Spudman 7: Eric Jensen
Eric Jensen was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho and has lived here for all of his life. Jensen graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. He and his wife, Krista, have been married for just over 10 years and have four children. Jensen took over his family’s farming operation from his father when he was 26. He is currently farming 2,800 acres, which is divided among hay, wheat, barley, potatoes and corn.
What are the best words of advice you’ve received?
The best words of advice I have received is the old saying of, You never go broke taking a profit.” I had a landlord that always told me, “The bears will make money, the bulls with make money and the pigs will go broke.” As a young farmer, I do not have the luxury to gamble and hope that I can make a little more if I wait to sell my commodities. In these volatile markets it’s important to constantly revise and update and fine tune your budgets.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
My two biggest goals for the next 12 months involve, first, my family and, second, my farm. We are expecting a new baby boy in February so my main priority is making sure that that my family’s needs are met. And, as I want my farm to continue to be profitable as I enlarge my operation, it is very important to me to maintain a safe and happy environment for all of my employees.
What do you do to relax?
To relax I enjoy fishing – which usually does not mean catching. I also enjoy spending time with my family at sporting events, trips or just being at home whenever I can. I am the most relaxed when I am at my own house.
What would you like to be your lasting legacy?
My lasting legacy is definitely my kids. How I raise my kids reflects on me as a parent. It is important to teach them at a young age the value of getting an education, working hard and being honest in their interactions with others. Farms come and go after you die, but what you teach your kids will live on.
What job or work would you have pursued if you had not become involved in the potato industry?
A chef. I’m not sure if I enjoy the cooking or the eating more, but my wife will be the first to tell you that I can cook most people right out of the kitchen.
What are three things on your bucket list/must to do list?
1- Take my wife and tour around Europe. 2- Be a board member in the potato industry. 3- Have a successful farming career.
What is the one truth you have learned about the potato industry?
One truth about being a potato producer is that you have to love what you do and be good at it or you’ll never succeed. You have to adapt to the changing of the weather, the market, and the volatility of expenses. It’s like being on a roller coaster; there are so many ups and downs and highs and lows that sometimes you just have to hold on for the ride.