Talented Trekkers

September 7, 2016 02:16 AM
Talented Trekkers

By Brian Grete and Chip Flory

This year’s Master Scout honorees are well-respected for their teaching ability

Since 2008, we’ve designated at least one of our veteran scouts on Crop Tour as a Master Scout. Earning this title isn’t easy—it comes with a lot of hard work and sweat through many years of crop scouting during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. A Master Scout educates others and shares vast knowledge and expertise with other scouts.

  Joe Wise

The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is proud to welcome Joe Wise of Jasonville, Ind., to a select group of Tour participants who have been named Master Scout. Joe initially came on Crop Tour with his friend and fellow Master Scout Pat Buell in 2005 to get a look at the corn and soybean crops outside of his farms in southwestern Indiana. Although Joe has found the crop insight invaluable, the relationships he’s built over the years have turned out to be an added bonus. 

What makes Joe a Master Scout is his ability to quickly and concisely analyze what scouts are finding in fields and then break that down so others scouts fully understand. Joe uses his decades of farming experience and quick-witted sense of humor to convey his opinion about yields and potential hurdles the crop faces ahead of harvest. 

“Joe is also one of the first guys I seek out each night to get his opinion of what he saw on his route because I trust his opinion and know he’ll give me a straight answer,” says Eastern Tour director Brian Grete. “I also know that when I put Joe in a vehicle with rookie scouts, they will come away vastly more knowledgeable about the crop.” 

For 12 years of dedication to the Tour, and all of the knowledge he’s shared with scouts, we’re proud to name Joe Wise a Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Master Scout.

Ken Eckhardt

You want to pull a bunch of samples? Ken’s your guy. You want to spend a day getting an agronomic download on what really makes corn and soybeans tick? Ken’s your guy. And you want all of that with a solid dose of Midwestern hospitality? Ken’s your guy.

Ken Eckhardt is a Minnesota Lake, Minn., farmer who brings his A-game to the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour year in and year out. He brings it with enthusiasm not only to discover yield potential but also to meet new people, share his farming knowledge, and network with scouts from around the world and farmers from the western Corn Belt.

“It’s just fun,” Ken says, explaining why he keeps coming back to the Tour. After the 2015 Tour, Ken told us, “It’s the people. But there is something to be said about what we get a chance to learn on the Tour, too. Where else can I get a chance to spend a day in a car with somebody from Thailand who buys our grain, or a guy from Boston who’s helping to figure out where to invest millions of dollars in an investment firm? And if they learn a little something from me along the way, that’s a good day.”

Ken’s years of work and willingness to learn and educate make him an important piece of the Tour. We’re happy and proud to welcome Ken to the ranks of Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Master Scout.

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