I've heard it a lot over the years - "How do you keep up?" Truth is it is difficult even when you focus on farm technology as I do to keep up on all that is going on. Add in your real day job and I know the challenge you face. So consider a sabbatical.
You read that right - I'm suggesting you take a little time away from the farm to recharge your brain with new information and help you keep up on new technology. Of course, that recommendation comes with this added piece of information: Use that time at a farm show.
Of course here at Farm Progress we're advocates of farm shows - we've been doing them for 57 years and we know the value of bringing a lot of technology and equipment to one place. And our colleagues in the show business know that value too. The key is for you to clear your schedule for a day or two and leave the farm to catch up on all that's new.
Whether you're a fan of bit Tent Cities or you like to see equipment in action, you'll find that these days. At the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days you'll get more of both than anywhere else.
And while a day at a show is information-packed, you can maximize your time on the show grounds by planning ahead. For example, for 2010 both the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days websites have fired up Interactive Show Maps that allow you to actually map your way around the show. If you're looking for specific product categories, you can build that map ahead of time to make your time on the show grounds the most productive. Just visit the site and click on "Interactive Show Map & List" near the top of the screen.
While this is a bit of an advertisement for our own shows, consider planning ahead before you go to any farm show. There's plenty to see whether you're looking for hardware (think iron) or software (think seed traits and crop protection). A little advance planning will maximize the visit.
I get the luxury of having three full days at our two shows, but when I covered them working at other magazines I know you can see plenty in a single day with a little advance work. So mark your calendar, pick the show you want to visit and make plans now. There are only a few weeks before the gates open at the Farm Progress Show, and just two weeks later for Husker Harvest Days. Hope to see you there.
Heard at a show. I was at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days this week, and like most shows you get a few folks to the event that don't get to that kind of equipment often. As I was walking by a soil finishing tool - with a gang of reel type crumblers off the back I heard a man turn to his wife and say "That's one big mower."
We apparently take familiar shapes - those reels - and interpret them as we see 'em.