November 14, 2018

#BredToWin Spotlight: First-generation farmer Josh Christofferson

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Wheat field in northwestern Wyoming. Smoke from the California fires obscures the mountains in the background. Photo courtesy of Josh Christofferson via the 2018 #BredToWin contest.

To many wheat farmers, growing wheat is a tradition passed down from generation to generation. But for some, wheat is a new venture. In this #BredToWin Spotlight, we talked with first-time wheat farmer Josh Christofferson of northwestern Wyoming about how and why he got into wheat farming.

A first-generation farmer, Josh has been farming for only four years but his interest in wheat goes way back. “I’ve alway been interested in growing wheat, long before 2015. Wheat is a staple in my family’s diet and [for] millions of people around the world,” says Josh.

Originally working as a land surveyor in Washington state, Josh decided to move back to his home state of Wyoming when he and his wife had their first child. “I had a strong desire to raise my family on a farm,” Josh says.

Although Josh grew up around farming, running his own farm proved to be a challenge at first. “I knew it’d be tough, but it’s tougher than I thought,” Josh says. However, he is very satisfied with his career change. “Watching the crop grow as I care for it and see it come to fruition is deeply satisfying. I love being outside, looking up at the end of the day and watching the sunset over the mountains, goofing off [by] running down a farm road with my kids.”

Having gone through the transition from a non-farming career to running his own farm, Josh has some words of advice for any would-be farmers: “You can do it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are plenty of obstacles and adversity, but that builds character and makes you stronger.”

Additionally Josh recommends utilizing your available resources, such as university extensions and research farms, as well as tapping into seasoned farmers for advice. “I’ve found many older, successful farmers who are willing to help and give advice. I take notes and ask questions, being careful not to take too much of their time,” Josh says. After that, it all comes down diligent record-keeping and “watching the dollars closely.”

How did you get into wheat farming? Let us know on WestBred wheat’s Facebook or Twitter, or by emailing the.tiller@westbred.com.

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