Zemu Baptista Interview
Interview with Zemu Baptista
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
- [00:00:00.420]Kind of fit, and I knew that I wanted
- [00:00:02.250]to do something in agriculture,
- [00:00:03.780]I mean, since I was a little kid,
- [00:00:04.950]so it just kind of worked out.
- [00:00:06.600]Nice, have you faced any hardships through your work?
- [00:00:12.990]Yeah, I mean, farming is kind of a, it's kind of,
- [00:00:16.860]you do what you can and, you know,
- [00:00:19.080]a lot of it is outta your control.
- [00:00:21.570]So, I mean, that's a hardship right there in itself.
- [00:00:23.730]I mean, you can only do so much,
- [00:00:25.770]but I mean, you've got, you know, to hope on good weather,
- [00:00:29.820]you know, healthy animals, all those kinds of things.
- [00:00:32.250]I mean, I mean, obviously it's not
- [00:00:35.340]the most glamorous job either,
- [00:00:36.810]so I mean, you work a lot and, you know,
- [00:00:39.630]maybe we don't make as much as we probably put in for hours,
- [00:00:43.590]you know, that could be, you know,
- [00:00:44.700]considered a hardship as well, too.
- [00:00:46.260]And I mean, even when you're starting up your own,
- [00:00:49.590]your own operation or, you know, starting from nothing,
- [00:00:52.350]that's a hardship too, because you have to buy,
- [00:00:55.050]I mean, literally everything.
I get it.
- [00:00:57.210]So, you know, trying to make sure
- [00:00:58.143]that you can finance that and keeping your budgets in check,
- [00:01:02.130]and in order, and all those kinds of things, those are,
- [00:01:04.470]those are some of the hardships that I've faced so far.
- [00:01:07.586]Okay, I did read an article about you and
- [00:01:12.780]I saw that you grew up in a town
- [00:01:14.700]with like little diversity, how was that?
- [00:01:18.660]Yeah, I grew up in Friend and I mean,
- [00:01:22.110]it's like a little over a thousand people.
- [00:01:24.090]So our family for, I mean, most of my,
- [00:01:28.170]most of my childhood and growing up, we were the only,
- [00:01:31.680]only black family in town.
- [00:01:33.990]And I guess I got kind of lucky.
- [00:01:37.680]We were in a town where, I don't know,
- [00:01:39.450]we were kind of accepted and it was just, I didn't,
- [00:01:42.570]we didn't, I didn't really face,
- [00:01:44.370]you know, too many, you know, too many people
- [00:01:48.082]that were prejudiced or that didn't like us.
- [00:01:51.600]I don't know, maybe it helped that my dad
- [00:01:53.280]was a Methodist minister and my mom was a nurse.
- [00:01:55.680]So I guess they were kind of respected people
- [00:01:57.270]in the community and I assume that might have had,
- [00:02:00.330]that probably had a little bit to do with it.
- [00:02:02.100]But for the most part, I guess,
- [00:02:04.650]it might just be a Midwest thing too,
- [00:02:06.120]but I really haven't had to face,
- [00:02:08.250]you know, too much, too much problems
- [00:02:10.980]with the lack of diversity, you know,
- [00:02:14.640]within the community.
- [00:02:16.708]Have you faced any, like, today?
- [00:02:20.988]Yeah, I mean every now and then, I mean,
- [00:02:22.710]there's always gonna be those people that, you know,
- [00:02:25.530]they just, that's just the way they are
- [00:02:27.360]and the only thing you can do is turn your head
- [00:02:31.950]and keep going 'cause it's, you know,
- [00:02:33.750]it ain't gonna help anything to dwell,
- [00:02:36.540]to dwell on it, so.
Mm-hm, oh, no, you're good.
- [00:02:40.440]But yeah, I mean, it's just, it's just part
- [00:02:44.190]of the world, you know, every now and then, it happens.
- [00:02:46.860]So, I mean, yeah, I've seen it
- [00:02:49.080]And I'm sure it won't be the last,
- [00:02:51.180]but yeah, it's just, I guess, one of those things
- [00:02:53.730]that you just kind of deal with, I guess.
- [00:02:56.430]Yeah, what would you say is the
- [00:02:59.130]most rewarding part of your job?
- [00:03:02.970]I think the most rewarding part is just seeing things grow
- [00:03:06.738]and starting from nothing and coming into something.
- [00:03:10.560]You know, when you put a crop in the ground, you know,
- [00:03:12.780]you start with a seed, you know, at the end,
- [00:03:14.956]at then and at the end of the year,
- [00:03:15.789]I mean, you have a crop that you harvested
- [00:03:18.134]and, you know, raising livestock as well, too.
- [00:03:20.760]I mean, you can, you get animals, you know,
- [00:03:23.820]at a very small age and you see them transform
- [00:03:26.158]into something greater and bigger, and obviously, you know,
- [00:03:29.700]goes into the food chain, so.
- [00:03:31.260]It's nice to able to contribute to, you know,
- [00:03:34.894]to the country's food supply and those kinds of things.
- [00:03:38.670]I think that'd be the most rewarding part of the job.
- [00:03:41.310]Awesome, what kind of, like,
- [00:03:43.440]livestock do you have on your farm?
- [00:03:45.630]Yeah, so we, cow-calf, which I don't know
- [00:03:50.968]if you're familiar with cow-calving,
- [00:03:52.557]but we have cows and they have calves
- [00:03:55.590]and we sell the calves every year.
- [00:03:57.690]So every year, we have the new sets
- [00:03:59.760]of calves that come through and then,
- [00:04:02.370]we've got the poultry operation, too which consists,
- [00:04:05.190]we got eight barns and each barn has about 40,
- [00:04:08.100]about 44 to 45,000 birds in each one.
- [00:04:11.014]Oh, wow.
- [00:04:12.330]So there's, there's a lot and then, and then a little bit
- [00:04:15.150]of corn and soybean beans as well, too.
- [00:04:16.770]Okay, I know little about farming.
- [00:04:19.680]My brother-in-law grew up on a farm
- [00:04:22.140]in Blair, Nebraska.
- [00:04:24.393]And he also worked at AgriGold,
- [00:04:27.630]so little familiar, not really, but.
- [00:04:30.930]Yeah, no, I gotcha.
- [00:04:32.940]I was excited to do this interview with you
- [00:04:36.406]'cause I think farming is really interesting.
- [00:04:39.900]Yeah, it sure is--
- [00:04:40.733]It is such a big part of like, Nebraska and,
- [00:04:44.970]you know, all the food and stuff.
- [00:04:49.294]Right, no, it is, it's huge.
- [00:04:51.150]Without, it'd be, it wouldn't be where we were.
- [00:04:53.880]It'd be tough to go to the store and get things
- [00:04:56.130]off the shelf and not have to do it yourself, so.
- [00:04:57.960]That is true, I guess, why did you choose, like,
- [00:05:03.690]that certain part, you said that you grew up in Friend,
- [00:05:07.620]did you stay in Friend, Nebraska for your business?
- [00:05:13.770]I'm actually a little bit north--
- [00:05:16.170]I'd probably, I'd probably be about 30 minutes north
- [00:05:19.200]of Friend right now, so I mean, not terribly far,
- [00:05:23.040]but not in town anymore.
- [00:05:25.691]Or in the area, I should say, I'd be more north
- [00:05:29.370]of Seward right now.
- [00:05:31.920]Did you like have any reason to move out of Friend?
- [00:05:37.350]Yeah 'cause obviously land is one thing.
- [00:05:42.180]You know, if you can't find land, you can't,
- [00:05:43.890]I mean it's not gonna work.
- [00:05:45.180]And on top of that too, I knew we were gonna put
- [00:05:47.850]up the broiler houses, and at the time,
- [00:05:51.270]the company that we grow for is out of Fremont
- [00:05:53.790]and they wanted you within 60 miles
- [00:05:56.010]of their processing plant and after,
- [00:05:59.010]after a while I think they ended up bumping
- [00:06:01.230]that radius a little bit bigger,
- [00:06:04.140]but I mean, at that point it was already too late,
- [00:06:05.940]I already had ground.
- [00:06:07.270]You know, within that 60 miles
- [00:06:08.130]and that was another big reason
- [00:06:09.300]for ending up where I am right now.
As far as relation.
- [00:06:14.506]Awesome, what lessons has farming taught you
- [00:06:17.580]that you use in your everyday life?
- [00:06:21.390]I would say hard work, for sure.
- [00:06:26.340]Keeping good spirits 'cause I mean,
- [00:06:28.410]it's really easy to get down.
- [00:06:29.970]I mean, when you're stressed and you're working a lot,
- [00:06:32.250]and all those kinds of things,
- [00:06:33.210]I mean it's, you know, tell yourself
- [00:06:35.010]positive things.
- [00:06:36.240]I mean, it doesn't do, it doesn't do any good to worry
- [00:06:39.030]or to stress with those kinds of things I've learned
- [00:06:40.950]and that's helped me in life too with everything else.
- [00:06:43.200]I think you can carry that with just about anything
- [00:06:46.230]and obviously, learning how to budget and, you know,
- [00:06:51.600]learning how to try and get things done in a timely order.
- [00:06:55.410]Those are all things that farming
- [00:06:57.698]has taught me that I use every day.
- [00:07:00.638]Those are things I need to work on, (chuckling).
- [00:07:05.700]Are your days, like, do you start super early
- [00:07:08.130]in the morning and like, go until super late at night?
- [00:07:12.540]It depends on the time of the year.
- [00:07:14.160]If we're not doing too, if we're not incredibly busy
- [00:07:17.310]then generally, we'll prob, I'll generally quit
- [00:07:21.420]around supper time, maybe a little after,
- [00:07:22.950]just depends on the day and generally,
- [00:07:25.110]I usually start around, I don't know, 6:30, seven.
So not, not super early.
- [00:07:32.100]Not too bad.
Not super late.
- [00:07:33.960]I mean, and sometimes, I'll start earlier
- [00:07:35.340]and sometimes I'll go later just, you know,
- [00:07:37.080]kind of depends on what needs to be done.
- [00:07:42.217]All right, how have you contributed to your community
- [00:07:46.350]and how have they contributed to you?
- [00:07:52.290]I think the way I've contributed to my community,
- [00:07:57.600]well, that's a good one, I don't know.
- [00:08:01.050]It's hard to think of something off the top of my head
- [00:08:03.180]and you're talking as far as like right now
- [00:08:05.940]or in general, I mean, like over the?
- [00:08:10.350]I guess, like maybe, maybe now, like with your business.
- [00:08:17.310]Yeah, I would say there's tax money for sure.
- [00:08:22.770]I mean we pay, farmers pay a lot
- [00:08:25.020]of taxes.
- [00:08:26.010]And we pay a lot, and that goes to community of course.
- [00:08:29.400]So I guess there's a benefit there.
- [00:08:33.540]Jobs, I guess, I have a couple higher hands
- [00:08:35.697]that work for us full-time, so, you know,
- [00:08:37.830]there's that aspect, you know,
- [00:08:38.913]we've created a few jobs.
- [00:08:42.090]You know, we buy, we buy a lot of supplies, you know,
- [00:08:44.970]obviously in the community as far as, you know,
- [00:08:47.370]feed and equipment, and parts, and all those kinds
- [00:08:51.716]of things so, I think those are a few ways
- [00:08:54.540]that we've kind of contributed to the community.
- [00:08:58.230]Okay, cool, and I guess my final question would be
- [00:09:02.670]what impact would you like to leave behind?
- [00:09:07.320]I think the impact I'd like to leave behind is, I mean,
- [00:09:10.740]if you're passionate about something, I mean, go for it.
- [00:09:12.900]Even if it doesn't seem possible or you can't do it,
- [00:09:15.750]I think it's, it's important to stretch every avenue
- [00:09:20.053]you can think of 'cause if you're determined
- [00:09:23.430]and I think if you keep going, one way or another,
- [00:09:26.432]you'll find a way that maybe nobody thought was a way
- [00:09:30.330]to do things that could end up, you know,
- [00:09:33.720]making your dreams or your passions come true.
- [00:09:36.900]And I think that's important for people to realize,
- [00:09:39.086]you know, to kind of stick to what you want to do
- [00:09:42.150]and don't let anybody tell you any different.
- [00:09:44.760]And I don't know, if I could impact, I guess,
- [00:09:47.730]at least one person I think that's
- [00:09:49.830]what I'd wanna leave behind is, you know,
- [00:09:51.750]kind of chase your dreams and go get it, so.
- [00:09:55.080]Not bad, all right, thank you so much for taking the time
- [00:09:58.050]to meet with me.
- [00:10:00.694]All right, have a good day.
All right, you too.
- [00:10:03.647]If you need anything else, you got my number, so.
- [00:10:05.970]Of course.
- [00:10:07.680]Sounds good, we'll see ya.
Log in to post comments