This blog is sponsored by AGCO; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I’ve been involved in farming my entire life. I was the first of the Peterson Farm Brothers to enter into the world, and my mom had me riding along in the silage truck in my car seat when I was just a few months old! I am part of the 5th generation of our farm. This means my dad worked on this farm as well as my grandfather, great grandfather, and great, great grandfather. You can see pictures of each generation in our video “Our Farm Song” on YouTube.
As you can see, our farm has changed a lot over the last 100+ years! Our farm was started in the late 1800s by Louis and Jenny Peterson. Back then, things were pretty tough. Everything was done by hand or using horses. We had a lot of chickens and cattle. The next generation was Elof and Hulda Peterson. They faced the hardship of some of the men in the family having to leave the farm after getting drafted for the war. My grandpa Norris was the youngest brother and was allowed to stay home to take care of the farm and his mother when he was only a teenager. During that time our farm struggled through the Great Depression, barely providing enough for the family to get by. Farming was hard. Then my grandpa then married my grandma Eunice and over the next 50 years expanded our farm. He was able to do this through the technology that became available in agriculture. Below is one of the first tractors we used on our farm. It was bought in 1941! This was cutting edge innovation at the time and greatly increased productivity on our farm.
The second picture is of my brothers and I standing in front of a modern day AGCO Challenger tractor. Technology sure has changed! The first tractor our farm bought required the farmer to spend hours out in the heat, wind, and dust each day. It took 10 times as long to get a field tilled or planted. There was danger of the tractor flipping over and crushing the farmer. While it was an amazing piece of technology at the time, it is nothing like the tractors of today.
The AGCO tractor pictured above is truly innovative. AGCO designs their tractors to be extremely powerful yet use fuel very efficiently, minimize compaction to fields, control inputs through precision farming, and steer perfectly straight through the field using GPS guidance. We got to test drive this tractor and were amazed at how much technology was in the cab. Tractors now have many safety requirements such as a rollover protection system that is built into the cab. The cab was also incredibly comfortable, with climate control, premium audio, and leather seats. So much nicer than tractors of the past!
All the equipment in farming has gotten larger, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. AGCO focuses on improving uptime, machine optimization, logistics management, and reduced waste. Check out AGCO’s website to see all the different equipment they manufacture (Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson®, Valtra®, Gleaner, Sunflower, White Planter, RoGator and TerraGator). They deliver innovative agricultural solutions through a full line of tractors, combine harvesters, hay and forage equipment, seeding and tillage implements, grain storage and protein production systems, as well as replacement parts.
Today our family farm consists of my brothers, Nathan and Kendal, my sister Laura, and my parents David and Marla. We, along with most farmers, utilize much of the technology that is out there in agriculture. We don’t have the newest tractors and equipment, but it is really interesting to see what all is being developed. Modern day farmers like my family and agribusinesses like AGCO are engineers, botanists, biologists, economists, and entrepreneurs. Together we are tasked with ensuring global food security, which occurs when all people have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. Being part of the agricultural community that is working to reach that goal is amazing! As farmers, we try to increase yields while conserving inputs and being better stewards of land, animals, and the environment.
AGCO helps give farmers the tools and technology they need to accomplish this. They are also working hard as a company to ensure global food security. Learn more about what they are doing here. Sometimes as farmers and equipment manufacturers these goals can be overwhelming. It is a lot to take on, but we are all up for the challenge!
Our farm and the technology in agriculture has changed a lot over the years, but the concept of working with my family has not. We hope to keep our farm going for many generations to come. We will do that through innovation, just like we’ve always done. Who knows what farming will look like 100 years from now? Working with your family has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.