An interview by Doug Brunner with Dave Farmer. Written by Alexandra Merritt.
I was driving in to work on a Monday morning when I received a call from Doug and with complete excitement and urgency he said, "We need to interview Dave Farmer." Doug briefly summarized Dave Farmer and the importance his farming story should have to our generation’s farmers. A few short weeks later I found myself driving onto a property in Merced, CA just down the road from The Ag Center 59. We stepped out of our cars and were immediately greeted by a grinning Dave Farmer. Dave shook my hand and then asked Doug if he didn’t pay me enough to buy pants (there were holes in them ha-ha). Though he has lived a life beyond our years, you could still see the youth in his smile. Mr. Farmer and his wife, Peggy, sat us down in the farm office and our interview began.Doug Brunner:What do you tell young farmer’s that think there’s not an opportunity in ag?
Dave Farmer: Doug, I think that today, if a youngster can get involved with the right group and just work and do well and most of the, I’m not so sure about corporations and stuff like that, but most other farmers will see that in someone. I think Doug recognizes that in his crew right now. I don’t have near the crew he has. I’ve got an old worn out crew!! We’re old!! Ha-ha!
Doug Brunner: They’ve fought some serious battles out here!
Dave Farmer: What I would tell young kids today is to set your sights on the things you love to do and work on it and get with the right group and work with them. It’s just like a football team. You know, you’ve got a quarterback he’s the hero but all those guys up front protect him and they get very little credit. But if you’re the guy that protects the guy in the back, you’re gonna get recognized and I would never give that focus up if you really want to do this (being in the ag industry). Ag has changed. I can’t stay up with it, I don’t want to. I’ve been there. I’ve had fun. I’ve driven tractors year after year without even a cab. You know my ears are junk, I can’t hear anything. But right now, I’m content and I’d say to the youngsters today, you have an opportunity. You really do. It’s hard to pick and choose. First, decide what you want to do and what you wanna be involved with. If its row crops, trees, dairies – just follow that path. Let them know, I’m not just here for a check every week. I’m here for me. And I’m going to be a part of this thing someday. Please don’t overlook me.
Doug Brunner: That’s really cool. That’s really cool.
Dave Farmer: You don’t have to ride around opening doors for them and all that crap! They’ll know . Just do your job.
Doug Brunner: You just gotta walk a little faster than the guy next to you right?