Farm shows are still important

Farm shows bring out the farm kid in me. OK, the middle-aged farmer too.

Let’s deal with kid stuff first.

Lines of brightly painted, giant machinery, with labour saving options and in sizes that I am not sure my tractor could even transport up a hill, let alone pull through the field, make me kind of giddy.

I can see the efficiencies and imagine myself quadrupling my acres per hour, all while enjoying that new tractor smell in a cab so quiet I could hear myself mumbling about the interest payments and where I could rent more land.

There is nothing better than nearly two million sq. feet of good ideas to make someone attending a farm show a better farmer. That even applies to folks like me, who have a day job and dabble in a century-old family farm addiction … I mean business.

While I do find things at the farm shows to buy that fit my modest needs, I also find ideas that fit most farmers’ requirements, no matter what the size of their operations.

I have long believed that tender carts for reloading air seeders are a good idea. With their big tires for less compaction and fast loading times, these units could also play double duty with handling odds and ends of seed, feed and fertilizer around the yard. It would be especially handy for those of us who clean their own grain, and maybe provide surge capacity at harvest to boot.

With built-in augers, they are a Swiss Army knife on the farm. We used these types of tools, set into our truck boxes, in the days of the old drills and discers. They were smaller and slower, but the concept was there.

When we jumped to air seeders, they were left behind.

We have all the parts and the carts on our farm to build a commodity tender; we just haven’t got around to it yet.

At Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina last week, there were two, larger versions of my dream machine, and it inspired me to get to building. Maybe after harvest.

Machinery isn’t the only area one gets ideas from at these events.

I spoke to several grain marketers with different approaches to selling producers’ crops. Bringing buyers and sellers together causes me to think of our own classified section in The Western Producer and producer.com. Those conversations gave me ideas on how I might sell my grain and maybe how we might approach our classified business as well.

Farm shows are full of great ideas. Some you might buy and others you might build on, but the shows are always worth attending.

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