Production Blog

What's Your View?

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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The view from my parents farm kitchen window provides a good outlook on the seasons and life in general. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- When my parents built a new home in the late 1970s, mother insisted the kitchen contain a bay window with a seat and a good view of the sheep pasture.

It is the best seat in the house and there aren't even comfy cushions. Visitors are invariably drawn to a sit a spell in this special spot, gaze outward and, more often than not, inward. The green meadow, white fence, red barn and grazing sheep make more than a pretty picture. The scene is a metaphor for peaceful.

Our agricultural views -- whether they be pastoral settings or thoughtful opinions -- differ so much. The great thing about this industry is a willingness to share those views with others in a meaningful way.

One DTN series in particular allows us the opportunity to delve deeper into the many aspects of farm life and the farming enterprise. It's called View From the Cab. Since 2005, we've selected two farmers each season to give voice to what is happening on the farm through weekly reports.

I've been lucky enough to write the series for the past two years and can say it is one of my favorite projects.

In 2019, our correspondents, Ashley Andersen, Blair, Nebraska, and Scott Wallis, Princeton, Indiana, stuck with us through a challenging growing season. Weather factored heavily into our reports last year, but so did many of the physical and emotional tolls that accompany a difficult year.

Each farmer I've worked with has told me they learned a lot about themselves through this project and made valuable connections with other farmers.

Yes, we're putting out the call for the next round of volunteers a bit early this year.

There are no hard and fast rules to our selection process. It often boils down to a good mix of geography and crops. We're considering the addition of a livestock component this year, as well.

Here's how it works. Simply email me a note ( telling me why you want to be a View From the Cab contributor and a little bit about your farm.

Those selected get a weekly call when the planting season gets rolling. I personally come to visit once or twice during the season. Depending on the applicants, we might throw a little social media component into the mix this year.

Here's a list of our past View From the Cab contributors:

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


Pamela Smith

Pamela Smith
Connect with Pamela: