Sunday, May 23, 2010

Farming Still Important to Region

I know that some of you were hoping to read about camping spots and the best places to golf in the area this month, but we decided that agriculture is so important that it should have an issue all unto itself.
And that is what we did this month. In June, Rural Ventures will include articles and information on good camping sites and the best places to golf.
This whole issue revolves around telling stories about how farmers and producers are dealing with the challenges that are happening out in the rural areas where people make their living raising livestock or growing crops.
After doing interviews for the main story this month, I realized the difficulties producers had to go through in battling weather elements or fluctuating crop and livestock prices or even the evolution of technology. Technology almost drives the farm machinery while the farmer has a cup of coffee and makes sure that everything is going well.
That is a far cry from when many of us were growing up on the farm and had to sit on a tractor without a cab with the sun beating down on you or walk rows of soybeans to pull those crafty weeds. Now there are air conditioned cabs and types of weed control that makes it much easier.
And we actually have what I call technology farm gurus in the area. For instance, Tom Brace at Lake County International spends long days out in the country working with producers to help them develop their technological skills. It is not unusual for him during the farming season to be on the road from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
It was also kind of interesting to find that most people associated with agriculture are excited about what the future holds. Experts are finding that younger producers are interested in coming back onto the farm and are doing what they can to help make that dream possible.
In fact, some like the Callies family in Miner County have followed the footsteps of their father and grandfather, Eugene Callies, to become part of the farming atmosphere. His three sons and three grandchildren are all working on the land and learning from each other how to be successful.
Like any business farmers and producers have to deal with the challenges, as well as find ways to keep up with the changes in order to succeed. And my guess is that many of these people would not want it any other way. They love the land and what it has to offer.

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