Production Blog

Recruiting Farmers With a View

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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A panel of View From the Cab farmers provided thoughts during the recent DTN Ag Summit. We're looking for two more for 2022. (DTN photo by Joel Reichenberger)

I'm looking for two special farmers.

For the past 16 years, DTN has followed farmers from two different regions of the country throughout the growing season. The feature is called View From the Cab and each week we report what's happening and explore different aspects of agriculture with these correspondents. The door is open for applications for 2022.

I was reminded just how lucky I am to have written this column for the past four years and how valuable this relationship is as I moderated a panel of four View From the Cab farmers at DTN's Ag Summit.

We tackled the issue of input and supply chain challenges. Scott Wallis, of Princeton, Indiana, reported taking better advantage of turkey litter and soil testing. Reid Thompson, of Colfax, Illinois, gave thanks for on-farm nitrogen storage and valuable details on installing those facilities. AJ and Kellie Blair, of Dayton, Iowa, discussed how and why they changed up their nitrogen program this year and how livestock works in their farming system.

Flexibility and being nimble enough to revise plans came across as a universal strategy. Depending on multiple suppliers and finding ways to become more self-reliant were other themes.

It came as little surprise that the audience became quickly engaged. Real people talking about real issues in a thoughtful way is the best kind of informative. Even better, it can be comforting to know others are thinking similar thoughts and pondering solutions.

There's always a twinge of sadness when we call the year to an end. Knowing someone is going to call each week sharpens awareness and gives us all a reason to be more thoughtful. And yes, these farmers go on to be trusted advisers for many of our writing projects. Knowing I have someone I've established a relationship with makes my life speed along too.

Do you have a story to tell? Simply email me a note ( saying why you want to be a View From the Cab contributor and a bit about your farm. Don't worry about having a view -- I guarantee we will find plenty of ground to cover.

A big thanks to Kellie Blair and Ryan Wieck for letting us into your world and your hearts in 2021. You join a great group of farmers. Here are our past View From the Cab contributors:

2021: Kellie Blair, Dayton, Iowa; Ryan Wieck, Umbarger, Texas

2020: Ryan Jenkins, Jay, Florida; Reid Thompson, Colfax, Illinois

2019: Ashley Andersen, Blair, Nebraska; Scott Wallis, Princeton, Indiana

2018: Kyle Krier, Claflin, Kansas; Genny Haun, Kenton, Ohio

2017: Zack Rendel, Miami, Oklahoma; Brent and Lisa Judisch, Cedar Falls, Iowa

2016: Chase Brown, Warrensburg, Illinois; Jim Hoover, Newport, Pennsylvania

2015: Lane Robinson, Cromwell, Indiana; Leon Kriesel, Gurley, Nebraska

2014: Karen and Bill Johnson, Avoca, Iowa; Jamie Harris, Madison, Florida

2013: William "Shep" Sheppard, Louisiana, Missouri; Kane Bercaw, Union City, Michigan

2012: Katie Sanger Hancock, Water Valley, Kentucky; Ryan Brodersen, Randolph, Nebraska

2011: Tom Tibbits, Minneapolis, Kansas; David Brandt, Carroll, Ohio

2010: Becton Bell, Wilson, Arkansas; Frank Zweber, Hoven, South Dakota

2009: Marcus Hess, Bushnell, Illinois; Matt Wolle, St. James, Minnesota

2008: Dan Pedersen, Underwood, Iowa; Brad Lindstrom, Varna, Illinois

2007: Matt Rush, Fairfield, Illinois; Jason Heijl, Abbott, Texas

2006: Bob Worth, Lake Benton, Minnesota; Keith Miller, Great Bend, Kansas

2005: Richard Oswald, Langdon, Missouri; Mark Rasumssen, Hoagland, Montana.

Pamela Smith can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN


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