BUDA — If you ask Don Grubb of Buda to pinpoint his biggest farming accomplishment, he’ll quickly say, “surviving the ‘80s.”
“Those were some rough years there,” he said. “We had two droughts. We saw interest rates go from 8 percent to 18 percent. Land prices went from $4,000 an acre to less than $2,000. Those were just real challenging years.”
Despite the rough era, the Grubb farm and family pushed through and managed to enlarge their hog operation little-by-little. Ultimately, life on the Grubb farm turned out to be a great one.
Since the age of 10, Grubb knew he wanted to live the life of a farmer.
“I loved the farm and loved the animals, and by the age of 26, I was farming full-time for myself,” he said.
In 1988, Grubb was awarded the Prairie Farmer Master Farmer title.
“They say if you’re doing what you like to do, you’re not really working,” he said. “I guess I’m a lucky guy because I only really worked six years and six weeks of my whole life.”
During that short time, Grubb picked-up a night job working in a cheese factory to help support the family while trying to get the farm going.
“That was work because I didn’t like it. Other than that, I’ve never worked a day in my life because I loved what I was doing.”
One of the biggest concerns Grubb holds today is the fact that more and more generations of people are clueless on how their food is grown or where it comes from. To him, if there was ever a national crisis, many people would be in trouble.
“In (farmers’) efforts to be good to people and help them in this country, we’ve made them helpless, and it’s just knowledge I got from my parents and grandparents that I think is very important for young people to learn,” he explained. “If hard times fell on us, people wouldn’t know how to take care of themselves.”
An ongoing trend Grubb is noticing more today, that could potential save these generations, is lifestyle or hobby farming.
More people today are wanting to raise chickens and grow gardens in their backyards, which Grubb fully supports.
“You can raise chickens and buy eggs, but the important part of it is teaching future generations how to raise, prepare and store food. I think that’s something every generation of people need to know,” he said.
If Grubb had the chance to relive his farming career, there’s not a single doubt he would.
“The only thing I would do different is that I would enjoy life more by having better quality machinery. I farmed with some machinery that wasn’t that reliable, but it’s what I had and what I thought at the time I needed to do to survive,” he said.
One last bit of advice Grubb has for young farmers out there: “If you make one dollar, don’t spend two, spend 50 cents, and you can get along just fine.”
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