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Farm Progress Show: My Favorite Things

Farm Progress Show: My Favorite Things

This is the third in a 3-part series on the Farm Progress Show written by Hilary Shaw of Moore & Warner, the firm’s office manager and a first-time attendee of the Show.

There were several things I enjoyed at the Farm Progress Show.  Here are a few of my favorite things:

Favorite non-profit:  GoServ Global.  This is an organization that builds homes and storm shelters out of grain bins.  They had one built at the show, so we could see what it actually looked like and how it was built to be comfortable and safe.  They also build them for orphanages in other

Favorite test drive:  This tractor and sprayer.  I actually got to drive the tractor with implements.  You could ride in or drive both of these.  The person who rode with me explained everything and answered all my questions.  This tractor was a smoother ride than my car.  It was scary because it was huge, but driving it was

Favorite decoration:  I thought it was creative that many vendors used mulch to

Favorite demonstration:  I love horses, so this was my favorite demonstration.  Ray Ainsworth knew what he was doing, taught it well, and was entertaining too.  He showed everyone how smart horses

Favorite Varied Industries Tent table:  Midwest Technical Institute.  This lady with MTI had few things on her table, but was a wealth of knowledge when I inquired about MTI.  I have two teenagers who will want to explore this option for furthering their education.  She answered several questions….and then gave me a handy little screwdriver and her business card.

Favorite tent:  The conservation tent.  This made me feel like I was at the State Fair.  I picked up some wildflower seeds and an old-fashioned cardboard fan on a stick.  And who doesn’t like a big dirt hole?blog-3-dirt-hole

Finally, Favorite thing I overheard:  Sitting at the horse training demo waiting for it to start, a young lady sat down by an older gentleman.  He asked her what the little fold-up shovel was for that she had.  She showed it to him, and he saw it was for checking corn depth.  He commented that it was neat, then said (very matter-of-factly), “Hmm, I always used a putty knife.”  All the new technology is great, but I like it when the simple things stay simple.


Farm Progress Show: My Quest for a 5-Gallon Bucket

Farm Progress Show: My Quest for a 5-Gallon Bucket

This is the second in a 3-part series on the Farm Progress Show written by Hilary Shaw of Moore & Warner, the firm’s office manager and a first-time attendee of the Show.

My husband and I started out at the Farm Progress Show carrying nothing.  I have a tiny purse, and we like to travel light.  Immediately we saw everyone with some sort of reusable bag, each one obviously carrying something.  I’d been told about all the free hats, but I never imagined I’d see so many free things in one place.  I was one of those kids who liked to go to the State Fair with my parents, get a free plastic bag and fill it with every free thing I could find….mostly stickers and brochures back then.  This day was going to take all of my will power to stay with my new minimalist (sorta) ways.

It wasn’t until we decided to head out to the field demonstrations that I started to weaken.  We headed out to the far north end to see what the field demonstrations were all about.  The 1st things we saw were a field sprayer and a tractor that we could actually ride in or drive.  After that they gave you a free 3-gallon bucket.  I felt like we’d won a prize and needed those buckets to remember this momentous occasion, so we thanked the guy and headed on to the next thing carrying our buckets.  Well, when you’re carrying buckets, you might as well put stuff in them, right?

We still only collected a few free things compared to everyone else.  There were the usual pens, pencils, paper.  There were some refreshments, such as ice cream, lemonade, and popcorn (of course!).  We managed to get a few cool hats that we’ll actually wear.  There were some only popular with the students:

Ridiculous corn hats
Ridiculous corn hats

Suddenly I saw almost everyone carrying 5 gallon buckets from Morton Buildings, then from Stone Seed.  I had to have one.  I could use a 5 gallon bucket more than a 3 gallon.  We went to the big Morton Building and couldn’t find buckets, but we did sign up to win a free Morton building:  (make mine Equestrian please!)blog-2-morton

Everywhere we went people were carrying multiple 5 gallon buckets.  One person had a stack of buckets so high, it was taller than he was.  My husband finally said he was tired of hearing about the 5 gallon buckets, so I had to cheer him up:

(works on kids of every age)
(works on kids of every age)

Finally, we found the Stone Seed tent and got a free 5 gallon bucket!  The person handing them out said they had handed out over 3,000 buckets so far.  My husband was relieved!  My day was complete!….until I saw a cool Pioneer hat on someone.  So what did we do?  Headed over to Pioneer….and BOUGHT it.

But see how happy I am?
But see how happy I am?


Items we brought home for free:  3 buckets, 2 t-shirts, 3 hats, bags, pens, magnets, neck cooler, fan, screwdriver, yard stick, walking stick, lunch box, sunglasses, toothpicks with holder, bracelet, ruler.

Farm Progress Show: First Impressions from a First-Timer

Farm Progress Show: First Impressions from a First-Timer

This is the first in a 3-part series on the Farm Progress Show written by Hilary Shaw of Moore & Warner, the firm’s office manager and a first-time attendee of the Show.

August arrived, and we received the first mailing about the Farm Progress Show 2017.  I had never been to a Farm Progress Show despite growing up in rural Central Illinois and hearing about it for years.  However, I now work for the best professional farm management company in the agricultural industry and was informed that I would get to take a day and go experience the “The Nation’s Largest Outdoor Farm Show” to learn what I can about farming.

I went through the Prairie Farmer magazine’s feature and show map, downloaded the app onto my phone, and followed it on Twitter and Facebook.  There were a few things I wanted to be sure to see, but I wanted to wing it the rest of the day.  I was warned about using a golf cart and, at the same time, warned about the golf cart drivers.  I wanted to walk it, however, and the last week of August brought great weather.

1st impressions:

  • Traffic directing, flow and parking was well-organized and well-staffed.
  • There was a field full of school buses.
  • There were license plates from all over the United States.
  • There were indeed many, many golf carts.
The most tricked-out golf cart we saw. I love it when horses are used for parking.
The most tricked-out golf cart we saw.
I love it when horses are used for parking.
  • I didn’t see one person I knew.
  • You can cover it all in one day, but you can’t see everything in one day.
  • I’ve never seen so many advertisements and free marketing items given away in my life:blog-1-soybean-ad-pic
  • Everyone loves a good demo, and it’s even more mesmerizing if there’s water
  • People go crazy over buckets (see future blog “My Quest for a 5-gallon Bucket”).blog-1-bucket-pic
  • You can go and never have to buy water. There was plenty for free.
  • The main walkways were paved.
  • Wives love to snuggle in front of a green screen….and their husbands don’t really mind either. This was a very popular station:
  • You will definitely get your steps in for the day:blog-1-steps-pic
  • They had live music playing most of the day.
  • You don’t have to be a farmer to enjoy the show.
  • I signed up to win more things in one day than I have in my life:
    A drone was just one of the many things to possibly win.
    A drone was just one of the many things to possibly win.

    All in all it was a great day.  I did learn a few things about farming, but I actually came away with more questions for our farm managers.  There were booths there that aren’t directly related to farming that I learned a lot from (stay tuned for future blog on my favorite things).  I will definitely be going back when it comes to town again in 2 years!


Kansas Farm Visit – Early Spring 2017

Kansas Farm Visit – Early Spring 2017

Wheat in Gray County, KS
Wheat in Gray County, KS

Gray County in Southwest Kansas,  the wheat crop had poor emergence due to dry fields during the fall planting.  The bare areas in the picture have emerged from a 2/10 inch rain in February.  The farmers we work with expect a 15 to 20 bushel per acre yield at best.  They are considering destroying the wheat crop and planting dryland corn or milo since they have good subsoil moisture.

UPDATE:  During the week following this visit 5 inches of rain fell in the area.


Kansas Wind Turbine
Kansas Wind Turbine

Wind has become good source of revenue in Kansas.  It is a rare day when the wind is not strong enough to generate electricity.  These pictures show how massive the wind turbines are next to a full size pickup truck

September 2016 Harvest Update

September 2016 Harvest Update

September 26, 2016 – The 2016 harvest is progressing rapidly in Central Illinois.  In contrast to the recent heavy rains across the Northern Corn Belt– we’ve had reports of over 4.0 inches of rain last week on some of the farms we manage in the Fort Dodge, Iowa area – our weather in Central Illinois has been near ideal for harvest during the past few weeks.  A lot of corn has been harvested to date and many of the early to mid-soybean varieties will be ready for harvest this week.

Because of the good growing conditions and weather we had this summer, many farms across the Midwest are producing above average yields this harvest.  This is truly the time of year when we enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Have a safe and bountiful harvest.