Future of Agriculture – Getting Started in Farming with Tom Bottoms

Future of Agriculture – Getting Started in Farming with Tom Bottoms

Tom Bottoms earned his bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and in 2013, he received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California. He currently works as an employee of a large farming operation based in Northern California with the intention of eventually accumulating his own farm land and building his own operation.

Tom joins me today to share what inspired him to work in the agriculture industry and what motivated him to continue his education in agriculture. He shares why he decided to pivot his career from agriculture academia to work in the private sector, his experience while working with the African Leadership Partners in Swaziland, Africa and the challenges he has faced and overcome while helping a small farm operation significantly grow during his missionary operation in Africa. He also explains the importance of networking and building relationships within the farming industry to help you achieve your goals as a professional, the importance of self-awareness and professional development, and tips on how to get started in farming.


“You’ve got to continue to develop yourself – to put yourself in a situation where you’re learning about the industry.” – Tom Bottoms


This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Tom’s experience as a missionary in Africa.
  • How he helped the African farm operation become successful.
  • How he balances his personal life while advancing his career.
  • The importance of networking with others in the industry and how it has impacted his career.
  • The farming operation he is currently working with.
  • Why he believes setting firm, inflexible deadlines on certain goals is dangerous.
  • The importance of focusing on improving processes more than the financial opportunities available when you are just starting out in farming.
  • The importance of building trust within your farm operation.
  • How to get started in farming.
  • Assets that young professionals can offer to established farming operations.


Resources Mentioned:


Tom Bottom’s Tips for Getting Started in Farming:

  1. Try to keep your day job as long as you can while you are trying to get started.
  2. Ask yourself what you are doing now to make it possible.
  3. Read and understand how basic farming operations work.
  4. Question everything.


Connect with Tom Bottoms:



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