Tech tour

Even in the midst of harvest, it’s important for farmers to take time to tell their story.

That’s exactly what Lynn Fahrmeier did on Sept. 24. The Wellington, Mo., farmer stopped his combine, staged equipment on the edge of one of his corn fields and hosted a group of 20 journalists as part of an agricultural learning conference organized by the National Press Foundation. The farm tour followed a morning of sessions at Bayer’s facility in Kansas City, where the journalists learned more about biotechnology and ag industry challenges.

“Purdue University would tell you I’m losing $500 an hour standing here instead of being in the field, but this story needs to be told,” Fahrmeier said. “As farmers, we’ve got a great story to tell, and there’s no way the media will hear it unless we tell it.”

His wife, Donna, and their children, Elizabeth and Samuel, were also on hand to show the media representatives what a true family farm is like. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat and sheep on 1,700 acres, some of which have been in the Fahrmeier family for more than a century.

During the tour, Fahrmeier took the National Press Foundation fellows through a typical Midwest crop production year, using a planter, sprayer and combine as illustrations of how technology has made his operation more efficient. MFA Precision Ag

Specialists Matt Stock and Scott Bergsieker were part of the program, too, explaining such practices as variable-rate seeding, fertilizing and crop protection applications. The Fahrmeiers work with MFA Agri Services in Lexington for precision services and farm inputs.

“Our goal was to blow these journalists away with technology,” Fahrmeier said. “Hopefully, they came away from here with some understanding of how farmers are shouldering the cost of technology to improve the environmental impact.”

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