Kicking Tires Abroad

February 5, 2010 08:59 AM

The sheer size of Agritechnica 2009 was the biggest surprise for Gary and Brenda Gronewold during their visit to the world's largest machinery show in Hanover, Germany. The Pickrell, Neb., farm couple won a trip to the show in a Farm Journal contest sponsored by the DLG, host of the show.

"We're used to Husker Harvest Days and thought it was a big show until we saw this one," Gary explains. "The sheer size of Agritechnica is way beyond anything we've seen before. The variety of the products and machines was amazing."

The Gronewolds, along with Gary's father, raise corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa and have a small beef herd. They also contract feed hogs and sell Golden Harvest seed.

Brenda, who also teaches full-time, was equally amazed. " Walking through the buildings, there were many familiar names to the American farmer, such as Case IH, New Holland, John Deere, but there was an even larger percentage, maybe as much as 90%, from manufacturers that we had never heard of before," she wrote in their daily trip journal. You can read the entire account and see trip photos at

More to ag. The scope of the show, which covers 80 acres, is often eye-opening for attendees. The global nature of the machinery exhibits and participants is also impressive.

"As farmers, we felt pretty knowledgeable about farming and agriculture until we visited Agritechnica," the Gronewolds share in their journal. "While we are still competent about the areas of ag we are involved in, it is apparent that there are many, many other areas of agriculture."

The trip was the couple's first time abroad. Beyond seeing the show, they took time to reconnect with Gary's German roots. Extended family in northern Germany hosted them at Gary's great-great-grandfather's house. Riding back to Hanover by train let them experience the German countryside, as well.

You can e-mail Charlene Finck at

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