With a few days remaining in his semester break from college, Field Man Joe decided to get off the couch and learn something new about farming.
The Lake Region RoundUp is the first informational session of the year in our area. The event is a "must attend" for Farmer Fred and whomever he can gather to bring along.
On November 13, 2009, GriggsDakota published the following:
Is agriculture an art or a science? My answer to that question is "it must be both or it will be neither." Art is the human effort to imitate, alter, supplement or counteract the work of nature. Science is knowledge of nature attained through study or practice. Historically farming has been treated as an art with most emphasis placed on effort. There were good farmers and bad farmers. What separated them was thought to be more related to passion and motivation than soil content and variety selection.
In modern agriculture there is still a need for art. We are, after all in the business of altering the works of nature on today's farms. But more and more, farmers have access to scientific data. We need the knowledge gained through study. Farmers have the opportunity to participate in experiments that impact the modern development of this knowledge in the industry. Agriculture needs farmer's participation in order to find a way to feed this hungry world in a sustainable way. So it seems to me that "the effort of our art is always complemented by further knowledge of our science."
We'll name that the
"Theory of GriggsDakota."
Farmer Fred enjoys learning from experts about farming and finds the Lake Region RoundUp to perennially be among the best opportunities available to farmers. There are scientists from regional universities who are happy to share their research and answer questions. Plus, it is free and no one enjoys that value more than a farmer.
Field Hand Joe has never attended the Lake Region RoundUp and has declared himself not to be seriously interested in farming. But, as a college student, he is interested in learning. So he tagged along this time.
He learned from experts
About topics he chose to expand his knowledge
And sessions he sat down in because there was an available chair.
He walked around and checked out the booths
That presented products that did indeed capture his interest.
The booths were staffed by knowledgeable professionals who could answer his questions.
Some of the booths gave something away. He found the candy bowl here.
And gathered a supply of calendars, snacks, and enough pens and highlighters to last the semester. He is enough of a farmer to appreciate the value of that.
The two day event featured free breakfast and lunch. Above is his favorite meal. The drink is juice, not soda. The sandwich is pulled beef and there is a cup of ice cream under the cookie. Planned by the Extension Home Economist, it is balanced, nutritious, and tasty.
Farm Hand Joe was very impressed with the meals.
He brought home handouts to study through the winter and plan improvements for our yard and farm.
He found an area of farming that he had not considered before. Marketing grain. It is complicated, continually changing, and challenging, even for experts.
It caused him to pull out a notebook and write in it. This is not something a college boy does very often anymore. Notes are taken on his laptop computer. "Look Mom, I took real notes during the session!" The process was so novel that he documented it with a photo.
Field Man Joe is full of surprises.
In a few days he will return to the University and friends. He will continue to pursue his nonagricultural goals. He will go with the knowledge that farming is bigger than he realized. There are things about it that he likes. The Lake Region RoundUp inspired that growth.
Time will tell what that will mean for his future and the future of GriggsDakota.