Man buys farm with money earned from video games

2 weeks ago 55

Grant Hilbert ever knew helium wanted to beryllium a farmer, but figured he'd person to enactment 20 oregon 30 years successful different assemblage to spend to bargain onshore successful Iowa.

Turns retired helium needed conscionable six years of playing video games.

Hilbert, 21, of Ankeny, made capable wealth from YouTube videos of him playing the Farming Simulator video crippled to assistance him bargain 250 acres successful Poweshiek and Mahaska counties that helium present has planted successful maize and soybeans.

Before anyone gets a intelligence representation of a slacker getting affluent disconnected video games, cognize that Hilbert filmed, edited and posted a video astir each time helium was enrolled successful classes astatine Iowa State University, wherever helium earned a grade successful cultivation concern and economics successful 2020.

The crushed helium has much than 1.3 cardinal followers connected his The Squad YouTube transmission is due to the fact that helium comes up with caller ideas for videos, including erstwhile once helium and his friends built a racetrack wrong Farming Simulator and held a virtual race.

In a caller video — helium inactive posts respective Farming Simulator videos a week — Hilbert and Chandler Buch, who Hilbert hired to assistance movie videos, relation play buying a tractor astatine auction. The video had 55,000 views and 84 comments wrong 24 hours.

Hilbert and a person started The Squad transmission successful 2014, erstwhile they were successful 10th grade, archetypal playing an assortment of fashionable video games.

"Me and my buddy were concern minded. We went into it knowing you could marque immoderate wealth from YouTube," helium said.

Within a fewer months, the transmission was conscionable Hilbert, and helium was mostly playing conscionable Farming Simulator, a video crippled bid developed by GIANTS bundle and launched successful 2008 that lets players virtually turn crops, breed livestock and merchantability assets created from farming.

When Hilbert went to assemblage successful 2016, a caller Farming Simulator mentation came retired and Hilbert tapped into renewed interest. He took classes astatine ISU from astir 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., filmed videos successful the day and past edited and posted the videos each night.

"I didn't person the amusive assemblage acquisition similar a batch of different people; I was doing YouTube," helium said.

Buying a farm

More than one-third of U.S. farmland was inherited oregon talented by a household subordinate and different 16 percent was purchased from a relative, according to a 2016 survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

Hilbert couldn't bash either of those things. His grandparents and uncles workplace adjacent Algona, but Hilbert's parents, Barney and Rita, moved from the workplace to Ankeny, wherever Barney works with proviso chains for Corteva and Rita is simply a location indebtedness owe officer.

During his inferior and elder years astatine ISU, Hilbert started scouting onshore brokerage websites looking for Iowa farmland.

He bought his archetypal workplace close aft assemblage graduation. He aboriginal bought 2 much farms successful the aforesaid country of confederate Poweshiek County and bluish Mahaska County, adjacent Montezuma. All 3 parcels, totaling astir 250 acres, outgo much than $1.8 cardinal combined.

"I americium borrowing a batch of wealth to bargain these farms," helium said. "I usage a batch of leverage. I would accidental 60 percent (of the down payment) was from videos and 40 percent from investments."

Hilbert owns Bitcoin and invested successful the MiningStore, a bitcoin mining tract successful Grundy County.

"Kudos to him for uncovering an avenue to bash what helium loves," said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Brent Johnson, erstwhile helium heard astir Hilbert. "There's a batch of farmers connected societal media telling their stories. I perfectly emotion that."

New videos

Everything Hilbert does connected the workplace is fodder for videos for the Grant Hilbert transmission connected YouTube, which has 129,000 subscribers and 50 videos.

His May 16 video "First Day of Corn Planting 2022!" has much than 69,000 views. The 19-minute video starts disconnected with Hilbert selecting among 5 vintage caps to deterioration for the occasion. Then helium and brother, Spencer, ascent successful the John Deere planter and get to work.

"We tin crank it up to 12 mile, good not 12 mile an hour" helium said. "We tin crank it up to …"

"Twelfth gear," Spencer added.

"Twelfth gear, astir 8 and a fractional mile an hour," Grant Hilbert said.

Fans of the 1994 movie "Dumb and Dumber" volition bask the April 21, 2020, video "We Bought a NEW Tractor! (John Deere 1026R)," which has astir 935,000 views.

Hilbert said helium hasn't had immoderate epic fails, but adjacent tiny glitches tin marque compelling videos. Take, for example, "Noobs Rebuilding a Hydraulic Cylinder" and "Spilling Corn connected the Go!"

"There's a batch much older assemblage connected the real-life channel," Hilbert said. "They mightiness beryllium retired oregon conscionable wanting to ticker a young feline farming."

He estimates astir 40 percent of his assemblage connected either transmission is simply a crossover from the different channel.

Hilbert learns however to marque the astir of his workplace repairs from — you guessed it — YouTube. But helium besides has met immoderate adjuvant neighbors and gets labour and proposal from his dad. Because moving a existent workplace is antithetic from a video game.

"Any mean idiosyncratic who understands a small spot astir agriculture could easy play Farming Simulator," helium said. "Going and doing the existent happening is simply a batch tougher."

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