Before I tell you about the exciting event I was able to take part in this week, I want to send a very special thank you to Amanda Wade, and the Hillcrest Student Council for arranging a breast cancer awareness night for the Shannon Wilker Foundation at the Hillcrest High School football game Friday night. We were able to present a check to Larry Belnap and his family in memory of his wife Terry who passed away from breast cancer on October 11th. The student council also went around the bleachers collecting money from the crowd. I am so proud of the terrific young adults we have in this community, and it is always an honor to be able to work with them

Back in April, my boss had me attend an event in Fresno for the FIRA organization. They are an organization from France that work with several companies to develop and promote autonomous and robotic technology in farming. They have been promoting and using this technology in Europe for several years and now they are working with different companies, associations, and educational organizations in the United States.

When we arrived on Tuesday, my boss had other tasks to take care of, so I went over to the convention center to get our booth set up. After I got everything in set up, I started to go around to check out the other booths. There were several different technology companies, and a lot of education booths as well. I was excited about the educational booths because I am working with some other colleges on a workforce development curriculum to help attract students into the industry.

I ran into Gabe Youtsey from the University of California. We also met at the event in April, and Gabe told me they were hoping to get around 500 participants. Gabe told me they already had over 900 attendees. The next couple of days, I was able to talk with several companies and find out more about the products they sell. This technology is so amazing, and I am looking forward to learning more about it. On Thursday, we went to see a demonstration of some of the equipment. They were all remarkable to watch in action. I was especially intrigued by the laser weeder that can detect a weed from the plant and target it specifically.

If anyone would have told me this would be a way of farming when I first started working for John Deere, I would have said you were crazy! It is definitely the future of farming. Thanks for reading.

Next week: Happy Birthday Jayci

P.S. I think it’s important to point out that when I started working for John Deere, there were also grain combines that did not have a cab. Yes, I am that old!