I stood on the overlook and surveyed the zoo below me. A buzz of uncounted foreign languages filled the air. People rushed from machine to machine exclaiming, discussing, learning. Their attire sported as much variety as the languages they spoke and the countries they represented- men in sports coats and ties, men in the traditional German dress- brown or sage green pants that came to the knees and wide suspenders, men whose colorful turbans spoke loudly of their culture.
For one brief moment, I felt like a genuine country bumpkin as I watched the crowd, but just as quickly, reason presented me with a fact: I was a country bumpkin in the middle of country bumpkins.
This past week, I was honored to be included in a group of farmers from the USA who flew to Germany with John Deere. We spent 2 days at the World’s largest week long Farm Show, Agritechnica, which boasts of approx 450,000 visitors from all over the world. I was totally blown away by the event- 26 exhibit halls with machinery from all over the world. I learned so much- What do you know about sugar beet harvest, and the machine that digs them out of the ground and the machine that carefully gathers up the piles of beets at the end of the field and transfers them onto trucks heading for the market?
Sugar beet equipment- life and toy size
Sugar Beets waiting to be gathered out of the field
How many varieties of seed potatoes are you familiar with?
And did you know that there are tractor companies all over the world? Mother mused “If our school children only knew, they sure could argue about more than John Deere vs Ford or Fendt.”
There was one thought that stood out to me at the farm show, and it was reiterated as the week went on: It’s easy to understand agriculture on our farm’s level. My dad spends countless hours imparting these truths ☺️ “This is what works for our operation. These are the seeds that we feel like will make the most yield, this market is the most profitable, these are the sprays that provide us with the highest quality product.”
But for one brief moment- I felt like my eyes were opened to ag progress on a worldwide scale. Here were people from all lands who-for generations- knew all about the challenges of our profession. Just like my family spending day after day, year after year embracing the task at hand- the unpredictable weather, the disappointments of unstable markets. They understand the commitments of the task- that sometimes long hours are required, and social gatherings skipped altogether. They understand that feeling of standing at the end of the field and watching a much need rain move in across the thirsty crop. There are so many variables in the agriculture community, but our differences pale in comparison to what we have in common.
As I watched the worldwide farming community coming together to learn and make decisions for next years crop, I couldn’t help but feel excited. We each play an important part. Together, as farmers around the globe cultivate their portion of this beautiful land- we will feed the world.
I am so thankful that God gives us the privilege of farming this beautiful land and watching the miracle of each new crop take place. And with each crop- comes the ingredients for countless meals for our neighbors around the world .
I hope I never take it for granted.
P.S Another thing to never take for granted: Fresh Nutella/Banana Crepes from the mini crepe truck. Oh My. 😍