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Farm shows offer ag education on grand scale

Curt Arens Husker Harvest Attendees look at bales of hay
UP CLOSE: Ever wish you could try out that new baler on your own farm just to see how tight it was wrapped? At Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb., farmers can see not only how these balers pick up, but also how they drop off the bale.
Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days bring innovative ag tech, market updates and product education to farmers.

Dripping with sweat, I swung the hoe over and over at the soil, beating on the roots of out-of-control lambsquarters. I’d been at it for about 30 minutes.

Leaning on the handle I told my husband, “I don’t know how my grandmother did this. She could out-hoe me, and she was 90 before she quit. What is wrong with me?” Then I flipped the handle over to reveal the hoe spade — a bull-nosed edge.

It was a brand-new hoe, straight from the store and into my garden. Not once did I stop to see if it was sharp. I remember my grandmother sitting on the back deck every morning, file in hand, scraping it against the edge of the hoe to sharpen it before heading to hand-weed her garden.

“I want this so sharp it will cut through to the bone if I miss,” I told my husband in frustration. And off I went.

I’m not sure how I missed such a critical step in the weed-control process. Perhaps it was the fact that when grandma handed me the tool, it was always ready to go. I never had to prepare it. Or I was in a hurry and just didn’t stop.

Whatever the reason, it reminded me that I do need to slow down in the summer, take time to remember lessons learned, and then develop my own skills for the future.

Need for learning

In the ever-changing world of agriculture, it seems there is a need for continuing education. There are many opportunities to learn during the summer. From in-person field days put on by companies and universities to online webinars, the options are now virtually endless.

Mindy Wardcow exiting cattle chute

IN ACTION: At Farm Progress shows, such as Husker Harvest Days, sales representatives explain how to work cattle in different chutes, outlining how to make processing cattle run smooth on the farm.

However, my ultimate favorite education option is attending one of my own company’s farm shows — Farm Progress Show or Husker Harvest Days. This year’s Farm Progress Show is from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 in Boone, Iowa. Husker Harvest Days will Sept. 13-15 in Grand Island, Neb.

Spend time at farm shows

OK, enough of the commercial plug. Seriously, the reason I like these two farm shows is I am able to run the gamut of crops, technology, livestock, irrigation and equipment all in one location.

Moving from booth to booth, I look at the latest innovation in the agriculture industry. I’m amazed at how the exhibitors take time to visit with me — whether I’m buying or not. Why? They are just as excited to share about their products as I am to learn. But it is so much more.

There are actual educational seminars going on at each site. And to top it off, I am able to see the equipment actually do the work in the field. And trust me, they’ve sharpened their tillage tools.

Willie Vogt0613F1-1820C

NEW PRODUCTS: The latest in ag tech is on display at both Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. Companies love being able to show product concepts, as well as new products, to farmers.

If you’ve never been to one of our Farm Progress shows, let this be a personal invitation. Take the time to invest in your own ag education this year. Better yet, load up the truck with a few employees and invest in their on-the-job learning. You won’t be disappointed.

Don’t be like me and use a dull tool to do the job. This summer, sharpen your skills at our farm shows. I know I’ll be there. Feel free to stop me and let me know what you learned to help advance the farm operation in 2023.

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