This veteran scout is never a spectator on Crop Tour
We call certain crop scouts "veterans" because they have several Crop Tours under their belts. These scouts come back year after year and provide much-needed consistency to the data-gathering process. Most importantly, these scouts are the people who make the Crop Tour happen. The 2011 Master Crop Scout certainly fits the description of veteran scout.
Elwood Line of Momence, Ill., joins a short list of Pro Farmer Crop Tour Master Scouts. He’s split his 10 years on the Tour between the western and eastern legs, but seems to favor a drive around the western Corn Belt.
"Dad had always read about the Tour in the Pro Farmer newsletter and he finally just decided he wanted to see the Midwest crop potential firsthand," says Elwood’s son Kurt.
Gathering information for his elevator’s customers was Elwood’s initial incentive to travel the Corn Belt, but Kurt says his father’s priorities have changed since his first Tour.
Master Scout Recognition
- 2011 – Elwood Line, Momence, Ill.
- 2010 – Neil Hadley,
- 2009 – Gary Wietgrefe, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- 2008 – Byron Jones, Saybrook, Ill.
"The reason he comes back now is the people," Kurt says. "He enjoys spending time with the Pro Farmer staff, and he really enjoys the producers who attend the nightly meetings. He’s always said that’s where you get the good insight on specific areas and they can always explain any of the oddities he saw that day. He sees the other scouts as a wealth of knowledge that comes from many different parts of the world.
"Dad has never been a spectator," Kurt adds. "He appreciates the opportunity to jump in and help gather information. Dad prodded me to attend the Tour for several years before I started. I always figured he was there and could report the information back to me. I didn’t realize the greater value of the people who are on the Tour. Dad realized that very early and wanted me to experience that, too."
A wealth of knowledge. Elwood shares invaluable information about crop production with scouts and always delivers concise and meaningful reports at evening meetings. He has done an exceptional job representing U.S. agriculture to many foreign scouts and is often called upon to help educate rookie scouts.
One of Kurt’s favorite Crop Tour memories best describes why Elwood deserves the Master Scout award. "Riding with different people every day and hearing their stories is very interesting," Kurt explains. "But it is the ride on Sunday to get the Tour started, and the ride home on Friday, when I get to hear Dad’s stories that I cherish the most."
The good news—everybody gets to take home some of Elwood’s memories, knowledge and great attitude when they spend a day on the Crop Tour with this Master Scout.