Posted on Apr 03, 2017
Gary Mach from Abbott, Texas, grew up on his family’s farm in the east-central part of the Lone Star State. Even as a young boy helping his father on the farm, Mach knew he had a passion for farming and at age 17 he knew that was his calling.
“I remember saying, ‘Dad, all I want to do is farm,’” Mach said. “And his response to that was that I needed to go out and get myself a ‘real job’ so I could afford to farm.”
Mach decided to pursue a career related to one of his other passions and entered into the world of computer programming. By 1999 he earned two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Computer Information Management/Programming and Computer Information Management/Network Administration. He didn’t stop there. Mach continued to build his expertise in computers, accumulating numerous certifications from computer information system networking and programming to internet security and firewall implementation.
While gaining his many computer certifications, Mach returned to his home in Abbott to peruse his passion as the third generation to farm his family’s land.
“My dad told me years ago to find a job that if you were going to do it for free you would still want to do that job every day, and that’s what I’m doing,” Mach said. “I enjoy getting out in the field and working with nature. It’s hard work, but it’s a work that I love and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
His love for farming coupled with his experience in computerization made it simple for Mach to start modernizing the operation, bringing more accuracy and precision to the farm. Mach says he is always looking for more ways to improve and optimize his farming methods.
“I’m always looking for what’s new, because there is always value in the new,” Mach said. “As a farmer, you cannot become complacent. And with all the technological advances that have come about since I started in this business, it is just unbelievable.”
Mach’s constant search for improvement has made him an excellent fit for the Leadership Sorghum program—an experience he says he is already reaping benefits from.
“The networking opportunities have been incredible. I’ve already reached out to some of the people I’ve met throughout this process, and they were ready and willing to help me out,” Mach said. “As a farmer you just don’t give up, and through this experience I’ve learned that if you have a problem there is someone out there willing to help. You just might not know them yet.”
Aside from the networking opportunities from his time in the Leadership Sorghum program, Mach also expressed his excitement to learn about the impact farmers can have on legislation—a lesson observed during the Washington, D.C. session.
“I never thought the trip to Washington, D.C. would give me such an opportunity to make a difference,” Mach said. “Having that opportunity was amazing. I truly believe farmers have a passion for what we do, and it was great to share our passion with people.”
Equipment Color: John Deere Green
Tractor Tunes: Audio books, country-western and rock music
Favorite Season on the Farm: Harvest
Favorite Part of Farming: I enjoy getting out in the field and working with nature.
Hobbies: Computers, fishing, hunting, watching and working on racecars.
Gary is a member of Leadership Sorghum Class III, a program designed to foster the next generation of sorghum leaders. The program exposes members to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic and applied research to international marketing. Through both hands-on and classroom-style education, participants gain an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and interest organizations interact on behalf of the industry and what the future holds for the crop. The program also provides professional development training and networking opportunities.