Saturday, September 3, 2011

Farm Progress Show

One of the great things about my job is what I do for work is also what I love to do for fun. So this week I got to run down to Decatur, Illinois for the Farm Progress Show. There were a couple of vendors that I needed to check in with about some Wagner Farm things, but while I was there I took in the whole show. The best way I can describe the FPS is to say it is a little bit like a state fair crossed with a farm carnival. Almost every manufacturer of agricultural goods sets up shop and is trying to get you to come visit them. Some displays like the Dekalb seed corn tent were amazing. They pulled out all the stops with an air conditioned tent to a new motorcycle made by the OCC. The Case/IH display started with a demonstration by the world record crossbow champion and ended with a GPS tractor precision driving show. Everything was brand new and for sale. Outside of the tents and displays they have massive field trials set up so farmers can see the different equipment in use. Combines harvest in the morning and tilage equipment in the afternoon. The shear size of the ag equipment is mind blowing. I think back to how much change my Dad saw in the 70 years he farmed. When he was born, our farm had one F-20 tractor and a couple teams of horses. The corn was picked by hand and the fields were plowed every year. By the time he was done farming the tractors were 10 times more powerful, driven by satellite GPS and reduce tilage farming has made the once symbol of farming, the plow, obsolete.