Josh Lesher is only 17 years old reports, but he has already bought a combine and launched a business.

Taking out a loan on his own, Josh bought a used combine for $50,000 and now has started working on clearing fields.

“This is all in my name,” said Josh, an Upper Tulpehocken Township resident who will be a senior at Hamburg High School. “I got the loan, and I have to make the payments.”

Josh will use the combine to cut crops for farmers who don’t have equipment of their own. Charging about $25 an acre, Josh plans to harvest about 1,000 acres in northern Berks County.

“I did not expect to have a combine at this young of an age,” he said. “I’m worried I might not have enough customers to make my payments, but I’m excited, too.”

To obtain the financing, Josh had to put a budget together and contract with enough farmers to make the venture viable.

From now through November, Josh will be working the fields, hoping for the right combination of sun and rain to make the crops grow and for dry weather when it’s time to harvest the grains.

“I’ll be putting in 15-hour days if everything goes right,” he said of upcoming weeks.

Photo by Martin Pettitt