Posted on Nov 16, 2018
“Farming is not for everybody,” Auden Aranda said.
Aranda has been involved in sorghum production in the panhandle of Oklahoma for the past 25 years and knows farming is not for the faint of heart. This, however, does not deter his pursuit and enjoyment of the farming lifestyle. In fact, his passion for his trade is growing.
Aranda grows 1,500 acres of sorghum, along with wheat and a small herd of cattle in Keyes, Oklahoma with his wife Derenda. They have a son and a daughter, both of whom attend Oklahoma State University. His daughter is studying biology in hopes of becoming a veterinarian and his son is pursuing a degree in engineering.
“Right now, getting my kids through college is what motivates me to get up in the morning,” Aranda said.
When his parents immigrated to America in the 1960’s, they settled in Oklahoma farming sorghum, among other crops. This experience connected Aranda not only to sorghum but to the man who would be his mentor throughout his farming career. This is the man to whom Aranda credits his farming success. When it comes to how he runs his operation, Aranda has stuck to tradition, following in his mentor’s footsteps. One specific piece of his advice has followed Aranda into adulthood and shaped his business philosophy.
The simple principal, “Do not spend more than you make,” Aranda said, has shaped his outlook on business. The mindset has prepared him for difficult times and allowed him to be successful when situations were less than ideal.
Aranda first learned about Leadership Sorghum through the High Plains Journal. Reflecting on the first session of leadership sorghum and looking forward to the second, Aranda said through the entertaining and educational session he gained a lot of useful information that he plans to put into practice.
“After visiting with the experts during the first session, I would like to start raising more specialty milo, like feed grade milo,” Aranda said.
The first session of Leadership Sorghum Class IV took place on the Texas High Plains and introduced the class to experts in the sorghum seed industry along with teaching members about marketing and personal branding techniques.
In their free time, Aranda and his son ride their motorcycles on the TransAmerican trail. The cross-country trail made up of rural roads and wilderness passes within two miles of Aranda’s Farm in Keyes, Oklahoma.
Though farming may not be for everyone, there is nothing Auden Aranda would rather do. As time goes on, he looks forward to continuing the trend of growth in his passion for the industry and actively learning about ways to improve his farm, through programs like Leadership Sorghum.
Equipment Color: It doesn't matter
Tractor Tunes: Farm radio, mostly 550 am out of Kansas
Favorite season on the Farm: Harvest
Favorite Part of Farming: Getting to grow crops and spend time with the cattle
Hobbies: Riding motorcycles and skiing
Auden is a member of Leadership Sorghum Class IV, 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.