Brandon Jakobi  
His Baling Business

Brandon Jakobi 2020

Brandon Jakobi, who will be a junior at Granton High School
is a finalist for the Agricultural Services  Proficiency Award for FFA.
He also took eighth gold in the Diversified Agriculture Production Proficiency.
Submitted photo

By Valerie Brecht    

Owning his own business has taught Brandon Jakobi many things.

Brandon is a state finalist for the Agricultural Services Proficiency Award for FFA. He is among the top three finalists for the award. During the State FFA Convention later this month, which will be held virtually, he will find out if he advances to nationals. The convention is June 15 through 18.

To be named a finalist, Jakobi had to show his capabilities running his own business. For him, that has been making round bales for neighboring farms.

It made sense that Jakobi would start his own baling business, as he has always been involved with farm life.  Jakobi lives on a 60-cow dairy farm near Granton. His family also raises steers and heifers. His dad sells bagged silage and sprays crops for people. Brandon has helped out on the farm from a young age.

“I’ve driven tractor since I was eight or nine,” said Brandon, who just finished his sophomore year of high school.

A few years ago, an opportunity presented itself.

“Our neighbor used to bale our hay and he moved up north. So, we needed a baler and my dad asked me if I wanted to buy one and do our hay and then do other people’s hay to pay for it. And [it was] kind of for FFA, to start a proficiency and just to have something of my own, my own responsibility,” said Brandon.

He started baling hay for people in summer 2017. This will be his fourth summer doing it. He travels to farms within a 10-mile radius and makes five-foot by six-foot hay and straw bales. If he’s busy, he can spend 40-to-50 hours per week baling hay. He is usually out in the field from around 10 a.m. when the hay dries off until it gets dark. Oftentimes, he will work long hours for three-to-four days, have a break for several days and then have another three-or-four days of baling. Haying season lasts four to five months.

“I enjoy driving the round baler too,” Brandon said. “Some think it’s boring, where you just drive back and forth, but with round baling you really got to keep an eye on the monitor and stuff. To get an even bale, you’ve got to weave back and forth.”

Brandon Jakobi with Round Baler and Tractor

Brandon Jakobi bales hay using a round baler.
He runs his own business and serves farmers within a 10-mile radius
of his family farm near Granton.
Submitted photo

To apply for the Agricultural Services Award, Brandon had to carefully track how many bales he made each year, his income and expenditures, including money spent on parts or service for the baler. He said it was important to keep precise records.

“After I’m done for the day, I’ve learned to write down how many bales they had and any problems that I might have had to make billing easier, [and] the condition of the field that might make it hard on my equipment or cause extra charges,” said Brandon.

He has also learned customer service and how to communicate with customers about what they want. He continues to expand his client base each year.

Brandon Jakobi with ATV and Baler

As part of owning his own business, Brandon Jakobi has to perform maintenance
on his round baler as well as advertise, bill customers and keep financial records.
Submitted photo


Brandon also recently earned another award to add to his resume. He completed the Diversified Agriculture Production Proficiency this year. It is a highly competitive proficiency area, but Brandon was able to place eight gold at state as a first-year applicant. That award encompasses all the work he does on the farm, such as fieldwork, taking care of the animals and working on his neighbor’s farm.

In addition, Brandon shows steers at the fair each year. He served as treasurer of his FFA chapter this year. He also regularly helps out at FFA events such as the annual dairy breakfast, which his parents chair.

After high school, Brandon is considering pursuing a technical degree in welding and fabrication while continuing to work on the farm.


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

June 10, 2020

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, June 15, 2020

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, June 16, 2020

Return to Grant Township Community Web Page

Return to Grant Township Web Page



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