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Career Connections: Farmer

5 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Farmer. In an old photo, a young man sits on a tractor.

(female narrator) Tom Yuhasz remembers the first time he planted a field. When I was 12, my dad let me use a tractor. We traded labor, and it was a one-row-of-corn picker, and I had a two-bottom plow. I'll never forget it. It was a ten-acre field. I saved money for years to plant that corn field. Picked that corn, planted it, did everything.

(narrator) He is still farming in the family business. He and his brother own Yuhasz Brothers LLC. and Colebrook Elevators and employ about 20 people. They've been farming since 1974, and each have two sons who also farm.

(Tom) You need strong work ethics. You gotta get up and go 'cause when Mother Nature gives you those days, you better be doing it.

(narrator) Growing season starts as early as April 15, and the planting season is done by June 20.

(Describer) A wide cultivator is pulled through a field.

(Tom) We plant in spring. That's probably the most critical period. Then we'll monitor the crops through the growing period. That's a pretty important job. And then we end up going to harvest, and that's the second-most important job to get done in a timely fashion. Northeast Ohio's weather is sometimes pretty cruel. Doesn't always do what you want it to.

(narrator) Hopefully, the weather will be the right combination of rain, sunshine, and dry periods to grow successful crops.

(Tom) It's been hard in northeast Ohio to be profitable growing corn. We don't have the heat degree units 'cause of the cloudiness. So, we're a little bit disadvantaged, but when it comes to soybeans, northeast Ohio can run with any state in the Union as far as soybean production.

(narrator) One of their main crops is a sweeter wheat used in ice cream cones, pastry, and in pet food. Depending on the time in the growing season, Tom says they use different equipment.

(Tom) Different soils demand different equipment. If a person wants to get started in farming, they need to know their farm's soil type. They'll have to find out what their neighbor is using and maybe do a little copycatting,

(Describer) A helicopter sprays onto a field.

because they already know what they need to use. So, start-up farms-- it's gonna be tough in the future, though.

(narrator) While Tom uses traditional farming equipment, some farmers still farm fields by hand and even use horses instead of tractors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average farmer makes about $69,300 a year. Tom says if it's a career you're interested in pursuing, take agriculture classes if they're offered and go to a four-year college.

(Tom) I know several farmers whose sons went through it. It pays big dividends. I would take business classes, because as much production goes in, you gotta be aware of where the markets are. Try and be in the top ten on your marketing. Without money coming in, you won't be doing it. It takes a lot of money.

(narrator) Tom's learned many things the hard way by making mistakes.

(Tom) That's how I paid for college is, "I shouldn't have done that," or "Why did I do that?" Or "I didn't plant it deep enough." A corn plant that's not deep enough, you're in trouble with that crop. In northeast Ohio, it's hard to get stuff out of the ground, 'cause we have a clay-based soil that crusts over, and that plant won't push through.

(narrator) Even though he has been farming for years, he says there's still something special about seeing his crop start from a small seed.

(Tom) When you see that seed sprouting in the ground and pushing its way through, that's a gift from God there, I'm telling you what. That's touching, that little plant, what it does and what it can produce. It's amazing what Mother Earth does for us to survive here. Really, when you think about it. If those plants aren't growing, none of us will be left around here.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. Western Reserve Public Media, copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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A farmer explains how he started with a ten-acre field and built it into a large family farm enterprise. He emphasizes the importance of business skills and a college degree for a successful farming career. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
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Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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Episode 5
5 minutes
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12