Albin farmer recognized by Farm Journal as Top Producer
Albin – In its 20th year, Farm Journal selected Ron Rabou, president and manager of Rabou Farms in Albin, as a finalist for their Top Producer of Year Award.
Sponsored by BASF, Rabo AgriFinance and Case IH, the Top Producer of the Year contest is in its 20th year and represents the best in the business of farming. Three finalists are chosen from numerous applications by a panel of judges based on entrepreneurial originality, financial and business progress, and industry and community leadership.
In the past 14 years, Rabou Farms has grown from 800 acres to nearly 8,000 acres of organic wheat, lentils, millet, chickpeas and yellow peas.
Rabou builds his business model and crop mix around the consumer.
The family has jumped into organic production and continues to build relationships with grain buyers. They have built competitive advantages with their production systems, all with the goal of becoming price makers, rather than price takers.
The fifth-generation operation also includes 100 cow/calf pairs, as well as real estate and private big game hunts. Rabou’s wife Julie, one full-time employee and three part-time employees round out the team.
That next generation is Rabou’s biggest priority for the future. His goals don’t revolve around more crops, land or equipment. Instead, his focus is his family, faith, freedom and the time to enjoy them all.
“One of the biggest blessings I have is to be able to raise my boys on our own place. They are developing independence and self-confidence,” Rabou says. “They are learning, growing and experimenting.”
He and his wife Julie have three boys – Carson, 12, Spencer, 9, and Mason, 4.
“I want this place to be available if they want to return to it after college,” he says. “But I will never require them or make them feel obligated to be here. They need to find their own way.”
“The legacy is not the buildings and the land. It is who my dad was and who he taught me to be,” Rabou says. “I take that idea forward. We may not have the same cattle herd or all the same land, but the beauty of agriculture is that I’ve learned a lot by having to work and take risks, and I’m doing everything I can to pass that on to my children.”
As a 2019 Top Producer of the Year finalist, Rabou received a trip to Chicago for the 2019 Top Producer Seminar. He also will receive in-person and phone consultations with a CEO coach, courtesy of BASF.
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and compiled this article from press releases and interviews with Rabou. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.