How Has Technology Changed on Your Farm?

June 15, 2016

As a farmer, you are no stranger to new technology. For thousands of years—since the beginning of mankind—moments of innovation in farming have shaped the world we live in.  

In fact, one of today’s prevailing theories on technological innovation came from a farmer’s son.

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The famous Roger's Bell Curve was named after Everett Rogers, a farmer's son who watched his father struggle to adopt new technology on the farm.

In the early 1930s, a young Everett Rogers (who would go on to coin the term “early adopters” in his famous publication about innovation) watched his father resist the adoption of new hybrid seed corn, despite his love for electromechanic farm innovations.

It wasn’t until the Iowa drought of 1936 that Rogers’ father was convinced he needed to try something new: while the hybrid seed corn stood tall on the neighbor’s farm, his own crop failed to thrive.

It's an interesting reminder that sometimes we have the luxury of waiting to see how new technology will affect everyday life and sometimes we don't.  

What Does New Tech on the Farm Look Like Today? 

At FarmLogs we know that tech on the farm means different things to different farmers. Sometimes technology comes in the form of a combine or in hybrid seed corn, and sometimes—like in the case of FarmLogs—it comes in the form of a simple, downloadable app.

Sometimes technology isn’t rooted in a thing, but the way we use a thing: new practices, processes, and methods.

At FarmLogs, we believe that no matter what new technology your farm adopts, it should simplify the business of farming—not complicate it.

What Does It Mean to Be an Innovator in Farming? 

Innovation in agriculture is constant. Sometimes it's radical, but many times it's incremental. 

So what does it mean to be an innovator on the farm? At FarmLogs we believe that to be a farm innovator it only means that you're working to bring new processes, new ideas, new methods, or new products to your operation in order to create value in a new way. 

The FarmLogs Summer Roadshow: a Celebration of Tech and Innovation on the Farm

This August, members of the FarmLogs team will travel across the nation’s heartland for a nine-day tour. We’re calling it the FarmLogs Summer Roadshow, and we’ll partner with local host farms in Texas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan to meet with even more of the farmers we serve.

Our goal? To listen to your stories about tech on the farm and to share where we think it’s going next.

Send Us Photos Representing Old or New Tech on Your Farm, and We’ll Send You Free FarmLogs Gear!

The Roadshow is still a few weeks away, but we want to get the conversation about farm tech started now! Help us by submitting your photo(s) and memories about tech on the farm.

Your photo(s) could show:

  • Passed or living tech adopters on the farm
  • New or historical equipment on the farm
  • New or historical tools on the farm
  • New or historical farm infrastructure
  • Hand-rigged inventions/tools/contraptions
  • Or anything else you can think of!

Use your photo(s) as an opportunity to tell us a story about your farm or the people who have kept it running. Upload your farm photos and tell us what swag to send here »»

Looking for inspiration? Check out these historical photos and memories from the Rutter family farm, located in Ohio:

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As the writer at FarmLogs, I love having the chance to reconnect with my farming roots. At the wheel of this Fordson Model F Tractor is my great, great paternal grandfather, Leroy Rutter. The young boy in the photo is my great Uncle Doc. As a very young boy, Doc’s brother (—my grandpa Frank, not pictured) was jobbed out by Leroy to another big farm. “It was a very common thing to do back then,” my dad told me as we sorted through the photos together. “When he left our family farm, he didn’t even own a pair of his own boots.” I learned from my dad that my grandpa Frank, who was born in 1912, earned $1.00 a day working on that big farm, and $0.50 of that went back to his family farm. 

 

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This is grandpa Frank all grown up. By this time, he had already returned from serving in WWII; he had enlisted in 1942, after Pearl Harbor. It was in 1950, after he had begun working as a union carpenter in Detroit, when he met and married my grandmother Eunice, who at that time was a widow. She ran her own 80-acre farm in Northwest Ohio, which had been gifted to her by her late husband’s father. This is when Frank returned to farming: once they were married, Eunice and Frank ran the farm together. In this photo, he'd just returned from the fields.

 

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In 1964—"The same year that the Beatles made their debut in America," my dad pointed out—Frank and Grandma Eunice decided to build a new chicken coop on the farm for extra income. Grandpa Frank (left), Grandma Eunice (right), and my dad hand-packed each egg and stored them in a the egg cooler to keep them fresh before selling.  

 

massy-harris-33-tricycle.jpgGrandpa Frank was known for keeping his equipment well maintained. Of the Massey Harris 33 he owned (similar to the photo above), my dad said, “He paid around $800, maybe $850, for it, and kept it so maintained that he sold it at auction in 1978 for $900.” 

 

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Grandpa Frank began leasing his acres to a neighboring farm in 1978. But he still liked to keep an eye on the operation and apparently took a few photos too. Pictured above is a Gleaner F Series combining soybeans. 

 

Ready to share your own photos and memories about tech and innovators on your farm? Submit them here!

FarmLogs Summer Roadshow: See if we're coming to your town

Ashley Rutter

Author

Ashley Rutter is the Content Marketing Writer at FarmLogs.