In August, one of our Agribusiness Field Managers attended The Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. This is the nations largest outdoor farm show. It is an annual opportunity to showcase the latest and greatest grain and livestock handling equipment, farm machinery, seed technology, ag safety, ag chemicals and much more. Another unique part of attending these shows was all the field demonstrations with current equipment or planting, cultivating and harvesting.
This year the show featured several "hot topics" including weather trends, climate implications and growth in population. The Farm Bill was another topic that received a lot of attention and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed a large crowd on the last day of the show. Some of his comments included:
"The United States Department of Agriculture is "doing everything we can within the powers that we have" to provide relief for those affected by the drought."
Vilsack also said…"We're doing as much as we possibly can, but the reality is the most specific and direct help for producers will come when we have a food, farm and jobs bill because that will contain the capacity to go back and resurrect, revive and retroactively put in force disaster programs that have expired."
But the effect of the drought goes beyond just the farm, Vilsack said.
"We need to be thinking further down the road than just today," he said. "We need to be thinking what does this do next year, how does it impact, what is the rippling effect?"
Despite hardships created by the drought, Vilsack said he's hopeful about the future of U.S. agriculture.
"They say, It's tough, but we're tough,' so I'm optimistic about the future," Vilsack said.
Another interesting part of the show involved a survey of growers. The question was what they wished you people or non-farm and ag people knew about the business of farming. Here were some of the findings:
- 36% said, "Farming isn't easy or lucrative; it's about love for the land, animals and family legacy."
- 28% said, "A lot goes into maintaining a successful farm—management, distribution, processing, accounting, construction, marketing and hard work."
- 16% said, "Modern agriculture has changed considerably in the past 50 years due to technology and population growth."
- 11% said, "Just because produce isn't at a farmers market doesn't mean it didn't come from a family farm (98% of all farms are family owned)."
- 9% said, "Farmers receive training to use chemicals safely and responsibly to grow food safely."
More information and details about the show can be found at:
We are looking forward to attending this show again next year.
We would love to hear from you! What shows or events have you attended? Please share your comments.