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Tailgate Talk

April 27, 2013

Written by Sara Brown and Julie Douglas

Top Producer Celebrates 30 Years

TP Spring cover

Three decades ago, Top Producer magazine was created as a business, management and marketing resource for the nation’s top farmers—a mission that still holds true today.

Originally named Top Operator and found inside the folds of Farm Journal, the first issue hit mailboxes on the heels of the 1980s farm crisis. It was in response to an increasing need for more business information in production agriculture.

To mark this milestone, the Top Producer team put together a special issue that showcases significant events and turning points during the past 30 years and looks at the future of farming. The cover is a unique illustration comprised of words that characterize and pay tribute to America’s farmers and ranchers.

In the special issue, 30 brave thinkers are recognized for their bold contributions to agriculture. Readers can vote for their favorites online. 

Long-time magazine columnists John Phipps and Jerry Gulke were asked to share what they think the future of farming holds.

They project an end to government support for commercial farms and private crop insurance unique to each farm. Far-flung operations will see consolidation into nearly contiguous operations for efficient use of robotics and other technologies. There will be an increase of non-family paths from farm operator to partner, similar to law or accounting firms. In addition, they expect international farming companies spawned from large U.S. and other first-world farms joining forces.

What vision do you see for the future of agriculture in the next 30 years?

For a walk down memory lane and a snapshot of what the future of farming will look like, visit

What a Day!

Manure Hop

 p82 What a Day

Hills can be tricky in Ohio. All day, this custom operator had been hauling manure in a steep field, but he wasn’t expecting the manure to slosh. The tank tipped on a silt grade, making one big mess.

If you’ve had one of those days—or caught someone else’s on film—we’d love to share it with our readers. E-mail high-resolution images to or mail prints to What a Day!, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 958, Mexico, MO 65265. Photos for publication will be selected on a first-come basis.


Stat Rack

Summertime means the gardens and grills are going.

2 lb.

Fresh green beans necessary to can 1 quart

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - Late Spring 2013
RELATED TOPICS: Farm Journal, Fun, Tailgate Talk



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