Sunday, June 26, 2016


It was GAI AgTech week in San Francisco! I had the pleasure of being on a panel 'The Farmers' Perspective' with fellow farmers - pictured here are Brad Greenway and Jay Hill.

The moderator - Paul Pittman and farmer Kip Tom also joined us the for the discussion.  This event is for ag investors and ag companies to find out more about the current industry.  They asked us questions like: What do you want to exist? Do you spend money on it? Who makes the purchasing decisions on your farm?  What is most important?

Brad answered for all of us - sustainability.  We all want to improve the way we farm, do more with less, and continue doing what we're doing.  (With the prices right now, this is particularly hitting home.)  

It was a quick trip - only 11 hours on the ground! - but I like traveling.  One of the parts I like about it is talking with different people, and learning about all the interesting things that go on. For instance, there's an entire conference about ag technology...

Some funny things - on a plane I sat by a group of soldiers. One was very tall and he was joking why he had to sit in the middle.  

"Aw, why does the 6'6" guy have to sit in the middle?" he said. 

"I can't make myself taller," another guy said. 

"You could. I've been drinking my milk," the tall guy said.

"Aw, I'm a dairy farmer and that's music to my ears," I said.  

"And how tall are you?" he asked.

"5'7"," I said, and they all laughed because ... apparently not tall enough. 

Later, I talked with a nurse going to training on a surgical instrument.  I asked her some questions and she said, "Are you in the medical field?"  I told her no, I was a dairy farmer.  She immediately asked me the most common milk questions I get:

- Is there any difference between organic and regular milk? (Just in process, not product.)

- Why does organic have a longer expiration date? (It's heated up hotter for longer.)

So whether it's talking to a group of people or individuals, it's great being able to connect with people and answer questions.  We love what we do and we'd love to be able to continue doing it.  

It's all the larger picture, but when you're involved in the details of it, you sometimes lose sight of that.

Like back on the farm ... we have calves everywhere! Over 100 heifers now.  We harvested the pasture grass and covered it. Some cows got out and we put them back in.  We feed them, care for them, milk them, care for them some more, and Kris and the team work from before dawn until after dusk. Technology is wonderful and assists us in a million ways in being better farmers.  However, all the technology in the world isn't changing prices right now.

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