Tad Nelson is a student, and he’s also a teacher of other students.
Nelson is a Rigby High School FFA committee chairman tasked with strengthening agriculture. Last spring, Nelson, 16, and others helped organize its first ever Ag Exploration Day at the Rigby Fairgrounds for third-graders from every elementary school in Jefferson County. Helping to organize the event required teamwork. Nelson was the committee chairman and organized three sub-committees with chairmen who worked with him.
“It sounds like a lot but we got so much help from students, The Farm Bureau, the community, the ag department and our FFA chapter and advisers,” Nelson said. “We have amazing teachers here.”
Some of the lessons students were taught included genetically modified organisms, how water is used, different types of cattle, how butter is made and farming equipment. There were also demonstrations on drones and how they’re used in agriculture.
“It was all based on feeding the world in the future,” Nelson said.
Nelson plans to go into farming as a career. He’s been researching ways to diversify production, such as raising cattle and feeding them the corn, alfalfa and grain raised on the farm. He’s looked into the logistics of adding a slaughterhouse or a ranching operation to better control prices. He’s also evaluated raising buffalo, because buffalo calves often bring higher prices than beef calves, he said. He’s researching how ranchers can market their beef better locally to grocery stores and restaurants.
“There are a lot of good farmers who aren’t making it financially,” he said.
In his spare time, Nelson and his friend and fellow classmate Brigham Nelson have operated their own lawn care business for the past four years called TB Nelson Mow and Trim. In addition to mowing and trimming, they do small landscaping projects.