Sunday, November 9, 2014


Leffler Farms Inc. is officially done with Harvest 2014!!!!

When I first started track it wasn't always easy or natural as some people would say. I have always been told I was a natural but I never understood why people thought that because I put in many extra hours to gain the extra boost I needed to be considered good. It was in those moments that I spent doing extra that no one knew about and I honestly just thought everyone did that. It wasn't until I began coaching at the college level that I realized there are many different types of athletes: 

~ The athlete who relies only on genetic ability (natural talent)
~ The athlete who has to bust their butt and put in extra hours 
~ The athlete who becomes a student of the sport
~ The athlete who just simply has natural talent and a great work ethic 
~ The athlete that let's their head get in the way of their ability
~ The athlete who is lazy and doesn't seem to care 

These are just a few examples, I could go on for hours. The one example I didn't list is the athlete who does the sport for everyone else but him or herself. These are the athletes who show signs of frustration and disappointment the most. Their expectations are made by other people i.e. parents, coaches, siblings, friends or maybe that person they just want to prove wrong. The part that is hard to understand is that these other people may not even have these expectations; the athlete just assumes they do. This is when I see it begin to become detrimental and hard for the athlete to be happy because it's an unrealistic expectation that isn't even there that they are trying to obtain. 

Don't get me wrong, as an athlete I most definitely wanted to please those people who supported me and cheered me on. It's fun to have your closest friends and family there when you have a great accomplishment but its even better when they are there for you in failure. It is in failure that athletes realize other people's thoughts and feelings don't need to be dictated off of their performances either. Until an athlete can do their sport for the love and joy it brings to them they will never meet their full potential in my opinion. It is then that the athlete can begin to quit thinking and trying so hard and begin to allow their body to take over. And that my friends is when athletes will have their greatest performances. 

Now you may wonder what are my expectations of my athletes that I coach at Emporia State. It's really simple I want them to fail, but I want them to succeed as well. Athletes learn from both outcomes. If you really break it down; in baseball the number everyone wants to bat is .300. That's only a 30% average, three out of ten tries is considered successful. In school if you were to get a 30% on a test it would be considered a failure, but in one of the greatest games ever it's considered a great success. The way I see it is, if my athletes can hit three good throws close to their potential out of ten that is success. All I am really asking for is failure if you look at the raw data. This is certainly the beauty of sports. 

So, Athletes learn to love the sport that has given so much to your life. Be present where you are and appreciate the little victories just as much as the big ones. Look around and see who is there celebrating with you and then again who is by your side when you fail. Times goes fast so don't waste it by doing it for someone else. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Record Breaking

Yesterday we got off to an early start thanks to Daylight Savings Time. We managed to cut 175 acres of double crop soybeans in approximately 9.5 hours!!!!!!!

There really isn't much more to say

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First Round Done


We have officially knocked out the first round of soybeans at Leffler Farms Inc! We are guessing by Friday we will be starting in on our double crop soybeans. In the time between we will be cutting for one of our neighbors and keeping busy.

I am always amazed how the timing seems to work out on the farm. As we finished the first round we used our days off with some family time. My grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary with over 100 of their closest friends and family members. Just another reason to love small towns and the support systems that come with them.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Generation Gap


Soybean harvest is in full swing at Leffler Farms Inc this weekend. Thursday we knocked out 120 acres of bottomland, Friday 98 acres and Saturday we cut 77 acres. Sunday we finished the Gatewood Field and also got The Island cut! Saturday and Sunday the beans were tough and we were only able to run 3.5 mph compared to the previous days of running 4.5 – 5.5 mph. Doesn’t sound like much of a difference but let me tell you it is.

The Generation Gap: 

Leffler Farms Inc is a fourth generation farming operation with three of those generations still living and working on the farm. Life on the farm as I know it is much different than when my Grandpa was my age.

Here are a few examples:
Haying to my Grandpa means throwing square bales onto a trailer by hand.
Haying to me means getting the loader out and picking up big round bales and stacking them in the comfort of an air-conditioned cab.
~ Working ground to my Grandpa means sitting on a tractor without a cab fighting the dust and trying to keep your implement going as straight as possible.
Working ground to me means turning up the radio, setting my GPS to make my tractor go straight and letting it drive itself. This is a great time to catch up on phone calls or returning e-mails. I’ve even heard of people installing DVD players in their four-wheel drive tractors so they can watch movies on long row fields. I haven’t taken it to this extreme (yet).
~ Combining crops to my Grandpa means taking in little strips of crops at a time and harvesting it. Combing crops to me means taking in at least 12 rows of corn and 35 foot swaths of soybeans and wheat, taking in enough grain to utilize a grain cart so the combine never has to stop. Combines now also have yield monitors so we can pull instant figures of what the crops are making instead of having to take them to an elevator to get tested. Talk about instant gratification.
~ Trucking to my Grandpa means taking straight trucks that held around 300 bushels of crops at a time.
Trucking to me means taking 1,000 bushels of crops to the elevator at one time.
~ Shoveling feed-bunks to my Grandpa means picking up a shovel, bundling up and spending countless hours shoveling snow out of the bunks so that the cattle can eat on winter mornings and evenings.
Shoveling feed-bunks to me means getting in the skid-loader with my canister of hot chocolate or coffee, turning up the heat and attaching the bunk-sweeper so that I can drive along the bunks and sweep the snow out with a push of a button. Although I will attest that I have spent countless hours shoveling bunks because the bunk-sweeper has only been on the farm for one year (2013).
 Dinner in the field to my Grandpa means a home-cooked meal by my Grandma or my Great Grandma and eating as a family.
Dinner in the field to me means calling into the Breckenridge Co. CafĂ© in Americus and having someone deliver it to me and eat on the go.  We still occasionally do the old fashion way too and I love those days the most.
~ Going to check cattle to my Grandpa means saddling up a horse and riding pastures and lots.
 Going to check cattle to me means loading up the four-wheeler/Gator and my dog and riding through pastures and lots.
~ Calling someone to my Grandpa means getting on the handheld radio and saying 
KNGD-524-LFI-1 to whoever he may be trying to get a hold of.
Calling someone to me means picking up my iPhone. I can say I miss the days of being on a full time radio system.  My number was 3 in case you were wondering.

As you can see there are many things that are different but there also many things the same:

~ The work hard; play hard mentality will always be a part of Leffler Farms Inc.
 Fencing on hot summer days will always be a must.
~ Listening to our favorite sports team on the radios during harvest instead of being at the game (GO CATS!)
~ Working and moving cattle down road B to the feedlot with a group of our closest friends. These days will always be my favorite. I absolutely love when we have horses out working our cattle.
~ Maintaining and improving the land and homestead is always a must. Whether we are cutting/trimming trees, soil sampling, or making improvements to the feedlot I have learned that no generation on our farm will ever be satisfied. We strive for perfection in all that we encompass.
~ The time spent together is something that we all cherish. It is something that will last an eternity. I can’t ever remember a day where I wasn’t working side by side on the farm with either my Dad or Grandpa right there with me. There is something special to be said about working with family on a daily basis. It takes a special group of people to be able to o that.
~ Farming is always on the brain. Even on family vacations we somehow always managed to accommodate my Dad and stop at an equipment dealership. Another example would be at my sisters and my sporting events you could always find my Dad and Grandpa sitting with another farmer discussing their weekly adventures and comparing farming methods.

The older I get the more I appreciate the “old ways”. I see the value in everything my Grandpa does even if it does take longer or requires more physical labor. Growing up next to different generations on an operation like ours not only taught me the value of hard work but also gave me a greater appreciation of what can be learned from the generations around me.

1962 Combine and Truck
2014 Combine and Semi Truck 

Monday, October 13, 2014

And It Begins...

While competing on the national stage of track and field I always kept a blog and today I decided to officially begin a new one for a new phase of life. I thought I was living the dream back then; little did I know my dream would evolve into a lifestyle.

What is the American Dream?

I can tell you right now it's the definition of my current set up in life ! 

I mean seriously how many people actually get to do what they dreamed of as a kid. 

Upon graduation at Kansas State University in 2013 I wasn't sure what God had in store for me but I knew He would come through if I was patient and followed His lead. I moved back home into my Great Grandmas house on the farm and began working full time with my Dad and Grandpa. What I thought was going to be a temporary job has turned into something so much more. I have gained an appreciation of every aspect that goes into life as a farmer and rancher. Talk about a learning curve!

I didn't think life could get much sweeter but I was wrong. I received a phone call from my old track and field coach, Rick Ginter. He informed me that he was resigning at Emporia State University and had recommended me for the job. After a lot of careful thinking, strategic planning with family, and prayer, five days later I accepted a coaching position at Emporia State University. 

Now I sit here in the Fall of 2014 and just live out my dream of working outdoors, farming, ranching, and coaching in a sport that gave so much life to me the past twelve years. People ask me what's next? Do you plan on coaching full time? Are you going to take over Leffler Farms Inc? All I can say is right now I'm doing the two things I know the most about in life and couldn't be happier. God has truly outdone himself.