Interview with a 2022 Tractor Donation Program recipient
#1. Transforming onion bulbs into plump organic onions! – Eunjoo Kim
TYM has been donating tractors to young farmers since 2020 to help them stabilize their agricultural operations and prosper in rural areas. In 2023, sixteen young farmers across eight regions received tractors, and we had the opportunity to meet and speak with the next-generation of agricultural leaders empowered by TYM's tractor donations.
Four years ago, Eunjoo Kim began longing for the colorful scenery of her hometown of Goseong, South Gyeongsang Province, and moved back to her family farm. She has been living off the land for four years, and despite her lack of experience, she is dedicated to her environmentally friendly onion farm. We visited her recently for a short interview.
“My name is Eunjoo Kim, a young farmer with four years of experience. I want to use organic farming methods for sustainable rural development.”
Q. Congratulations on being selected for the 2022 TYM Young Farmers Tractor Donation Program! Please introduce yourself.
Hello! I am Eunjoo Kim, a young farmer living in my hometown of Goseong, South Gyeongsang Province. Since I moved back four years ago, 2022 has been my most challenging year. Rural life can be laborious, and I have a long ways to go.
However, when I heard that I was selected for the TYM Tractor Donation Program, my weariness melted away like spring snow. It was a wonderful gift just in time for the New Year!
Eunjoo Kim receiving her tractor at TYM's South Gyeongsang regional office
Q. What was your motivation for returning to your hometown and becoming a farmer?
For me, life in the countryside represents my parents’ dedication and labor on their own farm. While I was living in the city, I missed being surrounded by nature, as I had been in my childhood in Goseong. And little by little, I began thinking about selling healthy organic produce that I grew with my own hands.
I eventually leased a small plot to organically cultivate onions. I’m determined to live and farm in a way that embodies and coexists with nature, in stark contrast to my life in the city.
Eunjoo Kim taking delivery of her new TYM TE48 tractor
“The TYM tractor can perform a variety of operations depending on the attachment. It’s a reliable partner for onion farming”
Q. Did you face any difficulties in the early stages of your farming career?
Up until now, whenever I needed to use a tractor, I would have to borrow a large tractor from my village elders. However, due to its size, it was difficult to drive through the narrow entrance of the onion field. Also, the tractor's turning radius was too large, so I could not work the corners of the field.
If I wanted to rent a tractor, I had to go to a rental shop an hour away. Renting equipment took more time than actual farm work, and it was difficult to rent equipment during busy seasons.
Q. How will you use the tractor on your farm?
It should help me a lot on the farm! Organic agriculture must rely entirely on the soil to grow crops, without fertilizers. Many essential farming operations like spreading organic compost and tilling require a tractor.
The TYM TE48 tractor will be a great companion for organic farming which can be very labor intensive. With a compact tractor, it is easy to work in narrow spaces, and I can use a wide variety of attachments for different tasks. Above all, there will be no need to go through the hassle of renting or borrowing tractors, so I will be able to concentrate on actual farming. I also plan to use the tractor to start an organic greenhouse.
Q. Your commitment and enthusiasm towards sustainable agriculture is impressive!
Thank you! Although I still consider my skills to be quite amateur, I’m always learning and improving! I love watching the tiny onion bulbs grow into plump onions.
Q. What are your future aspirations?
I would like to pay forward the positive impact of the TYM donation program and continue to produce healthy and safe agricultural products. Ultimately, I want to revitalize the countryside through sustainable farming methods. I will establish a nature-positive infrastructure in the countryside where young people can live and work together!
My goal is to pay it forward and amplify the positive impact of the TYM donation program by producing healthy and safe agricultural products. Ultimately, I want to rejuvenate rural areas by promoting sustainable farming practices. I would also like to create a community in the countryside where young people can live and work together towards a common goal.
TYM continues to support the growth of the agricultural industry for younger generations, and the revitalization of rural areas. Further, TYM pledges its efforts to contribute to the development of local communities through its support programs, creating a virtuous cycle of socially positive contributions.