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December 2012 Archive for Growing Technology

RSS By: Ben Potter, AgWeb.com

Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.


7 Qualities Every Farmer Should Have

Dec 12, 2012

 What makes you a farmer? Obviously, the job description has to include the production of food, fuel or fiber. Beyond that, what are some of the common qualities inherent in all farmers? Leah Brakke (daughter-in-law of Top Producer of the Year Greg Halverson) offered five great suggestions on the Black Gold Farms blog. You can read the full entry here, but here is her basic blueprint:

1. Farmers are friendly.
2. Farmers like to have fun.
3. Farmers are realistic.
4. Farmers live in a constant puzzle.
5. Farmers want to farm.

In the spirit of this list, I’ll throw in a couple of my own.

6. Farmers wear many hats. You’re not just a farmer. You’re a scientist. A mechanic. A computer technician. An accountant. A salesman. The list goes on. The act of farming doesn’t stop when the last bushel is in the bin.

7. Farmers have a story to tell. Some farmers are active on Twitter and Facebook. Some simply share a smile and a friendly hello at the local coffee shop. However you interact with your community, do your best to put your best foot forward for agriculture.

What other qualities do you think are important for farmers to possess?

Reality TV Farming

Dec 04, 2012

This year marks a dubious anniversary – it’s the 20-year mark since The Real World aired and changed the landscape of television as we know it. Today’s landscape is littered with all kinds of reality TV programming. Audiences can track the strange exotic lives of everyone from gold diggers to duck hunters to New Jerseyans.

With the advent of YouTube, more and more have been joining the fun. Such is the case with the kickoff of a web TV series from the United Kingdom called The Farmers Apprentice. It is the brainchild of a British ag website, Farmers Weekly Interactive.

"We sent 10 young aspiring farmers to boot camp, where they competed in a range of farm tasks, from operating the country’s most high-tech tractor, to pitching a business idea to a panel of formidable judges," says community and rural living editor Rachel Jones.

farm reality tv group shot

Jones says the series was created to help push awareness and interest in agriculture jobs. About 60,000 new jobs will need to be filled in the UK over the next 10 years, but Jones says most Brits don’t consider agriculture a viable career path.

"In the UK, there’s a strong sense that you’re born into farming – you only become a farmer if your parents are farmers," she says. "We realized that the net would have to be cast a lot wider if we were ever to find that number of new entrants. Plus, in 2012, UK farmers need a whole new skill set. They need to be entrepreneurial, innovative, energetic, tech-savvy, marketing-savvy and consumer-facing."

Sound familiar?

The first 20-minute episode of Farmers Apprentice launched in late November, with four more to come. The best of the contestants will win £10,000 (about $16,000 U.S. dollars).


"We hope this project will show a wider audience the amazing opportunities there are in this industry," Jones says.

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