By Hillary Hibbard, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern: This young rancher advocates for a systems approach since it helps with efficiency and having a flexible business model.
An Interview with Travis Johnson, owner of JJ Livestock
Tell us about your ranch
It is primarily a cow-calf and stocker operation.
What changes have you seen in your lifetime as it relates to farming and/or ranching?Land has become less feasible to purchase for grazing due to the competitive development value. Cattle are now grazed on land that is more intermingled with people than it was before.
Why did you choose to go into agriculture?
I felt like it was a very good way to raise a family. I also enjoy every aspect of agriculture. There was an opportunity in agriculture even though the competition for land is pretty stiff. There are not many people still willing to live the lifestyle. I felt like agriculture was a good opportunity for me.
Will anyone in your family - younger generation - pursue farming and/or ranching?
Yes, I am one of 4 boys. Myself being the oldest, the brother right under me is finishing up at the Kingsville Ranch Institute with his Masters. He will be involved and interacting one way or another in agriculture.
Would you ever consider growing an emerging crop or changing your farm or ranch model?
Yes, I would absolutely consider it.
What are your community activities? Why are you involved?
I help coach the St. Johns High School wrestling team. I do it because I enjoy the relationships I gain with the young men and the influences I can have in their lives overall.
I am also involved in a few city committees.
What is one fact/experience/achievement no one knows about you?
I bought and started to manage my ranch right out of college at the young age of 26.
What do you think you do really well? Explain.
I feel like a systems approach is very important to efficiency and having a flexible business model creates opportunity.
Why are you a farm bureau member?
I am a Farm Bureau Member for a couple of reasons; the biggest reason would be to stay involved in helping agriculture progress. I believe it needs a voice!! Another reason is to meet and stay in touch with people that are involved in agriculture.
How will the next generation of farmers have to operate?
I think the younger generation will need to be very unorthodox and be open to having a flexible business model.