farming for

brechwald]:

themselves, and we're talking students that got 150 acres or 225 acres or

brechwald]:

something like that. And they're doing these crazy things like they're hedging,

brechwald]:

you know, by buying futures, I mean, just stuff I can't even fathom. and

brechwald]:

they're doing this with their soybeans or with their corn or whatever. I

brechwald]:

ask them and to a student, how in the world do you do this? Well, they're

brechwald]:

all leasing equipment or they're leasing ground. They're paying rent to grandma

brechwald]:

and grandpa or they're trading labor for the use of the combine or whatever.

brechwald]:

And I ask them all, grandma and grandpa, mom and dad and uncle, they want

brechwald]:

you to succeed. So why wouldn't it be easier for you to succeed if you didn't

brechwald]:

have to pay rent? take this ground and go make your enterprise, wouldn't

brechwald]:

it be easier for you to succeed? Why do they make you pay rent and to a student,

brechwald]:

they say, well, how do I learn about the real world? If I don't pay rent,

brechwald]:

they want me to succeed. And they're wise enough to know that true success

brechwald]:

comes from me learning that I could lose all this. And I've got to have

brechwald]:

skin in the game to make me really pay attention to this. Otherwise, what

brechwald]:

am I really learning? I'm not in the real world when I'm when I'm doing

brechwald]:

this and when I'm selling and I'm looking the inputs I put in compared

brechwald]:

to the yield I got and the attention I spent to the field and all this

brechwald]:

type of stuff and I love that aspect of it.

hunter]:

While we're on the topic of FFA, do you want to brag about your daughter's project a little bit?

brechwald]:

Sure.

hunter]:

This is a good opportunity to do it.

brechwald]:

Yeah, she just she was just given a $1000 SAE grant sponsored by General

brechwald]:

Mills. So shout out to General Mills for sponsoring that. That was awesome.

brechwald]:

But she came to us about a year ago as a sophomore and said, I've got

brechwald]:

an idea for an SAE project. And I did not plant this in her head. She came

brechwald]:

to us on her own. And she said, we have kids. baby goats born on our

brechwald]:

place every year. And we've got to pull a certain amount of them and put

brechwald]:

them on a bottle. And none of us like bottle feeding. We don't, we just

brechwald]:

don't like it at all, although we were getting better at it to where it's

brechwald]:

less frustrating. But she said, why don't I, in exchange for me taking

brechwald]:

care of all of the bottle kids, start my own herd beginning with the

brechwald]:

bottle kids that I take care of. And so we said, that is a great idea. night

brechwald]:

checks during kidding season. She's pulling, she's pulling the runts, you

brechwald]:

know, when there's a set of triples or quads or something like that. She's

brechwald]:

pulling them off. She's getting them started on bottles, which I just can't

brechwald]:

do. I can't stand it. And I can't get them started. I just, I'm horrible

brechwald]:

at it, but she's good at it. And so she's getting them started on the bottle

brechwald]:

and getting us into the rotation to where now bottle feeding becomes much, much

brechwald]:

easier. She's pulling kids. She's saving their getting them saved and rescued,

brechwald]:

turning them into a productive goat later. And she turned that into her SAE,

brechwald]:

building her own goat herd out of taking care of these bottle kids in

brechwald]:

exchange for them with all this other stuff she's doing during kidding

brechwald]:

season. And that led to her applying for this SAE grant and and then looking

brechwald]:

at her application saying, yeah, we want to support this. So now this

brechwald]:

spring, she's getting $1,000 to go buy a mature her herd even faster and

brechwald]:

then put in some facilities that'll make raising bottle kids even easier.

brechwald]:

So it's very cool. I was really thrilled when she came up with that idea.

hunter]:

is a good one and it works out for you too less bottle feeding.

brechwald]:

Oh, it works out for me in two awesome ways, which is during kidding season,

brechwald]:

on the weekends, I'm not getting up in the middle of the night, I actually get

brechwald]:

to sleep through the night. And, and during the week, it would be that

brechwald]:

way too, except she's in school. So we'll let her get some sleep so she can

brechwald]:

actually study. And then her starting those bottle kids and getting them

brechwald]:

going as just priceless to me.

hunter]:

Yeah, that's a great idea. So another thing we were wondering about today is, like you said, you're a former law enforcement officer. And the issue of rural crime is something that people

brechwald]:

Thank you.

hunter]:

kind of always have on their minds. I was wondering if you have any tips or, you know, things that people should keep in mind when it comes to preventing crime on the farm or, you know, in your

hunter]:

home around your property, whether it's property damage, theft, you know, all those types of things. What should people kind of keep in mind when they're

hunter]:

you know, thinking about how to protect their families and their property.

brechwald]:

Yeah, I certainly do. So yeah, I one of my episodes each week is devoted to

brechwald]:

nothing but rural crime. And I like to give tips if I can on stories I read,

brechwald]:

what could we have done about this? I would say number one, man, you got

brechwald]:

to know your community. When people are driving past your farm, you want

brechwald]:

people to know what cars should and should not be there. You know, rural crime,

brechwald]:

by and large, is going to happen when you are not present. And so you're

brechwald]:

gonna be relying on the eyes and the intuition of your neighbors to be willing

brechwald]:

to make a call either to you or somebody else to say, something doesn't

brechwald]:

look right here, is this okay? And so really getting to know your neighbors,

brechwald]:

I think is very, very important. I think we're better at it in rural communities

brechwald]:

than in urban communities, but overall the trend is downward, at least

brechwald]:

in the United States, for our involvement with our communities it's something

brechwald]:

that just out of necessity we need to pay attention to and we need to

brechwald]:

be purposeful about. So that's number one. Then number two, I like to talk

brechwald]:

about rational choice crimes. When I talk about rural crime all the time.

brechwald]:

And so to give you just a little bit of background, there's a lot of

brechwald]:

different criminological theories as to why people commit crimes or what will

brechwald]:

lead to them committing crimes. And the one that the United States

brechwald]:

based on is what they call rational choice. And what this means is for

brechwald]:

most offenders, they're going to make a decision. They're going to look at

brechwald]:

the crime that's available. They're going to weigh the potential benefit

brechwald]:

of committing that crime against the potential cost, which is how likely am

brechwald]:

I going to get caught in held accountable. And then if the benefit outweighs

brechwald]:

the cost, they'll go ahead and they'll commit that crime, usually a theft

brechwald]:

or something like that. So when it comes to real crime, we need to raise

brechwald]:

the potential that crime so it outweighs the potential benefit to get them

brechwald]:

to move on down the road and not commit the crime on our property. And the

brechwald]:

way to do that with rational choice offenders are to use things. I like

brechwald]:

to refer to them by their technical term, crime prevention through environmental

brechwald]:

design. We need to make things visible. So that neighbor that we've gotten

brechwald]:

to know really well who knows what car should be at our place. They cannot

brechwald]:

help us if they can't see the cars that are currently at our place. If

brechwald]:

we've got a huge edge row out in front or a ton of trees, which I really

brechwald]:

like and it gives you privacy and it gives you Peace and all of that but

brechwald]:

if they're blocking the view of your farmyard and nobody from the road can

brechwald]:

see what's up there Then they can't help you by going that car doesn't belong

brechwald]:

there And so this is a concept called natural surveillance We want to open

brechwald]:

up lanes of sight so people can actually see what's going on and really

brechwald]:

It's great for the person driving by who goes that car shouldn't be there

brechwald]:

where it's most important is in the mind of the would be criminal. Because

brechwald]:

when they look at your farm and they see there's no way for me to get up

brechwald]:

there and be doing my thing without being spotted, they feel like they're

brechwald]:

going to get caught. And we've raised that potential cost in their mind. So

brechwald]:

they're going to move on down the road to another farm. Now, I don't want

brechwald]:

another farm to be burglarized, or have anything stolen from them at all. But

brechwald]:

we've all kind of got to start. And we've all got to implement this on our

brechwald]:

own. And so really doing things to make those criminals think they're gonna

brechwald]:

get caught if they choose to commit crimes on your property, that's number

brechwald]:

one. And then you get into things that we call like target hardening,

brechwald]:

like locking stuff up and keeping things in locked buildings and all

brechwald]:

that. Some of the stuff I read out of Europe, out of England or the UK

brechwald]:

blows my mind. They want people chaining up four-wheelers at night and it's

brechwald]:

just nuts. So we're really fortunate actually, at least in the US, Canada,

brechwald]:

Arlene, I do read some stories out of Canada. And you guys, you take real

brechwald]:

crime more seriously, I think, than we do in the US. But I feel like you're

brechwald]:

doing pretty well up there.

hunter]:

So steps like, you know, like maybe not leaving the keys in every vehicle, is that what you're saying would be one?

brechwald]:

Yeah, well, yeah,

hunter]:

One.

brechwald]:

exactly.

hunter]:

One.

brechwald]:

When it comes, you know, that's not even target hardening. That's just

hunter]:

Yeah, here take it.

brechwald]:

making it. Yeah, don't make it so easy for for

hunter]:

Yes.

brechwald]:

folks to just drive off your stuff. A lot of people want to use tech. They

brechwald]:

want to use cameras and lighting. I'm fully in support of lighting, because it

brechwald]:

creates it's not natural, but it creates natural surveillance when it's

brechwald]:

dark out cameras I like. But from a deterrent standpoint, the camera doesn't

brechwald]:

even need to work. criminal thinks the camera's there and working, then

brechwald]:

the deterrent effect is the same as if it is actually working. But from

brechwald]:

actually gathering evidence and identifying people, then yeah, working

brechwald]:

camera's good. The other thing I would say, honestly, if we want to have an

brechwald]:

actual impact on rural crime, is as consumers, when we're buying stuff used

brechwald]:

off of Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or something like that, we need

brechwald]:

to be wary of stuff that's too cheap. We need to ask a few extra questions

brechwald]:

and make sure we're not buying stolen stuff. Um, and contributing to the problem,

brechwald]:

even if it's, you know, by accident, we need to be, we need to be wary

brechwald]:

of that and make sure that we're supporting our neighbors by not buying

brechwald]:

their stolen stuff

[caite]:

Thank

brechwald]:

really

[caite]:

you.

brechwald]:

cheap from the people who ripped them off.

[caite]:

So,

hunter]:

Yeah, that's a really good point.

[caite]:

Matt, speaking of cameras, I can say that one of the best things we've done for

[caite]:

our farm, security-wise, was to grant some neighbors permission to hunt our property,

[caite]:

because now they

brechwald]:

Ah!

[caite]:

put cameras out there and he watches

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

[caite]:

those cameras. And I have gotten phone calls in the middle of the night about, do

[caite]:

you know who this truck belongs to? You know, and

brechwald]:

Interesting.

[caite]:

also when the

brechwald]:

Ha ha ha!

[caite]:

Having extra sets of eyes looking out for your property really does help, and especially

[caite]:

somebody

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

who's committed to keeping other hunters from trespassing. I'm going to guess it's the

[caite]:

same in Idaho as it is here, but what can we do to deter folks who are looking for

[caite]:

stuff to steal for drug money? Because I mean,

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

you're dealing with a whole different level of

brechwald]:

Woohoo!

[caite]:

rational thought. when you're dealing with people who are feeding addictions. And

[caite]:

that's,

brechwald]:

Yeah, you...

[caite]:

as much as we wanna ignore it, it's not going away. So.

brechwald]:

No, no. So a you in a lot of these cases, you get outside the scope of

brechwald]:

rational thought, because they are feeding those addictions. But you've

brechwald]:

got to understand when there's an addiction to feed methamphetamine, something

brechwald]:

like that. The potential benefit of completing this theft outweighs the potential

brechwald]:

cost to this offender by a million to one, because they need to get money

brechwald]:

you know, the math or the heroin or whatever it may be. So for them,

brechwald]:

that cost benefit, I don't know if there's much we can do. Honestly, at

brechwald]:

that point, to adjust that cost benefit ratio to put it in our favor.

brechwald]:

But they're still rational enough that if they see another place where

brechwald]:

it's going to be easier, then they will choose that. But the cost benefit

brechwald]:

ratio has changed because now the cost just getting caught, it's getting

brechwald]:

caught and not being able to get what they need so they feel good. Right.

brechwald]:

And so, so, so the potential still lies there. But you read stories like

brechwald]:

I do or you work in the industry like I did, and you see people that are addicted

brechwald]:

do stuff that the best Hollywood film writers couldn't even think up, you know,

brechwald]:

just crazy, crazy stuff to feed those addictions. So really, when it comes

brechwald]:

to addictions, at Target Hardening, you need to make it to where they can't do

brechwald]:

it, because prevention is much, much more difficult. Now I think you've

brechwald]:

got to weigh that against the area you live in. So if you're in Kern

brechwald]:

County, California, if you're in Tulare County, California, or Stanislaus

brechwald]:

County, California where I'm from originally, you need to do some stuff

brechwald]:

for prevention because there's way too much of that addiction going on down

brechwald]:

there. down and nails are not enough either, but you know, the old saying,

brechwald]:

if it's not nailed down, it's gone. I mean, there's people down there stealing

brechwald]:

guardrails off the side of hideways. It's just crazy, crazy, crazy. Where

brechwald]:

I'm at, obviously, we're not immune from issues with substance abuse here

brechwald]:

in Idaho, but it's not to the level where you just know eventually it's

brechwald]:

going to be stolen if you don't do something about it. And so then you're

brechwald]:

doing the cost my time is it worth my money to secure this thing based

brechwald]:

on the level of crime we're experiencing in our community. So I think each

brechwald]:

individual needs to look at their community and determine how real is this

brechwald]:

threat for me. And the more real that threat is, the more serious you got

brechwald]:

to get about target hardening really locking stuff down, whether it's locked

brechwald]:

in a building, chained up, you've got to fuel shut off switch or you know,

brechwald]:

something like that, something like that.

[caite]:

So, Matt, can you tell us about, I mean, I assume we're not the only rural area

[caite]:

that comes up with some bizarre crimes. We had a

brechwald]:

I

[caite]:

guy in our area had a barn stolen. They ripped the barn boards off and he came

[caite]:

out and his barn was gone. I'm wondering what you can tell us about some ridiculous

[caite]:

crimes you've seen. Cause this, it's real depressing to talk about drug crimes and

brechwald]:

Oh, it

[caite]:

that

brechwald]:

is.

[caite]:

kind of,

brechwald]:

Oh, my goodness.

[caite]:

let's talk about stolen buildings instead.

brechwald]:

Well, hold on a second. I got to know more about this barn theft. So

brechwald]:

was the frame, was the skeleton of the barn still there, but just all the barn

[caite]:

I think

brechwald]:

wood

[caite]:

they

brechwald]:

on

[caite]:

took

brechwald]:

the side?

[caite]:

the timbers

brechwald]:

It's like.

[caite]:

as well and left the foundation. I my impression is that it was not a real big

[caite]:

barn. We've had people have crops stolen out of the field, you know, that somebody

hunter]:

Over what period of time, like overnight?

[caite]:

shows up with the combine and just. The barn was apparently

hunter]:

I'm still...

[caite]:

like overnight. Yeah.

hunter]:

Wow, they were very efficient.

[caite]:

Yeah. Like just.

hunter]:

They must have really wanted some reclaimed wood for something.

[caite]:

I mean, that's. Clearly

hunter]:

Like with that we...

[caite]:

not in it

hunter]:

Yeah, that's like architectural crime there.

[caite]:

for drugs. I can't really see, you know,

brechwald]:

Thank

[caite]:

selling

brechwald]:

you.

[caite]:

barnboards for meth. Yeah.

brechwald]:

Wow, that is amazing. I believe it by the way. I

[caite]:

Yeah.

brechwald]:

mean, I could see it. And I don't know, they might have been in it for

brechwald]:

drugs. I mean, who's going

[caite]:

Who

brechwald]:

to be

[caite]:

knows?

brechwald]:

able to stay up all night and work at that pace? My goodness, I don't

brechwald]:

mean to make light of it, but honestly,

[caite]:

But I mean, that's some real entrepreneurial drive right there. You know,

brechwald]:

I know you wish they'd

[caite]:

might have

brechwald]:

apply

[caite]:

been FFA

brechwald]:

that to...

[caite]:

kids. Tell you what, FFA kids would never do something like that.

brechwald]:

I'm gonna put a lot of money on Opposing that if we were to wager I'd put

brechwald]:

a lot of money saying it was not FFA kids my favorite is when When you see

brechwald]:

people get in pursuits with the police with with a tractor when they're

brechwald]:

when the police

hunter]:

Yeah, the very slow, yeah, with the slow moving vehicle sign on it, right?

brechwald]:

are chasing them They've still they've Yeah, they've stolen a tractor and

brechwald]:

they're running from the police, but I did report on a story out of Ohio This

brechwald]:

is probably four months ago And there was video of it. I may not have believed

brechwald]:

it if there wasn't video It was a DOI. It was an honest gentleman in the

brechwald]:

buggy being pulled by the horse The sheriff's deputy is on video following

brechwald]:

him down the road The guy's asleep in the buggy the horse is going home

brechwald]:

and there's a can of Bud Light on the baseboard of the of the buggy or There

brechwald]:

as he's going home. So finally He was able to get the deputy was able to get

brechwald]:

in front of the horse and come to a stop and they had to go and like

brechwald]:

rouse this guy to wake him up and he got a DUI on his buggy. So that's

brechwald]:

pretty

[caite]:

It's like

brechwald]:

bizarre.

hunter]:

You know, I didn't.

[caite]:

the original self-driving vehicle right there though.

brechwald]:

Yes.

[caite]:

You know, Tesla's

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

behind

hunter]:

Yeah, I didn't know if DUIs were only on motorized vehicles,

[caite]:

the times on this.

hunter]:

but obviously that answers the question. Now, if you were on a horse and not a buggy,

hunter]:

could you get arrested for DUI if you're just on a horse?

brechwald]:

Uh, I'm not sure

hunter]:

Or is it because it had wheels?

brechwald]:

that might be that might be R UI writing writing under the influence.

hunter]:

Yeah, these are the technical questions that we need answers to.

brechwald]:

I do not know. I do not you can get one. Yeah Yeah, I don't know the answer

brechwald]:

to that, uh, but it wouldn't be part of the vehicle code. I don't think

hunter]:

Yeah, that's right.

[caite]:

This is the crime podcast the world needs right here, Matt,

brechwald]:

Ha ha ha ha

[caite]:

is

brechwald]:

ha!

[caite]:

just talking about this kind of stuff. You know,

brechwald]:

Yeah,

[caite]:

these

brechwald]:

absolutely.

[caite]:

true crime podcasts are all way too serious.

brechwald]:

Yeah.

[caite]:

So as a parenting nag podcast, we're always curious about how parents are dealing

[caite]:

with having kids on a farm.

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

[caite]:

What has your approach been and how has that changed as she's become? I mean, Arlene

[caite]:

has teenagers, my kids are six and almost five. I'm still in a pretty different

[caite]:

place with this. But now that your

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

[caite]:

kid's a person, how is that changing?

brechwald]:

Yeah, you know, it's interesting. So the farm in the cattle was a mutual goal

brechwald]:

of my wife and I, but definitely my dream. And so we raised our daughter in

brechwald]:

the city for the first almost five years of her life. As a matter of fact,

brechwald]:

we closed on our farm about her fifth birthday, almost identical. And so

brechwald]:

we got out here and this was a whole new way of life for a five-year-old.

brechwald]:

And at she's seen some life, not a lot, but she's seen some and she's used

brechwald]:

to a routine and a way of doing things. And all of a sudden now we're

brechwald]:

saying no, get dirty and poop is not gross and be out in the elements and

brechwald]:

do this and these big scary animals you got to learn to work with them

brechwald]:

and and all this type of stuff. And so for us, we had to kind of balance the

brechwald]:

fact that she wasn't on

brechwald]:

different experience and we were adjusting to that and we were adjusting

brechwald]:

to that because when it boiled down to it, it was my dream to raise these

brechwald]:

animals. And so there's been, there's moments on any farm, especially with

brechwald]:

livestock where look, I need help. Everybody get your butt out here. This

brechwald]:

is a family deal. This is our family farm and I need help. And I am not

brechwald]:

proud to say that those

brechwald]:

herded cattle with my dad or whatever the shirts say, I'm not proud to

brechwald]:

say my daughter could probably wear one of those every now and then and it

brechwald]:

would be true. I mean, you know, there are times where I had to really

brechwald]:

watch myself, because I love it. And anything you love, you're naturally

brechwald]:

going to get good at. So when it comes to just moving livestock and just

brechwald]:

being able to watch their body language and know what they're going to

brechwald]:

do, and just keep everything calm and smooth and things done the way you

brechwald]:

want them to do. And then all of a sudden, you look at a couple goats

brechwald]:

or a couple head of cattle or something like that, and they get past my

brechwald]:

daughter. And I'm sitting there going, How in the world did you just

brechwald]:

let that happen? You know, I got to really guard myself to go know we're

brechwald]:

on two different levels. And she's out here helping me because I need the

brechwald]:

help not because this is necessarily the life that she's dreamed of. What's been

brechwald]:

interesting is, for the

brechwald]:

when Hattie was started the podcast in 2014. So she was eight years old.

brechwald]:

And I started interviewing FFA students in 2015. And really wanted Hattie

brechwald]:

to be part of the FFA. But I was getting very afraid that I was going

brechwald]:

to be that parent, that was going to force something on my daughter. You

brechwald]:

know, like projecting my own, what I think is awesome on my daughter. And

brechwald]:

then there was another parent mentioned that too. And she said, No, that's

brechwald]:

not the case. The FFA is an educational program. And that is a good educational

brechwald]:

program. You want her to be part of that. And I went, Yeah, you're right.

brechwald]:

So then we approached our daughter and said, Look, we you're going to

brechwald]:

do FFA, you don't have to show livestock. You don't have to do any projects

brechwald]:

in the FFA you don't want to do. But we want you to get the education

brechwald]:

that you receive from being part of that organization, you can FFA, however

brechwald]:

it is you want to participate, but you're going to be part of this educational

brechwald]:

program. And then we kind of took the same approach with the farm when

brechwald]:

we didn't need help. Look, this was my dream. This is the life I want.

brechwald]:

This is my business. I need your help at certain points in time. But if

brechwald]:

it's not your passion, then you can't just sit on your butt, you need to

brechwald]:

go find your passion. But and you need or you need to find a job or sports

brechwald]:

or whatever, but you be who you want to be. And then we kind of just let

brechwald]:

go of the reins at that point. And it's really worked out. I couldn't be more

brechwald]:

pleased. It's really worked out. Now she's proactive. She's involved in

brechwald]:

the farm on her own merit, on her own accord. She's doing really well

brechwald]:

on the FFA, on her own merit, on her own accord. As a matter of fact, I think

brechwald]:

that because she's an athlete, she plays, she's very good at softball. But

brechwald]:

she's so fired up about accomplishing things in the FFA now. that I don't know if

brechwald]:

she's going to play softball this year, which blows my mind blows my mind,

brechwald]:

but I can totally see your point. And I'm not objecting to it at all.

brechwald]:

But that's not from autumn and I driving her and saying, you need to do

brechwald]:

this or you need to accomplish this or anything. She's just doing it all on

brechwald]:

her own. And it was just us saying, you've got to be part of this. But

brechwald]:

now we're, we're just releasing you, you be a part of it in the way that you

brechwald]:

want to be a part of it, until we need you for a certain task.

hunter]:

Yeah, that's fair because I mean, even if you're not on a farm and you're just in the house, right? You know, there are some tasks that are family tasks and we all need to work together to do these things, right?

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

hunter]:

But then, yeah, there's those extra things where it's like, okay, you want to earn a bit of extra money or you want to do something additional.

brechwald]:

Right.

hunter]:

We can find an opportunity for that or, yeah, you can get yourself a job once you're old enough, right? There's other ways to contribute to the family and to your to your bank account.

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

So it doesn't always have to be. from home but yeah they've got to find their own way.

brechwald]:

Well, she's got, she's got, yeah, and she's got chores and responsibilities.

brechwald]:

I mean, she has things she has to do. She has to contribute to the farm

brechwald]:

and to the household. I don't want to give the impression that, um, that,

brechwald]:

that never happens. She has responsibilities that she must take care of

brechwald]:

just as being a member of this family. But it's interesting to the perspectives.

brechwald]:

I mean, I didn't grow up on a farm. I got exposed to agriculture later.

brechwald]:

And then I lived a bunch of life between the development of my and finally

brechwald]:

realizing it. And so I come into AG with a totally different perspective

brechwald]:

than a family who is four or five generations deep and all the kids have

brechwald]:

always been fully engaged and they're on a tractor at age eight. And

brechwald]:

you know, that's just not my experience. So it's difficult for me to

brechwald]:

put that on my daughter, and not because it's right, wrong or indifferent,

brechwald]:

just because that's not the experience that I grew up with it with or that

brechwald]:

I've come through. And I and I experienced

brechwald]:

coming into ag and into farming, um, after living in that other world over there,

brechwald]:

you know, those 98, 99% of people who don't, um, then you gotta come up

brechwald]:

with some sort of hybrid between the two. It's difficult to, uh, cause I look

brechwald]:

at farmers who never take a vacation. I look at farmers who are always

brechwald]:

there and they've never gotten more than three counties away and they're totally

brechwald]:

devoted and they're always there. And I go, man, I don't know why I'm

brechwald]:

not that person, I still go on a vacation, you know, I still I still live

brechwald]:

a little bit of that other life But I was exposed to it for so long. It's

brechwald]:

just kind of part of who I am

hunter]:

And I mean, everyone has their own priorities and their own economic situations too, right?

hunter]:

You know, sometimes there are farms where there really are no alternatives, but that the kids are gonna have to contribute more

hunter]:

or do more because this is the reality of the life they're in. So yeah, there's definitely no judgment on the way

hunter]:

other people are doing things or the ways that work for other people. And that's the amazing thing about agriculture

hunter]:

is that there's no one way to do it, right?

brechwald]:

That's

hunter]:

There's no saying.

brechwald]:

true. That's true.

hunter]:

single path and we don't know what he has to do it like the person next door. So everybody can figure it out.

brechwald]:

And I don't judge the folks I was just describing at all. If anything,

brechwald]:

I work really hard to not judge myself. If I go off and I want to go

brechwald]:

camping for two nights, I try really hard to not beat myself up for doing

brechwald]:

that and

hunter]:

Mm-hmm.

brechwald]:

comparing myself to folks that they're even more devoted to it than me.

hunter]:

Yeah, for sure. What's the thing that you appreciate most about being able to raise your daughter on the farm?

brechwald]:

of just everything I'm seeing right now. Honestly, the self reliance, the

brechwald]:

independence, the work ethic. I love the fact that she's been part of and

brechwald]:

she's also witnessed us persevering through certain things. She's seen us solve

brechwald]:

problems. And she's seen us not give up. And I love that because I know

brechwald]:

how life lays out. I know, I know what she's going to face. I'm almost

brechwald]:

So over the next 34 years, I know what she is going to face. And I know

brechwald]:

the things she's going to encounter. And I know the tools, the tools

brechwald]:

we're giving her by what she's witnessing. And they say more as caught than

brechwald]:

taught, you know, you've probably heard that saying, and I could talk until I'm

brechwald]:

blue in the face, obviously. But for her to watch it happen, I'm so thrilled

brechwald]:

about. And I'm, we're seeing the results of that right now. She's super

brechwald]:

independent. money, she's working, she's she was walking home from school

brechwald]:

off of the bus three years ago, I think four years ago, and I was in town.

brechwald]:

We have a couple rental houses in town and I was in town working on one of

brechwald]:

them. And she called me and she said, one of our goats that she had named

brechwald]:

Raisin, Raisin's having kids, and she looks like she needs help. What do

brechwald]:

I do? And I said, I think you know what to do. And I'm not there to do

brechwald]:

it for you. So call me back when it's done. And she called me back. She's

brechwald]:

like, I need to go wash my arms. But in her school clothes with her backpack

brechwald]:

right there down in the little pin, she pulled three kids out that were all

brechwald]:

breached and they all lived. And you just can't you can't teach that out

brechwald]:

of a book. You know, you can't do that.

[caite]:

I'm guessing too she probably had an easier time than you would have because I'm

[caite]:

guessing her hands are smaller. I tell

brechwald]:

easier

[caite]:

people that's

brechwald]:

time.

[caite]:

why we had children right there. I have big old hands. Like, you know.

brechwald]:

Yeah, easier time physically, for sure. Yeah,

[caite]:

Yep.

brechwald]:

no, no question.

[caite]:

So what is your biggest struggle bin with parenting on the farm?

brechwald]:

uh... probably probably. Oh man, that is a good question. And this is not

brechwald]:

to imply the reason I'm struggling to answer this is not because I haven't had

brechwald]:

any struggles. It's because I'm trying to pick one. You know, most of them

brechwald]:

involve me and my parenting style, and my lack of patience. And that's

brechwald]:

problem. Okay, so I think I just narrowed it down. It's probably my lack

brechwald]:

of patience. I'm not a super patient person. I'm very black and white. I'm

brechwald]:

very much a problem solver. I'm very much a systems person where I develop

brechwald]:

a system and once I get a system going that I'm very, very efficient.

brechwald]:

And once I get other people involved, it screws that all up, right? Because

brechwald]:

there's a learning curve, it messes the system up. I'm not patient with

brechwald]:

them trying to get it figured out. And so I have really had to work on myself.

brechwald]:

I and we say the joke now on our farm, when we go work cattle, when we

brechwald]:

go work goats, is that we're going to go do some Zen, farm work, which means

brechwald]:

dad is going to be Zen. Now, I don't really know what that word means. But

brechwald]:

I think basically, it means I'm going to remain calm. And so that's the

brechwald]:

big deal for me is for instead of me going, how could you let that cow get

brechwald]:

past you or whatever? Or why didn't you get the headgate shut or whatever,

brechwald]:

for me to first take that deep breath and go, Okay, next time we want

brechwald]:

to try and anticipate the cow running into the squeezy, you know, whatever

brechwald]:

that may be. So really the biggest challenge has been working on myself.

brechwald]:

The kids want to please you and they want to do a good job. They certainly

brechwald]:

don't want to get scolded and they don't want to do stuff that's miserable.

brechwald]:

So they want to enjoy the task and working with livestock and farming

brechwald]:

is unbelievably enjoyable because you can look back on the work you just

brechwald]:

did and see your accomplishment. And that's outside of just enjoying the animals

brechwald]:

and the livestock in general. And so my biggest challenge is to work on myself

brechwald]:

and not ruin that moment. for my daughter, I think.

hunter]:

That's a good one. It's a good reminder for all of us too, right?

brechwald]:

pretty honest.

hunter]:

Yeah, we like honesty. Yeah. But I mean, yeah.

brechwald]:

Yeah, as I'm seeing there talking about myself, I'm like, that is pretty

brechwald]:

honest.

hunter]:

Yeah, so much of parenting is about what's going on in our heads too, right? You know, it's,

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

you know, well, it's our response to how someone else is acting or what someone else has done and yeah, our response to that is such a big piece of how we want to raise these people. So I know

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

that asking for parenting advice is always tricky, but we ask you advice on lots of other things. So if you were going to share one parenting tip with another farm parent out there, other than

hunter]:

and Zen, do you have another parenting tip

brechwald]:

Ha ha ha!

hunter]:

for farm parents out there?

brechwald]:

Oh, that is tricky. I feel like I should be the last person giving out

brechwald]:

tips. I should be asking for them from all these farm parents. Well, I will

brechwald]:

tell you There's a serious temptation to make it easier for your kids

brechwald]:

and I don't I don't I don't mean to me. I I'm not suggesting you purposely

brechwald]:

make things difficult for them. But like the students that I interview

brechwald]:

That tell me that they have to pay rent. Or they have to trade Labor for

brechwald]:

feed or for pasture or whatever, make your kids do that. Make them do that,

brechwald]:

make them, they've got to have skin in the game. So they take it seriously.

brechwald]:

And they learn those lessons. When those risks are minimized, those financial

brechwald]:

risks are minimized. So if they really truly want to do this, you're giving

brechwald]:

them the best chance to be successful because they already know the realities

brechwald]:

of the world going into it. And you just don't know how how your kids are

brechwald]:

going to process information as they learn it, whether that's in high school,

brechwald]:

or if they go on to college or whatever, you don't know how they're going

brechwald]:

to process the information that's going to be given to them. But in my

brechwald]:

opinion, they're going to process it a lot better and give themselves

brechwald]:

a lot better chance for success. If they're processing that information through

brechwald]:

the lens of somebody who realizes that no, I could lose all this, you don't just

brechwald]:

get money because you bought a cow, you got to buy a cow, you got to feed

brechwald]:

it, and you've got to balance the inputs and all of this against what you're

brechwald]:

going to get out of it at the end.

hunter]:

Yeah, that's a good point. We can't set them up for success without being honest

hunter]:

about all the things that go into it, right? And it's easy to tell them what things cost,

brechwald]:

great.

hunter]:

but when they actually have to pay those costs

brechwald]:

Yeah.

hunter]:

or make those decisions or actually do the math

brechwald]:

Uh-huh.

hunter]:

at the end, that's a whole different thing than just being told something. Because I don't know about you,

hunter]:

but I sometimes feel like they're not listening. I think they are. But...

brechwald]:

Well,

hunter]:

not always in the moment, right?

brechwald]:

I just I had I knew this moment was coming and I was so thrilled when it happened.

brechwald]:

How do you got her driver's license this summer? And she's got a car. And

brechwald]:

all of a sudden, her willingness to go to town and, you know, get a treat or

brechwald]:

do something like that shot through the floor. She didn't want to do it

brechwald]:

anymore because she didn't want to buy the gas. But when it was us driving

brechwald]:

her around, she was always up to and do X, Y and Z

hunter]:

Yeah, no problem. Yeah.

brechwald]:

or three. But then all of a sudden, it was like, there was a time I was

brechwald]:

like, you wanna go get an ice cream or something like that? Yeah, yeah,

brechwald]:

yeah. I go, okay, you drive all by. And she's like, eh, I don't know if

brechwald]:

I really want an ice cream. And I just

hunter]:

Yeah, let's check the freezer. Maybe there's something there.

brechwald]:

chucked. Yeah, yeah.

[caite]:

You guys are doing a good job. My kids are still little enough to be all about going

[caite]:

for ice cream.

brechwald]:

Ha ha ha!

[caite]:

So we ask all of our guests, if you were going to dominate a category at the county

[caite]:

fair, what would it be? And categories can be real or made up.

brechwald]:

Oh, then I would dominate the category of enthusiasm. I'm making that

brechwald]:

one right up. But, uh, I, I have lived vicariously through these FFA

brechwald]:

students, uh, you know, for the past eight years and then also even prior

brechwald]:

to that with my daughter being in the 4H, although those things, two things

brechwald]:

were almost simultaneous, but all these, uh, 4H kids that were in her,

brechwald]:

um, you know, in her group. And then those kids at the county fair every

brechwald]:

year when we went, I love the county fair as a parent being there drinking

brechwald]:

a cold soda and just hanging out and talking to parents and watching the

brechwald]:

kids work and then watching them go in and show Watching them at the auction

brechwald]:

to me. It is so exciting and I get so I get so excited for the future that

brechwald]:

these these kids are headed towards it's very exciting to see them doing

brechwald]:

something so pro-social so proactive And something that will allow them

brechwald]:

to develop that work ethic and that ability to solve problems and make

brechwald]:

a living for themselves and have a great and happy life. I really, truly

brechwald]:

enjoy that. I would never still be doing this podcast if that wasn't

brechwald]:

true for me. So for me, I'm saying hi to all the kids. I'm cheering them

brechwald]:

on. I'm so excited for them at the fair. And that I could sit at the auction

brechwald]:

all day long and I could watch the community support these FFA students. students

brechwald]:

in these 4-H members with these projects and buying their sheep and buying

brechwald]:

their pigs and their cows and everything way above market value to support

brechwald]:

them. I love the whole scene. I love the whole community of agriculture at

brechwald]:

the fair. And so I guess I'll make up a category. I'll say enthusiasm.

hunter]:

That's great because there's never anything wrong with our kids having more cheerleaders, right?

brechwald]:

No, I

hunter]:

To have some, yeah, to have some people in your community, whether that be locally or

brechwald]:

think.

hunter]:

you know, like at the conventions to have other adults out there who are excited about what you're doing, like that means a whole lot to our kids.

hunter]:

And I think that that's awesome. I'm picturing you with the, you know, like T-shirt with their pictures on them or up in

brechwald]:

I'm not

hunter]:

the stands of the cowbell or something.

brechwald]:

down in Suzy. I'm not down in Suzy.

hunter]:

Not that enthusiastic. Well, I mean, if you're gonna win the prize, you might have to ramp it up a little.

brechwald]:

But you know what you just said really brings up a good point too. They've

brechwald]:

got these huge cheerleaders at the fair, but they're not just cheerleading

brechwald]:

for the sake of cheerleading. They're not just cheerleading to artificially

brechwald]:

elevate self-esteem. They're cheerleading for something these students and

brechwald]:

these 4-H members really did, something they really did. which is learning

brechwald]:

how to work with that animal, putting in the time, the feed, you know, all

brechwald]:

of that. And that's on different levels for every, for every exhibitor, but

brechwald]:

they did something. And there's, there's the, you know, the pot of gold at the

brechwald]:

end of the rainbow right there, which I think is great.

hunter]:

Yeah, that's good to recognize their work for sure. So I'm gonna move us into our cussing and discussing segment.

hunter]:

We've registered for an online platform. So if listeners want to leave their cussing

hunter]:

and discussing entries, you can go to speakpipe.com backslash barnyardlanguage and leave us a voice memo

hunter]:

or you can always send us an email at barnyardlanguage.com at email.com and we can read it out for you.

hunter]:

Katie, what are we cussing and discussing this week from your home in Iowa?

[caite]:

I'm hoping this sounds more positivity unless you know toxic positivity, I guess but

[caite]:

and I know I normally cost stuff so this might be a departure

brechwald]:

Thank you.

[caite]:

Watching my kids turn into people and they've really accelerated it being people

[caite]:

the last couple months Is possibly the coolest damn thing that I've ever seen

[caite]:

and watching them learn and grow and develop ideas about how the world works and

[caite]:

just what good friends they're becoming, although the girl child told me the other day

[caite]:

that they are not friends because the brother and sister, but they do apparently

[caite]:

intend to get married to each other. So I don't know.

hunter]:

they're still figuring out how the world works.

[caite]:

Yeah, they're

brechwald]:

Ha ha!

[caite]:

still they're still working on that. But just, I'm so excited to see who they're

[caite]:

going to turn into. And that was really the part of parenting I was not prepared for

[caite]:

was

brechwald]:

Hmm.

[caite]:

being so excited. I'm excited and impatient to see where they're going, because it's going

[caite]:

to be somewhere awesome. And I'm just really excited

hunter]:

That's a great perspective to have.

[caite]:

for that. Yeah, and it's um, it can be a hard one to hold on to because there's

[caite]:

still a lot of days that I'm just What the f is the matter with you guys? But you

[caite]:

know the rest of the time you're pretty damn cool so

hunter]:

Yeah, that's good.

[caite]:

Matt what do you have to cuss and discuss?

brechwald]:

Oh, well, I, I don't know why I feel like I'm a glass half full type

brechwald]:

of person. But when it comes to something like this, I always tend towards

brechwald]:

a glass half empty. The urban sprawl where I'm at, where both of you are

brechwald]:

at, is that an issue?

hunter]:

We've got some new houses that I can see from my front porch that are being filled right now.

brechwald]:

Hmm

hunter]:

So yeah, yes, it's happening.

[caite]:

It's not as much where I live now, but my hometown. Yep.

brechwald]:

Okay.

[caite]:

It's bad.

brechwald]:

Yeah. And I apologize. Is it Kate or Katie?

[caite]:

Katie.

brechwald]:

Oh, it is good. I've been calling

[caite]:

Yeah.

brechwald]:

you Katie. I had it

[caite]:

Yeah.

brechwald]:

right. I'm so sorry.

[caite]:

So long as you don't call me anything rude, I really don't care. So.

hunter]:

Thank you.

brechwald]:

So it's it's so interesting because Katie, you were bringing up the remote

brechwald]:

work earlier, which is huge for those of us that want to stay on our farms

brechwald]:

and be there when we need to be. But I've talked about this since the

brechwald]:

beginning of the Off-Farm Income podcast, which is the reason I am such

brechwald]:

an advocate for

brechwald]:

have a job that pays enough money for you to afford land, you got to live

brechwald]:

too close to the city, land's not affordable, it doesn't pencil out to farm

brechwald]:

on. If you get out far enough where land pencils out to farm on, there's

brechwald]:

no jobs, or there's not that many, or they don't pay that well. And so the

brechwald]:

land is priced appropriate to what you could make off of it. But now,

brechwald]:

how are you going to support it with your off farm income? So I've always

brechwald]:

said entrepreneurship is the answer to that

brechwald]:

farmers for that land, which means that land's value is going to be based

brechwald]:

on its production capability, not on somebody who just wants some elbow room

brechwald]:

or something like that. But it's ironic. Urban, urban, remote work, all

brechwald]:

of a sudden can change that dynamic and it can change who you're competing

brechwald]:

with for that land. Now for me, remote work factors into it a little bit,

brechwald]:

but we just happen to be in an area that's exploding in population. This

brechwald]:

area has been discovered. and it's exploding in population. And while

brechwald]:

ultimately on a financial basis, at some point, you know, if we choose

brechwald]:

to cash in, our land will be more worth more than we paid for it. It's

brechwald]:

not why we bought it. We bought it for a lifestyle and we bought it for a future

brechwald]:

that we envisioned that involved livestock and farming and peace and quiet,

brechwald]:

and that is quickly diminishing. And also it affects our bottom line. ground

brechwald]:

that it's really interesting. It's all dichotomies. A lot of ground around

brechwald]:

us that previously was in production ag production has now been sold

brechwald]:

in their subdivision. So there's no production. So a lot of the hay as a guy

brechwald]:

who needs to feed hay, a lot of the hay, a field I was buying hay out of

brechwald]:

now I have houses on top of them. So there's no hay production there. But

brechwald]:

at the same time, further out, a lot of ground that was, you know, 1000

brechwald]:

acre farms have now been divvied up into a bunch of small farms and what was

brechwald]:

production row crop agriculture with no feeding needs. Now as a bunch of small

brechwald]:

farms on it and people have got goats and cows and horses, they need hay.

brechwald]:

So ironically, as we lose hay production, the demand for hay is going

brechwald]:

up and so our price continues to climb if you can find the hay. And so this

brechwald]:

urban sprawl issue is, it is irritating.

hunter]:

Yeah, and I mean, we've been talking for years about, you know, that that agriculture, that people in rural areas need good, good connectivity, you know, rural internet is an issue, right? We can't compete on a national or global market without rural connectivity and without good internet access.

brechwald]:

Mm-hmm.

hunter]:

But then that just exacerbates the problem, right? Because then if people can work remotely, live further from their jobs, then, yeah, the economics of living in rural areas changes for everybody,

brechwald]:

Thank you.

brechwald]:

Thank you.

hunter]:

not just for us, the people who were here, the people who were here a little bit earlier than the ones who are coming after us.

brechwald]:

Thank you. Yeah, no, I completely agree. Yeah, I completely agree.

[caite]:

Arlene, what do you have to discuss?

hunter]:

So at the time that we're recording, it's winter, which means it's meeting season. So my cussing and discussing is not from a specific meeting,

hunter]:

but from, you know, I'm guessing that you guys both know what I'm talking about. You're at a meeting where there's supposed to be

hunter]:

a question and answer period, and the people who get up to the mic who have not a question or an answer,

hunter]:

they just seem to wanna talk about something, usually something that's already been covered,

hunter]:

or ask the question that's already been answered, it just drives me baddie. Because it's like, listen to the presentation

hunter]:

and either have a real question or just you don't need to go to the mic. You could just, we could just end early

hunter]:

and go to the snack table.

brechwald]:

Ha

hunter]:

So yeah, that's mine for this week.

brechwald]:

ha.

hunter]:

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

[caite]:

our lien was

brechwald]:

Yeah,

[caite]:

that

brechwald]:

that sounds

[caite]:

person

brechwald]:

like...

[caite]:

speaking English or French.

hunter]:

Katie and I were discussing the other day the fact that I was at a meeting and I realized my French was not as good as it should be, but I live in an area that's bilingual.

brechwald]:

Uh huh.

hunter]:

And so I need to practice my skills. I'm not watching as many French kids shows as I used to.

hunter]:

So yeah, I'm getting rusty.

brechwald]:

Ha ha.

hunter]:

At least in French, I don't know for sure if they're asking a question that's already been covered or not. It's the English ones.

brechwald]:

Thank you.

hunter]:

And not every meeting has full translation. So people are allowed a bit of grace if it's not in your first language.

[caite]:

Is it worse to think that you understand them and they're asking something ridiculous

[caite]:

or that you don't understand them and they're asking something super insightful and

[caite]:

interesting and you don't know what they're talking about?

hunter]:

Well, that's a whole different casting and discussing

[caite]:

It really

hunter]:

than I guess that I hadn't considered before.

[caite]:

is. Okay, next week.

hunter]:

Yeah, that's right.

[caite]:

Next time we'll find out.

hunter]:

All the bilingual issues I had not considered. So we both wanna thank you, Matt, for joining us today.

hunter]:

If people want to find out more about you and your work and the podcast, where can they find out more information online?

brechwald]:

You bet. Hey, this has been a lot of fun. Thank you both for inviting me

brechwald]:

on. I really do appreciate it. The website is off income.com and it's

brechwald]:

the off farm income podcast and it's on Spotify and Apple podcasts and

brechwald]:

Google play and everywhere you find podcasts. It's out there.

hunter]:

Yeah, if you're listening to us, you know how to find podcasts.

brechwald]:

That's right.

hunter]:

And we'll definitely include it in the show notes too. Thanks so much, Matt.

[caite]:

Thanks,

brechwald]:

Thank

[caite]:

Pat.

brechwald]:

you. Thank you.

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