Commentary: Innovation is anything but business as usual

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Albert Einstein once said, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” I’ve tried to adhere to this mantra throughout my life by embracing risk and thinking outside of the box.

American agriculture, too, follows this philosophy pretty darn well. Through innovation and thinking big, U.S. farmers and ranchers have transformed agriculture from mule and plow operations into one of the most tech-savvy and society-changing industries in the modern world.

Fail Big

There’s a popular theory that goes something like this: Failure is not an option--it’s a requirement. Fear of failing dooms us to repeat what others have done, therefore never finding innovation and change. So, if we are going to think big, we will certainly at some point fail big. But it’s these failures that in the end make us better than what we were.

Without a doubt, modern agriculture has had its ups and downs getting to where it is today. In other words, it’s failed big on an occasion or two. But because of that, modern agriculture is at the forefront in technology, leading to greater efficiency and safety. Recently, at AFBF’s annual meeting, former astronaut Mark Kelly talked about the various satellites NASA uses. As he spoke, I couldn’t help but think to myself that farmers also use satellites and other precision agriculture technologies in their line of work to increase yields and reduce chemical use.

American agriculture has employed science and technology to dramatically increase production and choice while lowering prices, but these changes have also altered the experience of farmers and the public in unexpected ways.

No longer are we just producing food for our families; each farmer now feeds 155 people. We are using innovative methods to meet the future global demand of feeding 9 billion people and we are finding breakthroughs in cancer research and eradicating other diseases through the groundbreaking uses of food we produce.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Recognizing U.S. agriculture’s role in the business sector, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is partnering with farmers, ranchers and American agri-business to build a collection that reflects modern agricultural practices. The initiative, called “American Enterprise,” will be unveiled in spring 2015 and will celebrate precision farming, traceability, environmental practices, irrigation, biotechnology and hybrid seeds.

Agriculture has played a vital role in the development of America’s business sector, from innovation and enterprise to the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been a major focus of America’s farms and ranches.

Not only is Farm Bureau partnering with the Smithsonian on this exciting venture, the first donation to the exhibit came from Tennessee Farm Bureau member and dairy farmer Pat Campbell. Campbell gave the museum a selection of photographs, a computer cow tag and a reader unit to show the change in dairying from a hand-labor intensive process to a modern computer-run operation. The donation will also include his personal recollections about how changing technology has altered his work life and has led to greater efficiency and safety.

The Smithsonian exhibit will showcase to the public what farmers and ranchers have known for a long time: innovation and technology makes agriculture a leading business opportunity; we are an industry where failing big isn’t bad (at least once in awhile) and our modern farming practices are changing the world in which we live. All in all, innovation on the farm is anything but business as usual.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System

The New LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides coating accuracy for stand-alone coating systems and for coatings (impregnating) in automated blending ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form