“Most of my first memories are riding with my dad in the tractor, combine, semi or sprayer,” says Aaron Johnson (Garrison FFA Chapter), as he reflects on the SAE he started in 2016. “It’s always been my goal to – one day – take over the family farm.”
Aaron began his SAE by renting land with his sisters. Each of the siblings would share the expenses, and at the end of harvest, would share the profits. Every year since then, Aaron has added to his business and SAE by renting additional acres and planting new or different crops.
Aaron has both enjoyed the last 4 years of working on his family farm, and has learned many important lessons, including the many different facets of farming.
“There are a lot of people out there, including people in the FFA, that aren’t informed on what it takes to farm. They tell me, ‘Oh, you have auto-steer and so much technology that your job is easy!’” says Aaron. “There’s a lot more to it from the accounting, grain marketing, working on equipment, maintenance and everything else that comes along with it.”
Aaron’s diligence, ethic and work earned him the 2020 Star Farmer award, presented during the 91st Virtual State FFA Convention. As he reflected with us on receiving the award, we asked him: “What is your advice to someone who wants to know, and learn, what it takes to run a farm?”
“Get out on a farm and see what it’s like,” said Aaron. “Go to a few different ones, in fact. You’ll see that everybody does things a little differently. They each have their reasons, and you may not understand that reason, but it’s important to them and I bet you could learn something from it.”