Posts Tagged With: modern farmer

Top 10 Useless College Degrees

Yahoo Education posted an article earlier this year listing the top 10 most useless college majors.  Number one was agriculture.

The article claimed that because farms are getting bigger, more efficient, and scarcer all the time there will be fewer farm management jobs available.  Therefore the whole degree is pretty much worthless.

You might be interested to know that the agriculture community responded with such force that an article posted on Yahoo Finance a few months later listing the top 10 worst college majors didn’t place ag anywhere on the list at all.  Turns out there was a lot more to agriculture education than Yahoo knew.

Sunday night at our Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting high school and college students (many majoring in agriculture fields) competed for a scholarship with speeches explaining to all why ag education is not only viable, it is growing!

True, there are fewer farms now than there have ever been.  But there is a lot more to ag than planting seeds and milking cows!  Someone sells fertilizer to farmers.  Someone develops the formula to create the very best fertilizer.  Someone ships the fertilizer, packages it, advertises it, etc.  And these fields are growing!

The world’s population is expected to double by 2050.  That means we’ll need to double the amount of food we grow.  With fewer farmers.  And less land.  So we’ll need scientists to help figure out how to do it, or we’ll all be hungry.  We’ll need people to do all kinds of problem-solving to feed the world.  And maybe we won’t need lots of people to actually grow the food, but the ones who do will need to be highly educated.

At least, we’ll need all this if you plan to keep eating 🙂

Categories: Technology | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Green Farming (with red!)

On our farm we drive red equipment, but on Wednesday of this week our family learned a bit more about going green.  Environmentally speaking :-).

Tractors, combines, sprayers, and other farm equipment are powered by diesel engines and engines create two things– basically dirt and gas.  Companies who build these tractors and such have been working hard to make engines much cleaner.  Check out the picture below.  The red box shows how much pollution was created by a tractor in 1996.  The blue box shows how much pollution is created by engines built in 2011.  The green represents the changes that will be in place just two years from now in 2014.

Green Farming (with red!)

You can see how much progress has been made!

Of course, not everyone solves problems in the same way.  Our red equipment is made by a company called Case IH, but I bet you’ve heard of another company called John Deere.  Deere and Case both have found ways to lower the amount of pollution, but the methods are very different!  If you’d like to learn more about these methods check out this Case website and watch their video.

Categories: Science, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Modern Farmer

a modern farmer

Is this what you think of when you picture a farmer?  Maybe a man wearing overalls and a baseball cap, mud boots and a trusty dog?  Does he have a straw hat and carry a pitch fork?  Is he riding a tractor or a horse?  Try drawing, painting, or sketching your own picture of what you see in your mind when you think of a “farmer.”

For many farmers mud boots will always be a fact of life, but the modern farmer might not be what you think.  This is a picture of Daddy in his tractor.

face of the modern farmer

Yes, he sometimes wears coveralls (mostly in the winter) but check out this tractor cab!  If the flashing screens and hands-free headset weren’t in your original drawing, you are not alone.  Most people don’t understand the technology involved in modern agriculture.

Did you know farmers use some of the most advanced technology on the planet?  In fact the level of research being done to help farmers feed the world is matched only by the military.  Have you ever seen a car driving without a person behind the wheel?  This technology is still a dream for the future, but today Daddy can sit in his tractor, watch his monitors, check the seed spacing, and control the planters functions and not even touch the steering wheel.

face of the modern farmer

In this picture you see the planter’s  Precision 20/20 monitor, which shows all kinds of information about how the seeds are going in the ground.  The GPS monitor shows a picture of the field, where he needs to plant, what has been planted, and how fast he is going.  You can also see the ipad, which records all of that information and allows Daddy to add in more data, like how much fertilizer was added to the field and what the yield turns out to be in the fall.  Using the apps on this ipad Daddy can see which kinds of seed did well, exactly where we need more fertilizer (preventing excess chemical use), what kind of fertilizer (making your food more nutritious), and lots more!  You can’t see it, but also in the cab is an ipod, where Daddy can listen to both music and pod casts of radio farm shows.  The smart phone hangs from the window, allowing Daddy to check the weather with a radar app or make a call to the person running the seed tender with his hands-free jaw bone.  And yes, he can also post to facebook if he wants!

So tell me– is this what you expected the modern farmer to look like?

*Painting from risingartist.com, Artshop 77

Categories: Technology | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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