Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Ag Community
The agricultural community has gotten smaller and stronger. The Internet has greatly enhanced this fact as we have friends all over the country and even the world today. I was an early adapter of technology and experienced via amateur radio on the farm in Sardinia as a young man.
Farm size has continued to increase over the decades and now one farmer feeds 150-60 people, even if he only raises corn and soybeans. We lost half our farmers in the financial crunch of the 80's so that left less farmers farming more acres and the ag community got smaller over a longer distance.
One farmer asked on Crop Talk how far you would travel to farm? The consensus was 30 miles so that runs right with what we do here in Martinsville. Two long time farming neighbors farm within a few miles of their house and I must admit I am jealous of them.
Ag Talk has become the international coffee shop for farmers. I never did like local coffee shops to talk with other farmers. There was too much BS in there for me because I wanted to learn what to do and what not to do. It just doesn't fit my schedule or personality.
Most of the farmers at the Martinsville Mall don't even farm anymore so it is a meeting of the good ole days. Or, somedays the country is going to hell and here is why with no good way to fix it. That doesn't make me any money either and my pictures and memory serve me well of my good ole days.
I treasure my contacts with farmers I don't see on a day to day basis. They are just far enough removed physically to get down to brass tacks and really help each other. That is what I like about the Internet.
Oh, there is a lot of BS on there too and you have to be smart enough to figure out the good, the bad and the ugly. That is a prhase many will post in a question about a product or a practice. Tell me the good, the bad and the ugly on this or that.
National FFA Week has rolled around again and National Agriculture Week is right behind. These are two good activities to keep our city cousins abreast with what is going on, down on the farm.
The ag community is much smaller than it used to be but it is very strong.
I am proud to be a very small part of it.