Western Farm Show is Feb. 24-26

westernfarmshowThe 61st Western Farm Show is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Feb. 24-26, at the American Royal in Kansas City. MFA will once again be a primary sponsor of the popular show, which features the latest agricultural equipment and many other attractions for farmers, ranchers and their families.

Produced by the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the show is one of the largest farm events in the Midwest with hundreds of exhibits, acres of things to see and do, the latest in agricultural technology and much more. MFA will have a prominent presence with several booths at the show.

“Attendees can browse 400,000 square feet of exhibit space, all under one roof, with aisles and aisles of equipment and other agricultural products and services,” said Jami Applegate, Western Farm Show manager.

MFA Incorporated sponsors the low-stress livestock-handling demonstration, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Scott Pavilion, adjacent to the American Royal. The demonstrations will be led by Ron Gill, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist, who has been providing technical expertise to livestock producers in beef cattle nutrition, management and livestock handling techniques for over 25 years. Admission to the demonstrations is free to all Western Farm Show paid attendees.  

New this year, MFA is also sponsoring livestock seminars featuring best showmanship practices for 4-H and FFA families. A Cattle Showmanship Seminar is planned Friday at 1 p.m., and a Sheep/Goat Showmanship Seminar will be Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

John Deere will sponsor another new addition to the show, The Farmer’s Life! with Brian Scott, a farm influencer based in Indiana where his family farms multiple crops.

Returning to the show is the popular Health & Safety Roundup, which is coordinated by the Missouri Farm Bureau and will be open during regular show hours. It will offer interactive and educational health and safety exhibits for the entire family. There will also be free health care screenings, including blood pressure and hearing tests, tetanus shots, vision screening, glaucoma testing and children’s eye screening (infants to 6 years). Cholesterol screenings will also be provided for a nominal fee.

Another show tradition, FFA Day, will be held Friday, drawing members from Missouri and Kansas. An integral part of FFA is the Unite Against Hunger annual food drive. FFA students also have the opportunity to take part in the Farm Equipment Career Development Event that day.  

The upper level of the American Royal houses the Family Living Center, where attendees can shop for clothing, crafts, food, health and home décor products, and more.

Western Farm Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. Tickets are available online at the show website for $10 in advance or can be purchased at the door for $10 daily.

A $3 off coupon is available by visiting a participating MFA location or Western Equipment Dealers Association member. Children ages 12 and under are free. On Sunday only, veterans and active-duty personnel with proper ID will be admitted free. Parking is $10 cash at the gate. 

For more information, visit westernfarmshow.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  • Hits: 1474

The belly-to-belly way

Smart phones are one of the greatest technological advancements of mankind. It has never been easier to communicate, stay up to date, or access information from a device that fits in your pocket.

cropInsuranceSMHowever, with so much power comes a greater issue. Like most parents with adolescent children are finding out, there is an ever-growing disconnect among people. This is especially true in business. The human connection that was once pinnacle quite often comes in the form of an app these days.

Mike Smith, MFA Crop Insurance’s principal agent who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, often reminds me and other MFA agents that “belly-to-belly” (face-to-face) is the best way to operate. When it comes to your farm, that human connection is important, Smith said.

“Phones are a great tool to get ap­pointments, but being there physically is everything,” he said. “It can be emotional for growers to make decisions about their operations. It’s their legacy on the line every year they farm. The goal of our crop insur­ance team is to hopefully be a comforting factor in helping growers make educated decisions in unsure times. That can’t be done over the phone or a text message.”

To make the best risk management plans tailored for each operation, Smith said that he and his team, including MFA agents across Missouri and surrounding states, want to get know their customers better.

“Other agencies often get near-sighted when it comes their clients,” Smith said. “Crop insurance is a moving target. Things change every year not only with the pro­gram itself, but with growers’ operations, too. If agents aren’t reviewing their policies every year, then they are failing their customers.”

For example, he points out how certain endorsements that may be excluded on a grower’s policy early on could hurt them years later.

“A 15-minute annual consultation could be the most crucial thing a grower does to ensure they are being proactive with not only their crop insurance but also their whole operation,” Smith said.

To learn more or to reach one of MFA Crop Insurance agents for a review of your policy, visit online at mfa-inc.com/Services/MFA-Crop-Insurance or call Principal Agent Mike Smith at 573-825-0493, Area Crop Insurance Agent Blake Thomas at 573-823-4054 or Area Crop Insurance Agent Taylor Gilmore at 573-476-7440.

  • Hits: 564

Conservation tradition

Britt Farms of Clifton Hill is the recipient of the 2022 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award, which spotlights agricultural achievements in stewardship and natural resources management.

Fifth-generation farmer Ryan Britt and his wife, Rebecca, were presented with the award Nov. 28 during the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Training Confer­ence in Osage Beach. They are the sixth Missouri farm family to receive this prestigious award, which includes a $10,000 prize and crystal trophy. Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of agricultural organizations that includes MFA Incorporated, partnered with the Sand County Foundation to bring the Leopold award to the Show- Me State for the first time in 2017.

“Britt Farms is a true success story of conservation across multi­ple generations, and they are eager to adopt and share new conser­vation technologies,” said Scott Edwards, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. “Ryan Britt’s com­mitment to conservation extends beyond his own farm with his willingness to promote voluntary conservation and environmental stewardship both at the local and national level with the Associa­tion of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.”

The Sand County Foundation created the award in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold to inspire American landowners and recognize exceptional farmers, ranchers and foresters. Leopold’s 1949 collection of essays, “A Sand County Almanac,” is one of the most influential books about the environment ever written. The foundation supports and promotes conservation on working lands across the U.S. and presents the Leopold award in 24 states.

Other Missouri finalists this year were Rick Aufdenberg of Jack­son, Cope Grass Farms of Truxton, and Stanton Farms of Centralia.

“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO. “Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber.”

For Ryan Britt, technology’s role in agricultural conservation has long intrigued the young farmer. When his father, Randy, equipped his combine with a yield monitor in the early 1990s, teenage Ryan thought it was a huge step forward for the family farm.

Ryan returned home from the University of Missouri in 2000 with more than a degree. Agricultural systems management classes taught him how technology can maximize efficiency and protect water and soil. The Britts now farm 5,000 acres, raising cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in Randolph, Chariton and Macon counties. 

Ryan was an early adopter of precision soil testing and fertilizer applications. Britt Farms transitioned from conventional tillage to an entirely no-till system. Crop rotations and use of cover crops reduce erosion and improve soil health. The Britts also adopted a rotational grazing system and fenced cattle out of streams and ponds to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. To minimize nutrient loss and optimize animal health, the family built a covered feeding area with a deep pack barn designed for zero runoff. Using manure as a natural fertilizer helps them maximize the efficiency of having cattle and crops.

In addition to creating terraces and grass waterways, the Britts developed a wetland area for wildlife and planted native wildflow­ers in field buffers and Conservation Reserve Program acres.

The Britts host on-farm research on the effects of crop diversity on soil health and sensors that assess a crop’s nitrogen needs. Mea­suring the effects of each change guides decision making for their farm and others. The Britts are also using biological stimulants to increase use of nutrients already in the soil.

Ryan works with his two sisters to preserve the family farm for future generations. One sister direct-markets Britt Farms Beef, and a nephew helps precisely apply fertilizers and crop protectants with drones. Ryan and Rebecca say they believe it is important to teach love and appreciation of the land to their three children.

“We hope that wherever their passions settle, they will see the value in being a faithful and wise steward of the soil,” says Ryan. “Our intention is to leave the land better than when we found it.”

Nominations for the Leopold Award will be accepted again this spring. Visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org for more information.

  • Hits: 184

About Today's Farmer magazine

Today's Farmer is published 9 times annually. Printed issues arrive monthly except combined issues for June/July, August/September and December/January. Subscriptions are available only in the United States.

If you would like to begin or renew a print subscription, CLICK HERE and go to our shop. We are proud to offer the subscription for only $15 per year.

 ©2023 MFA Incorporated.

Connect with us.