Ag Service Technician
"I always wanted to follow in my grandfather's footsteps and be a farmer. Growing up on the family farm brought a sense of purpose and passion for taking care of the land and animals. Taking care of something that would take care of others brought me a great deal of joy.
As a young child, I’m told I would take my toy tractors apart and put them back together. This is way before they had toys made to do this! Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed anything that would challenge me to figure out a problem and fix it. I love to build things and manufacture anything out of steel or wood, rather than buy it.
In high school, I was active in FFA and took a lot of CTE (career and technical education) classes. I took welding for four years, along with electrical, small engine, and advanced engine repair. I had a lot of mechanical background growing up on a farm, but these classes taught me techniques that made me faster and more efficient in my job. These experiences also provided me with a great foundation for the classes I took in college.
After graduation, I went to Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, for its John Deere TECH program, which teaches the skills necessary to work for John Deere as a technician. My training was sponsored by my local John Deere dealership, which at the time was Concordia Tractor, Inc. Now, that company has merged with PrairieLand Partners, who I now work for in their Clay Center location.
Ultimately, my career goal is to be able to successfully be both a mechanic and farm. If this seems like a good path for you, I recommend you take as many general education courses in high school as you can, so that you have time to focus on specialized classes in college like welding and computer technologies. I wish I’d taken more computer and technical classes in high school, because everything in this field is going to a technology-based operating system.
Don’t be afraid to fail, but always take the effort and time to figure out why you failed and correct it. That’s the most important lesson I’ve learned in the ten years I’ve worked as a mechanic. You will fail, but if you learn from these failures, you will make yourself better and more efficient in the future."