Archive | January 2011

Of Protests and Farming

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several weeks (and if so, congratulations, you’re the first to figure out how to sustain human life under rocks), you’re aware that there’s been a bit of an… upheaval shall we say, in Egypt.

Something interesting has begun to take place. As the government has increasingly shut down communications in and out of the country, thousands have found ways to circumvent the curfews and blockades, bringing the message through pictures, videos and more via places like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there’s even a list that’s been put together — 20 Ways to Circumvent the Egyptian Government’s Interner Block. No, suddenly, when the goings on in a riotous country would be quelled and hidden from international eyes, those who are experiencing it first hand can now tell their story.

So, what in the world does this have to do with greater yields and the story of agriculture as a whole? You may think it a tenuous grip, but hear me out: this more than anything else underlines how social media has changed the world around us. It highlights the need for people to become more connected, and to take their education into their own hands. With this power also comes the responsibility to look at everything with a skeptics eye, and realize that everyone has angle. But, it’s here, it’s arrived and it’s best to embrace the changing technology.

This nerve-wracking situation in Egypt also proves another point that many, especially those among the AgChat community, have made for a long time — ANYONE can use this technology to tell their story.

Anyone. That includes you.

All the best,

Mark V.

Dennis Avery: Why No-Till is Important

The Hudson Institute’s Dennis Avery, who from 1980-1988 served as agricultural analyst for the U.S. Department of State, where he was responsible for assessing the foreign-policy implications of food and farming developments worldwide, spoke to Servi-Tech agronomists at PDC this past month. Here’s a snippet from the keynote presentation he gave on how no-till has benefited the entire world.

Better Late Than Never: Professional Development Conference

Here are some photos from Servi-Tech’s annual Professional Development Conference earlier this month. This year it was held in Kearney, NE on January 5, 6, and 7.

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Ain’t Technology Cool?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but I just had to share this about how technology benefits everyone, including those of us in agriculture.

I’m about five minutes away from my house and realize that a document that I need in the office today is still on my home-office computer desktop. Rather than turn around and go back, while sitting at a stop sign, I was able to whip out my iPad with 3G coverage, remotely access my computer and e-mail the file to my computer at work. When I walked in the door at 6:30 a.m. , there it was sitting and ready for me.

I recently discovered that one of our growers has done something similar, set up his iPad in his truck so that as he’s out checking fields, even if he’s away from a WiFi hotspot, he can hop on to his desktop at home and pull up anything he wants. In town, in the city and in the field, technology continues to change the way we do business in agriculture. If we want to stay on the cutting edge, it’s important now more than ever to embrace new technology.

Do you have a technology success story that you’d like to share? Post them in the comments section below!