By: Greg Peterson, AgWeb.com
America is an amazing place.
Problems? Plenty. Too many to list. But still, the land of the free. The land of opportunity. Got an idea? Want to give it a try? Roll up your sleeves and go for it. Sacrifice. Work hard. Then work harder. Keep at it for years. Chip away. Step by step. You can do anything. Will it be easy? Hell no. But you can have a dream and be what you want to be.
Even a farmer.
I’ve said it many times before, but the greatest part about what I do are all the great people I meet along the way. Folks like 22 year old Kent Stufflebeem of Chariton, IA. I met Kent at large auction in central Iowa on March 29, 2016. We got to visiting a bit. I was inspired by this young man’s story he humbly shared. He was at the auction looking to upgrade to a larger used combine. He was successful, getting the winning bid on a very nice 2003 John Deere 9650 STS with 2,796 engine hours for $60,000.
Without any help or inroads from family Kent started in on his dream of being a farmer when he was only 18. “Had a neighbor, piece of ground came up, I talked to few other neighbors who let me loan some of their machinery and I just got started,” said Stufflebeem. “I worked for other farmers, saved my money and started to buy some older machinery. I tried as hard as I could.”
“I always wanted to be a farmer.”
So, has it been easy Kent? “It’s been tough with grain markets, the land and the machinery, it’s all crazy for someone who doesn’t have family. But it’s what I want to do whether it’s hard or not.”
See why I like this young man?
Stufflebeem said he needed to upgrade to a larger used combine as more customers are wanting him to do custom work for them. Now with the 9650 bought, it’s time to sell his John Deere 7720 combine with 3,600 hours. I told Kent to shoot a cell phone video with his 7720 combine when he was back home. He did. Here’s that video with Kent telling us about his 7720 for sale, asking $10,000:
Over the years on my travels I have talked to SO many experienced older farmers, looking back on their farming careers, feeling so thankful, wanting to give back, wanting to help more young folks get into farming and help them along. Well, that’s what I thought of as I was visiting with Kent….here’s a young farmer, clawing his way forward, through some very challenging times in the ag economy, but he’s going for it, his dream, to be a farmer. Now this young 22 year old Iowa farmer is looking to sell his combine, asking $10,000.