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Producing Excellence

Mike Job

Biggs, CA

Products: Rice

Size of Operation: 3,000 acres of owned, leased and custom farmed land

In Business Since: 1993

Farm Credit Partner: Golden State Farm Credit

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1994

What’s a high school student to do when his family relocates almost two thousand miles away? For an enterprising young man like Mike Job, it meant staying where he was and going into business for himself at age 17. Almost 20 years later he’s still at it, having built a diversified operation that includes farming as well as several other agricultural businesses.

“I didn’t have the luxury of having a ranch available in my family, but my uncle gave me the opportunity to sub-lease some land,” says Mike. “I would work for my uncle during the day and farm my own land at night.” At that point, Mike and his uncle were both raising rice, the crop his parents also raised until deciding to move.

After four years, Mike was ready to go out on his own but realized that he’d need to branch out to be successful. “I knew I’d have to do more things or I wouldn’t make it,” he says. “There wasn’t enough income from just rice.”

His first ag-related business was custom application of agricultural chemicals, including spraying of herbicides and fertilizers for other rice farmers. Today, Mike’s application fleet is impressive: five commercial fertilizer rigs, two liquid aqua-ammonia applicators, which deliver a separate product used to add nitrogen to the soil, and three seedbed rollers which are, again, used for a separate process right before the rice fields are flooded. Two ground sprayers are specially designed to use in flooded rice patties, and another is used for flooded and dry-land spraying. Each year, Mike provides his custom application services to 20 area farmers.

Further diversifying his business, Mike also has a land-leveling business, leveling land so water can be applied efficiently. And he works as an agent for an equipment rental company, renting upwards of 90 tractors a year to Sacramento Valley farmers, a business that’s expanding every year.

“One thing led to another,” Mike says, “I just keep doing more and more.”

One thing he’s doing more of along with these other businesses is actually farming – 900 acres of leased land and another 2,100 acres of custom farming for other landowners. On his leased land, he farms 850 acres of rice and last year added 50 acres of walnuts, a highly profitable crop but one that won’t produce for another six years.

Along with support from his wife, Jennifer, helping Mike succeed in his many businesses is Northern California Farm Credit. “I got my first crop loan from them in 1993 and I’ve been with them ever since,” he says. “They’ve always given me what I needed, because I’ve done what I said I was going to do.”

Download a PDF version of this story here.