Posted on Sep 06, 2019
Kevin Pshigoda is a fourth generation farmer who was born and raised on a farm in Perryton, Texas, where his passion for agriculture began at a young age.
Pshigoda grew up lending a hand on his family’s farm wherever he could. Whether that meant driving the tractor, harvesting or working on irrigation lines, Pshigoda was ready and eager to help.
“I’ve always had a love for farming,” Pshigoda said. “I knew it was what I wanted to do long term.”
Keeping his long-range plan in mind, Pshigoda attended Texas Tech University where he studied agronomy. While at Texas Tech, Pshigoda was hired by one of his professors to drive a tractor for summer wheat harvest on his farm.
Although Pshigoda always knew he wanted to return to the farm one day, he spent time working off the farm after graduating college as a science teacher, an agricultural science teacher’s assistant and a loan officer where he gained skills like critical thinking and money management he now implements on the farm to cultivate a successful operation.
Eventually, Pshigoda’s math professor retired from farming and offered Pshigoda the opportunity to buy his land. Pshigoda jumped at the offer and began his own operation. In addition to farming his own land, he continues to help on the family farm. Between Pshigoda and his father, the pair farms roughly 12,000 acres of sorghum, wheat, corn and soybeans.
“Sorghum fits really well into our operation,” Pshigoda said. “It grows well in the Panhandle, and we have demand in our area.”
Pshigoda recognizes in order to keep the operation running smoothly, he has to employ a strong support system of people. On the farm, Pshigoda works with trusted employees and his family to maintain their successful operation. Everyone is involved, including Pshigoda’s two children, ages six and 11. He hopes to pass on the operation to his children one day and keep the family legacy alive.
“I love the people I get to work with,” Pshigoda said. “I have come to respect and admire each one of them over the years.”
Pshigoda conferred with each one of the operation’s employees before applying for Leadership Sorghum to make sure everyone was on board with the decision.
Everyone encouraged Pshigoda to apply for Leadership Sorghum, and he was thrilled when he was selected as a Class IV participant. A learner by nature, Pshigoda has enjoyed the entire Leadership Sorghum experience. His favorite part has been the opportunity to make new connections and gain insight he would not have access to without Leadership Sorghum.
Pshigoda hopes he can apply his learnings and experiences from Leadership Sorghum within his operation, whether that be calling a new connection for advice or exercising newfound understanding of specific sorghum-related topics.
“I have the ability to access resources that have opened my eyes,” Pshigoda said. “I have learned about everything from legislation to policy to trade, and I have really enjoyed it.”
Pshigoda believes wholeheartedly the life he lives is perfect for him. He feels beyond blessed to work alongside his loved ones and close friends doing what he loves. Faith, family and work are his top priorities, and Pshigoda said farming allows him to carry those out perfectly.
“I’m the luckiest guy alive,” Pshigoda said. “I wake up and get to do what God put me here to do everyday, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Equipment color: John Deere green
Tractor tunes: Anything country or western
Favorite season on the farm: Harvest season
Favorite part of farming: Watching things grow. He loves to watch seeds grow into crops, and watch the people he loves grow into what they want to be
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and traveling
Kevin 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.