• Frank Holdmeyer

    It's Master Farmer Season

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on March 11, 2014

    The Master Farmer Award was started by former Prairie Farmer editor Clifford Gregory in 1925 as a way to recognize the finest farmers in both Illinois and Indiana. Other states soon followed. Henry A. Wallace, editor of Wallaces Farmer, initiated the program in Iowa in 1926; Kansas Farmer brought it online in 1927 and so on. Farm Progress Publications currently sponsors Master Farmer awards programs in North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    On the Road Learning What's New

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on February 20, 2014

    Lots of miles and several hotel rooms, but it's been exciting with all the new technology I've had a chance to see and to talk with company representatives about their products. Here are some highlights from the National Farm Machinery Show: High-speed planting: John Deere unveiled their new ExactEmerge planter with claims of accurate planting at speeds up to 10 mph. That's possible due to the new row unit technology. The seed delivery system cradles the seed from the meter down…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Farm policy from the grassroots

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on January 28, 2014

      My colleague Holly Spangler has been blogging lately about her experiences at the recent American Farm Bureau annual convention in San Antonio. Since I helped her cover that meeting, I thought I'd touch on some of the highlights as well. First, it was the 95th annual convention for AFBF and about 7,000 members from across the country attended. That in itself is worth seeing if you are like me and wonder about the logistics of organizing and feeding a crowd that size. But, it always…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Thirty-Year-Old Predictions Come True

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on November 8, 2013

      Back in the late 1970s I was machinery editor for Farm Progress and I took the time to visit all the major machinery manufacturers at the time. One of my questions was "look into your crystal ball. What do you see twenty, thirty years down the road in terms of farm equipment?" One of the answers was "someday there will be only two or three farm equipment manufacturers as in the automotive industry." That has come to pass. Another was "in the future farmers…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Many Opportunities for Ag Students

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on October 17, 2013

      The opportunities in agriculture are unlimited, according to students and employers I spoke with during the recent Ag Career Day at Iowa State University in Ames. More than 225 companies and organizations set up booths and about 2,000 students took advantage of the opportunity to talk to the representatives. "We've seen a steady increase in the number of companies who participate," noted Mike Gaul, director of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services at…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Farm Progress Show is 60 this Year

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on August 20, 2013

      I'm headed off to Decatur, Illinois, next week for the 60th anniversary of the Farm Progress Show. I'll be covering media events, taking lots of photos and reminiscing with old friends. Some of them will be folks I met way back in 1974 and 1975 when I managed the Farm Progress Show. As the saying goes, 'some things stay the same, some things change.' In those days, the Farm Progress Show rotated between farms in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. The…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    What Innovation Is On Your Wish List?

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on July 29, 2013

      The Farm Progress Show is less than a month away. And I'll be in Decatur, Ill., with thousands of other folks checking out the latest technology and newest products. But I got to wondering the other day, what farmers might wish for that has not yet been invented or manufactured. So I emailed a random group of farmers and asked them what they day dream about in terms of equipment or technology to make running their operations easier or more efficient. Not knowing what to…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Farm Magazines and Agriculture Ninety Years Ago

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on July 10, 2013

      We recently received a letter in the Wallaces Farmer offices in Urbandale, Iowa, from 84-year-old Donald Brandt, of Pilot Mound, Iowa.  Mr. Brandt wrote in part, "I am enclosing several old checks written by my father before I was born and made out to Wallaces Farmer. Thought you might have an interest in them." You bet, Donald! As one who has been with Wallaces Farmer and Farm Progress Company for more than 40 years, I'm extremely interested in the history…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Planning Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Programs

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on May 16, 2013

    Every year about this time I get busy working with the Farm Progress National Events team and various editors in the Midwest. We get together in person or by webinar to plan the editorial content for the official programs for two major farm shows. You might think it wouldn't require much planning. After all, Husker Harvest Days  is in the same location each year and the Farm Progress Show only rotates between semi-permanent sites in Iowa and Illinois. Sure, we could just…

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