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There’s a longstanding joke that there are three ways to get into farming: through the womb, tomb or as a groom. Becoming a farmer out of the blue is not an easy task. For six generations, both sides of my family have been able to pass the farm down from one generation to the next. I’ve been extremely fortunate to grow up with all four of my grandparents and love hearing their stories about the hard work they had to do to keep the farm going. Long gone are their horse drawn plows, cows milked by hand and .85 bushel corn

My Great Grandfather preparing the fields for planting.

My Great Grandpa Keyes planting the corn

My Great Grandma Keyes also helped around the farm.

 

Farming has come a long way in the last 100 years. Technology has made it’s way into almost every aspect of farm life, helping to make things more efficient. My Grandpa Clarence tells stories of his family’s team of draft horses they used to get the field work done. Planting four rows at a time, farmers would work countless hours to get the crop planted. Today, farmers are able to plant up to 54 rows with each pass down the field. Technology has created some of the best advances in agriculture maximizing resources and efficiency to feed the growing world. 

                                        You could get a lot of farming done with that machine

Planting on our farm is done by my husband, Jared. I don’t have very many jobs in the spring on the farm side of things. I deliver fuel, seed and meals to Jared every day to ensure he keeps the tractor moving. This year, we finally upgraded and installed Auto-Steer on our tractor. This technology works off of a GPS signal that communicated with the tractor and planter. This basically means Jared won’t have to do much while the planter is making a pass down the field. All he will have to do is pick the planter up out of the ground, turn around and drop it back down once he is ready for the next pass. Auto-Steer not only helps create perfect rows and reduce wasted resources, it creates higher yields. Higher yields create happy farmers.

The inside of the tractor cab can have multiple monitors telling the farmer what the planter is doing. For instance, a monitor will notify the farmer if it planted a seed, missed a seed, or planted a seed twice.

 

Though farming has made massive improvements and innovation in the last 100 years, one thing that has stayed the same is the passion and drive farmers share about growing our world’s food supply. 

 

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