I travel to many farm shows and conferences across the Midwest with Vulcan Equipment and our Strip-Till equipment. I have countless conversations with farmers from across the country, From Southern Texas to Northern Minnesota, Southwest Kansas to New York State. I always like to say there are three types of farmers that come to farm shows.
The Learner – This guy is my favorite. Whether we agree or not, he is at the farm show to learn and to see what he can take away from the show or conference to improve his farming practices. He’s open to new ideas, and knows that nobody knows everything. He’s always open to a meaningful and never make blanket statements, because he knows that everyone’s soils and situations are different.
The Tourist – This guy is there to look at the big tractors and take the free pens. You’ve all seen him, he’s always toting a large bag filled with freebies, and may not even be a farmer. He’ll walk up to the booth, stare at the equipment like he’s really contemplating it, and then he’ll take a pen. He’ll look back at the equipment inquisitively, and then grab a pad, say thanks, and walk away. But hey, they’re free, nothing wrong with that!
The Know-It-All – Don’t be this guy. This guy is walking around with his wife or buddies, pointing at equipment that he has no experience with, and making judgements on it. He’ll walk by our unit and say things like “oh it’s just another vertical tillage unit” or “look, another company with planter attachments”. Neither of those statements are true, and the people saying them aren’t at the show to learn or improve. Just please. Do not be this guy. Farming is a business and you must constantly improve. With a closed mind, you’ll never improve.
Of the people I see at farm shows, The Tourist accounts for 50%, the Know-It-All’s are 40%, and the true Learners are only 10%. The great thing about conversations with the Learners are that I can learn something too, whether that be a method I’ve never heard of or about an interesting piece of Frankenstein equipment they constructed in their shed to fit a need that isn’t fulfilled by any implement currently on the market.
So, next time you go to a farm show, be a Learner, so that we can both learn something.