Meet Arizona Agriculture’s Scott Koehn

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern: Scott Koehn’s family has been in the agriculture business for generations. Passed along through his grandfather and then his father, Scott has farming in his blood. Now he has managed to pass the agriculture lifestyle on to his own children, who perhaps will continue the legacy of family farming for generations to come.

Tell us about your farm. My son and I have a little farm and we raise alfalfa primarily under a center pivot system. We also raise about 120-acres of rye grass each year, which we sell retail mostly to horse people. We are located in Cochise County on what is called the Kansas Settlement. It’s south of Willcox about 15 miles. We moved to the land we are on now in 1994. Farming has been in my family history since I don’t know when. My grandpa did it, and so did my dad.

Koehn Hay barn features alfalfa and rye grass. 

Will anyone in your family - younger generation - pursue farming, ranching, or agribusiness? Yes. I have five children, and they are all involved in farming. Two of my sons have a retail meat business, where they raise the meat, like beef and lamb and chicken and pork, Chiricahua Pasture Raised Meats. Their retail meat business is a little different than conventional farming.

Cattle on his son, Josh's, Chiricahua Pasture Raised Meats.

Do you use any farming practices that highlight water conservation, soil health, or other practices instituted to save money and improve the farm? Well, we have center pivots which help with water conservation, and of course we are always concerned about soil health. We practice conservation tillage, it’s not no-till, but it still is a conservation practice.

What changes have you seen within your operation, or within agriculture in general over time? I started out with cotton, but moved away from it because of low prices, and also I used to grow corn, but I’ve moved away from that because of low prices. Now we are doing primarily forage crops.

What is your educational background? No college, I’ve always wanted to farm.

What do you love most about farming? Being outside, working with nature, and also the lifestyle in which to raise a family. Being able to work together. Big city life just doesn’t look attractive to me at all.

Why are you Farm Bureau member? Primarily to get the insurance.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I like to go hiking in the mountains.

How do you think the next generation of agriculturalists are going to have to operate? It looks challenging to me, and if you can get into a specialty deal like my boys are in, that’s good, or else you have to join the ‘get big’ game. So it looks challenging for someone like me who is in the intermediate, not real big but not real specialty either. I think there is a bright outlook and I think they’ll adapt. Of course people want and need to eat.

What is the best business advice you have ever given or received?  The best way to learn is a hands-on approach. Start small and work into it.

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