(NASHVILLE, TN)– Summertime usually brings many things like baseball, swimming pools, heat, humidity, crop tours and……farm show season.
I spent much of last week in Mitchell, SD at Dakotafest and I must say I was happy to see the great crowds (and two out of three days worth of beautiful temps). There was a lot of tire kicking on equipment, livestock demonstrations and good old fashioned Midwest conversations to be had about crop conditions, policy concerns and more.
One of the highlights of the show was the Farm Bill Roundtable with Senator John Thune (R-SD), Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD). As always, the education center was packed with attendees for the discussion. The main themes we’ve been hearing all year at other roundtables seemed to ring true…..protect crop insurance and the farm safety net and get something done before 2024.
As it stands right now, it sounds like the Farm Bill won’t make the September 30th, 2023 deadline to get done but rather it looks like something will be done by Christmas time. That’s the word I had echoed to me again by Thune, Rounds and Johnson when I spoke with each of them individually.
The Farm Bill is such an important piece of legislation for this country and I agree, it needs to get done sooner than later. More on that in a future column.
But back to the farm show, what I love about these events is getting to see so many people and hear so many stories. “Hey I heard you on the radio” or “yeah I listen to you every day” are common phrases I hear and it truthfully does land in a special place for me. I enjoy knowing that the work I put in to tell the story of agriculture gets heard and I’m not just talking nobody.
I also love getting to see people out and about and interacting with their neighbors and friends. Whether it be over a ribeye sandwich from the local or state cattlemen’s tent to a cup of coffee while riding around on a golf cart; farm shows are a unique fabric or Rural America in my opinion.
The next time there is one near you, I encourage you to go and check it out. Even if you don’t know anything about agriculture……go ask questions, be upfront about your lack of knowledge and learn about what our farmers and ranchers do.
Worst case…..you’ll get some fresh air out of attending.
We’ll see you at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL on August 29th, 30th and 31st. I’ll be broadcasting AOA LIVE from 9a-10a with our friends at Trelleborg (Booth 1062). Come sit in the audience and enjoy another great American farm show with us.