• Holly Spangler

    All the Weather, All the Time

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 19, 2013

    Among the folks I got to meet up with at the Farm Progress Show included a long-delayed meeting with Jeff Hamlin, of the Climate Corporation. I've known Jeff for some time, having covered Climate Corp's weather insurance for the past couple years, and Jeff and I had been trying to get together this summer so he could introduce me to their remote weather monitoring system. It was, in a word, cool. And worth the time and the wait. But that's eight words. Some history…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Flash Drives and Parts Runs

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 29, 2013

    Time was, when you had a breakdown in the field, somebody made a parts run. Like the time when I was a teenager and Dad sent me to town for a part, and I wound up back at McLean Implement three times because I came home with the wrong thing. But I learned the difference between male and female couplers. And that you really can't just guess. This morning, my husband went out to spray. First decent day back in the field in weeks. He ran in at lunch and chased me away from the computer…

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  • Holly Spangler

    30 Days on a Prairie Farm: Technology

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on November 12, 2012

    We spent time over the weekend with some of my husband's great college friends and their families. No surprise, many of them are farmers and there was much conversation about farming, equipment, land and such. I was talking with one of the guys at the football game (hey, it was Illini football after all) and he was telling about the trouble he had getting his yield data in and out of his computer system. "Yeah, I came home from school and he had FOUR laptops sitting on the counter…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Easy-as-Pie (And Safe!) Grain Drying

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 19, 2012

    I can hardly believe it's been three years since this night. It feels much more recent. Maybe it's because we are, yet again, in another crazy weather year on the farm. Or maybe because that night was scary enough to have engrained its traumatic self in my memory. Yikes. Either way, the good news is that monitoring the farm's grain dryer has gotten a lot easier. Somewhere after writing the post about my husband's grain monitoring incident, GSI contacted us about their WatchDog system. We…

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  • Holly Spangler

    How a Cow Can Change Everything

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 23, 2012

    A few facts on the folks on Earth and what they've been up to lately: * World population hit 7 billion people in 2012. * United Nations estimates we will reach 9.3 billion by 2050. * Growth will occur not in our traditional allies but in rapidly developing nations like Pakistan, Brazil, India and Bangladesh. * By 2050, 30% of the population will be rural and 70% will be urban – some 6.4 billion people, which is roughly equal to the entire world population today. * Today there are…

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  • Holly Spangler

    WatchDog: It's Like Magic

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 6, 2011

    Remember my husband's little brush with farm un-safety? Well, after I wrote about it last year, the good folks at GSI contacted us and said they occasionally like to have farmers try out their products. They thought we might be, ahem, good candidates for one of their WatchDog dryer monitoring units. Essentially, the WatchDog lets you remotely monitor your dryer, via internet access or direct connect – from the house, smartphone, farm, wherever. Or in other words, you don't have to get…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Cow Cam Meets Dryer Cam

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 27, 2010

    So last week, I wrote about my husband's fall from the dryer, which, incidentally, happened last fall (oops – a clarification). Almost immediately, we received the following email from our friend, Todd, who farms in the greater Effingham area.   John and Holly, I just read your blog about John's fall. Glad to hear you are ok. If you have a GSI dryer you should install the "WatchDog". It lets you monitor and adjust settings on the dryer from any computer connected to the internet…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Hundred Years

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 27, 2009

    I took a tour of the nearly-constructed rail shuttle being built by Western Grain Marketing near Macomb this week, and as I listened to Terry Rouse and Gordy Miller describe the feet of rail (7,760), yards of concrete (10,000 and counting) and bushels of storage (4.6 million), I had a flashback to an elevator tour from my early career.   Eleven years ago, I peered inside the historic J.H. Hawes grain elevator in Atlanta. Built in 1903, the wooden structure was the height of technology in its…

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