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Fresh off the Network

Farmers for the Future network member Michael Thompson was only 5 years old when his grandfather gave him some good advice: "If you want to farm, start saving for the future."

He listened well, and almost 20 years later, he was able to put a down payment on his own farm.

Thompson raises beef cattle and no-till wheat, corn, and hay with his brother and father near Almena, Kansas. He's starting to buy his own land and sees himself at the reins in the future. But he knows he's got some education to gain before that point, so he's in no hurry. "I have farming full time as a goal. But I still have a few years before I am ready to take the leap and Dad is ready to slow down," he says.

  • Age: 28 years old
  • Farm locations: Furnas County, Nebraska, and Norton County, Kanas
  • Farming practice: Strictly no-till
  • Education: Holds a degree in diesel mechanics
  • Biggest challenge today: Competing for farmland. "To me, renting ground is about the relationship with your landlord," he says. "I really wish more people would give the younger guy a try, even if he can't pay as much. Usually he will treat the ground better in the end."
  • Favorite part of life on the farm: "There is not a morning that I don't look out my window and think how lucky I am that I have the luxury of beautiful, unobstructed views of my sunrise. No clutter, no noise, just the open countryside and me," he says.

Farmers for the Future network member Michael Thompson was only 5 years old when his grandfather gave him some good advice: "If you want to farm, start saving for the future."

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