Where was this when I was growing up?

peaharvest
My Brother Harvesting Dry Peas

 

Technology continues to reinvent every part of our lives. Even parts of our lives that we don’t think about everyday. Farming is one of these. As a field of study (pun intended) and as a practice agriculture has gone through and continues to go through some major changes. In a recent article on Read Write Web  wrote about the new driverless tractors of the future. Growing up on a farm all I can think about is: Where was this when I was a kid? 

What fascinates me is as the attention of the self-driving Google car continues to get the press really smart people are looking at this idea and applying it to other situations. We might not be ready to trust a car with our lives going 60MPH down the freeway. But how about a tractor going about 6MPH around and around in a field? Check out this video:

 

Of course this really is just the next step for farmers who have already been playing with such technology. My Uncle, who works on a large farm in the middle of Washington State, has a GPS driving device. He lines up the tractor, pushes a button and for the next 45 minutes to an hour (the time it takes to reach the other end of the field) he sits back and reads the newspaper, or a book as the tractor guides itself down to the other end of the field. With perfect overlap and no skips in the field. When he reaches the other end he simply turns the tractor around and heads back. 

This is just one area where technology is disrupting farming. New chemicals, new seed varieties, and new machinery that is faster and more efficient continues to out pace our food consumption. 

Farmers are also taking advantage of other technologies. Using Twitter to communicate and form networks, using the Internet to research and stay on top of the latest trends and news in their field (pun intended). If you’re not a connected farmer today taking advantage of new ways to connect then like other industries you’re falling behind. 

I just keep thinking about all the hours I spent on a tractor going around and around in a field thinking of all the things I wish I was doing instead. Or how my time could have been used differently? I think of my family now and how technology has changed just on our little farm. When I was a kid growing up we used to pick rocks out of the field by hand….then dad bought this rock picking machine (me taking the video and driving)….of course it was after I had gone off to college.

I’m also reminded this time of year by my mother’s Facebook updates 

Folded 125 boxes then packed them with beans.

A bean picker picks the beans, a bean sorting table sorts the beans you just line up the boxes, weigh them out to 20 lbs a box and load them on the truck (FYI that’s 2,500 pounds of beans my family did in one day….basically every day….yes these are the green beans you buy at your local grocery store). 

Technology is simply amazing and effects us in so many ways….many we take for granted.

21 Comments

  1. I wonder if the old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is even relevant anymore. Sure, our kids all have dreams, but the options their grandparents and then parents have simply won’t be there for them.

    What if you asked students to do a survey and ask their grandparents and their parents what their first “career” was and see what kinds of jobs they started with. I bet most of those jobs don’t even exist now or are very scarce. Might be an interesting exercise to do this for a whole class and then compare generations and what students would want to do for their first “career”.

    Jeff

  2. I think that is really cool how you grew up on a farm and knowing you could be doing something better and you actually followed it through and are now a big inspirational speaker. It’s also really cool how your family uses technology even on the farm, like how your uncle just lines up the tractor and lets it do the work with the GPS Driving Device. I think what you do now is fantastic. All of your blogs are wonderful.

  3. I had no clue they had tractors that can drive themselves till I read this. This fascinates me, this changes a lot in farming now that this is out. I wonder how much money it costs to get one of those. I’ve notices a lot of stuff doesn’t need us to use them it’s all automatic. I think most of the things people have created are just lazy. But this is something that takes a lot of time to do so it really helps.This was somthing good to learn about.

  4. I think it is neat how you went from a little farm to China, it is cool how you took videos while riding the machine to show people how it works. it seems like a lot of work and it must be tireing back then. Did you work alot? it’s amazing how technology can do what it does.

  5. Mr, Utech, I think it was really cool that you grew up on a farm. Technology has come lightyears from where it was back then. Even the Idea of a self-driven tractor would have seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. The new technology we are devoloping will one day help most americans with everyday things, such as planting a field with a tractor or driving on a high way. That rock-moving machine is something else. I don’t like it when my dad makes me do yard work or something. I couldln’t even imaage spending my days picking up rocks in a field. Now, your probably thinking how bogus it it that you didn’t have that stuff when you where a kid. I would be the same way. Thanks for the good blog post.

  6. Mr. Utecht, I love this post. I never knew about all of the cool things that farmers can use to help on their farms! I would never think that technology would have made a tractor that can go on its own. My mom has always wanted to live on a farm and she always talks about farming. I’ve never heard her say anything about how cool these new machines they have are. Things like rock sorting machines and bean pickers are something i normally wouldnt care about, but this sounds really interesting and im going to look more into it.

    Thanks!
    Michaela mbilodeau16

  7. Mr. Utecht, I think creating an automatic driving tractor was a great idea. Your post really explained how this tractor can help farming all over the world. I never would have guessed that technology would be used or be helpful on a farm. It gives farm owners the ability to get their farming work done, but also do things they enjoy at the same time. I think this will become a huge part of farming everywhere. Great post.

    Jess

  8. Mr. Utecht, I really like the idea of an automatic tractor. Your uncle must have a lot easier life than most farmers, who have to do that by themselves. I think it could help a lot of farmers out by not having to spend hours working on their fields. I also think it’s really cool how more and more people on farms are using the internet, because most of the times when you think of farmers you don’t really think of them using the internet that often. I think it’s great that you grew up on a farm and you had the experiences you did, and now you still live on a farm but it’s more advanced. It makes you wonder about what else they are going to come up with in the next 20 or so years!
    Great post,
    Morgan.

  9. You made a choice to change your life and look at what you have become! I think that is really cool how you grew up on a farm and knowing you could be doing something better and you actually followed it through and are now a big inspirational speaker. It’s also really cool how your family uses technology even on the farm, like how your uncle just lines up the tractor and lets it do the work with the GPS Driving Device. I think what you do now is fantastic. I am also a follower of your blogs. All of your blogs are wonderful, and I hope to do the same.

  10. Mr. Utecht,
    This is some really unique farming technology that you have found I especially like the videos that you put up. I also like the idea of the tractor that drives itself, I think that’s amazing! The new farming technology has been advanced so much. Another thing I think is cool is that the farmers are using twitter to communicate and form networks. The rock picker is a very unique machine and it shows how much technology in farming has grown. Thank you for sharing this information with me!

  11. Mr, Utech, I think it was really cool that you grew up on a farm. Learning how to plant crops and raise animals is interesting. Technology from the farm used to be really hard to work with. The technology has come light-years from where it was back then. Even the Idea of a self-driven tractor would have seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. The new technology we are developing will one day help most Americans with everyday things, such as planting a field with a tractor or driving on a high way. That rock-moving machine is something else. I don’t like it when my dad makes me do yard work or something. I couldn’t even image spending my days picking up rocks in a field. Now, you’re probably thinking how bogus it it that you didn’t have that stuff when you were a kid. I would be the same way. Thanks for the good blog post.

  12. 1. Mr, Utech, I think it was really cool that you grew up on a farm. Learning how to plant crops and raise animals is interesting. Technology from the farm used to be really hard to work with. The technology has come light-years from where it was back then. Even the Idea of a self-driven tractor would have seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. The new technology we are developing will one day help most Americans with everyday things, such as planting a field with a tractor or driving on a high way. That rock-moving machine is something else. I don’t like it when my dad makes me do yard work or something. I couldn’t even image spending my days picking up rocks in a field. Now, you’re probably thinking how bogus it it that you didn’t have that stuff when you were a kid. I would be the same way. Thanks for the good blog post.

  13. This is a really interesting post. I have lived on a farm all my life but not one like yours. My mother raises farm animals and we use a regular small tractor for most of the work. I thought I knew a lot about farm technology, but I never knew there were tractors that could drive themselves. I find this extremely amazing! I feel the same way you felt when you were doing farm work. I’m always doing some kind of farm work where I would rather have a machine to it for me. I am happy to hear that many farmers out in the world will be able to spend their time doing an interest than driving a tractor. Google has made so many wonderful impacts on our lives and our environment.

    Thank you for the interesting blog,

    mwhitlock16trms

  14. I think it is wicked cool that you got to live on a farm while you were growing up. Especially since you watched the technology advanced around you. My favorite part was when you talked about the tractor that your uncle used with the GPS system, no work required! All of the new technology that the farmers get to used today is phenomenal. Another thing I really liked about this blog was the fact that you were always connecting to the article, like bringing in connections from your life to the information that you are trying to show to everyone. It’s really interesting that you grew up on a farm and became a professional blogger, and speaker. All of your blogs are wonderful.

  15. I found it really cool to read about how you used to live on a farm. I had no idea how much technology and effort goes into it, and things have really improved since the past. I completely see what you are saying when you wonder where all of that technology was when you were a kid. I find it almost amazing that they now have self driving tractors! Some of the new technology listed in your blog would never usually get me interested, but after reading that, I would really like to read more. I think this will really have a big impact on farming now, and in future. Thank you for sharing this great information with me!

  16. This is a great example of how technology is used everywhere. Also how technology is much different from today and some of it is the same, but the new technology helps people all over the world working on farms, it is much easier for them. Automatic tractors must help the farmers from doing much less work, and don’t spend much time in their fields as they used too. I think it’s great that you grew up on farm, the experiences that you had.

  17. I think it is cool that you grew up on a farm because it’s different then what most of grew up like. And that your uncle has a tractor that can go down the field without you having to stare it in the direction you want, you just have to turn it when it’s at the end of the field. Also when you said “how you would be thinking other things to be doing instead” really relates to when I have to do something and I don’t want to I think of all the stuff I could be doing. I liked this blog a lot because I related to it a little, and how you tell us that there’s more technology on farms then when you were growing up. Also how you had to pick up rocks by hand and now there’s a machine that does it for you. And also how farmers could go on internet now to see what’s new for your farm then when you were a child.

  18. that is true stuff has evolved so much over time everything I think in the future that everything will be driven with on one in it even cars that will be so coo if that happens and if the computers will evolve then we could have them in the cars dashboards that would be great. Same with the farming It could be done in like 2 minutes in the future so many things could happen in the future that would be very cool

  19. Thank you Mr. Utecht .I think it’s interesting about how you grew up on a farm, and you can explain everything about how your childhood was on the farm. I noticed what you said about your uncle letting the tractor do all the work and he just had to sit there with the GPS device doing all the work. Never had i known that there is such advaned technology on farmland. I personally think that is very cool. Technology is improving and changing every day on farms and I think that’s cool. My dad used to work on a farm for about 20 years and everything is different the way it is now, he had to do things by hand. Anyways, Thanks for the great posts!

  20. I can definitely relate to this. I have and continue to help my Uncle Gary Underwood on his farm. He grows and sells his own pecans as well grows his own nursery. He always talks about wanting one of the new tractors that can drive itself and he is going to purchase one in the not too distant future. I really enjoyed your article. You make great points and I think this is making farming look like a lazy job (if you can afford these EXPENSIVE toys) when it has always been viewed as a job for hard workers. It’s kind of funny.

  21. After reading the post it is clear that there has been an incredible amount of developments in technology. The level of diversity within it has also drastically changed the lifestyle of many people throughout society. The progress in technology has good impacts as well as bad. The negative and positive effects of technology depend completely on people’s exposure to it and the use that they give it. Technology has provided us advancements in farming, agriculture, communications, automobiles and more importantly education.

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