Production Blog

Give Us Your View

Pam Smith
By  Pam Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Zack Rendel allowed us to follow him through the 2017 growing season. (Courtesy photo)

DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- People often ask why I like my job. The question has several answers, but boiled down to the bottom line it is this: I like to talk to and listen to farmers.

I always have. On Sundays when the rest of the kids were getting their good clothes dirty playing in the churchyard, I'd be scuffing my shoe in the parking lot with the congregated farmers as they discussed the crop. Same deal at family reunions -- while everyone filled their plates at the potluck, I was more interested gobbling up news on land sales or tractor acquisitions.

So it's no surprise that each year one of my favorite DTN projects is a weekly missive called "View From the Cab." This marks the 13th year for this weekly feature that follows several farmers throughout the growing season.

We're currently looking for a few good volunteers to open the doors to their farming operations. Please reach out to me if you are interested in allowing us to profile your farm and family.

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Zack Rendel, of Miami, Oklahoma, was one of our View From the Cab participants last year. I was more than a little tickled to learn that he not only enjoyed the experience, but he had a sense of accomplishment from the involvement.

"I felt as though I was getting my story, my day-to-day activities out there for people to read and see what life on an Oklahoma farm is like," he said.

"Some weeks I would think: 'man we haven't done much' and others I would think to myself: 'dang we got a bunch done'," Rendel said. He enjoyed hearing from others who were reading the column.

"I don't know if it has much to do with the series or us knowing exactly what's going on or just how the year went, but we didn't seem to work as many weekends as we usually do," Rendel recollected. "I was able to enjoy a lot of family time this past year ... which I enjoy even more than farming!" Family time, is in itself, a critical commodity, he noted.

Each year the DTN editors gather and kick around ideas for the coming year. Each year, I champion the need to keep this series alive. It seems it has never been more important to have a sense of community in agriculture. Learning how others farm in different parts of the country and understanding some of their challenges gives us all perspective as we work in this industry.

To see more about View From the Cab and past participants, see….

To apply for View From the Cab email

Follow Pam on Twitter @PamSmithDTN


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