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In This Issue
Staying Focused
What Customers Want
Jimmy Dodson To Lead NCC in 2013
New NCC Leaders Elected for 2013
Texas Gins' Goal? Avoid Contamination
Texas Producers Proactive On Weed, Water Issues
On-Farm Innovation Transforms Agriculture
Cotton Incorporated Adds New Online Program
Precision Management Key To Success
Water Crisis Looms In California
Ginning Marketplace
Editor's Note
Cotton's Agenda
Specialists Speaking
Cotton Consultants Corner
Web Poll
My Turn
TCGA Schedule of Events
Message from Tony Williams
President's Report – Dan Jackson
Ginner Of The Year — Prentice Fred
Incoming President — Danny Moses
TCGA Scholarship Program – A Commitment To Agriculture
Q&A: Jimmy Roppolo – Man On The Move
Cotton Farming, TCGA Continue Special Alliance
Overton Hotel Will Again Serve As TCGA Headquarters
Exhibitors & Booth Numbers
Timely Topics Slated For Gin Schools
Don't Forget To Go Outside
PCG To Deal With Big Issues At Its Annual Meeting
Plenty To Do At TCGA Show
TCGA Staff
Trust Makes Preparation For 20th Season
TCGA Officers and Directors
Want To Do Some Sightseeing? You'll Find It In Lubbock
Findley, Roppolo Receive Special Awards

On-Farm Innovation Transforms Agriculture

By Bob Stalman
American Farm Bureau
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Albert Einstein once said, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” I’ve tried to adhere to this mantra throughout my life by embracing risk and thinking outside of the box.

American agriculture, too, follows this philosophy pretty darn well. Through innovation and thinking big, U.S. farmers and ranchers have transformed agriculture from mule-and-plow operations into one of the most tech-savvy and society-changing industries in the modern world.

There’s a popular theory that goes something like this: Failure is not an option – it’s a requirement. Fear of failing dooms us to repeat what others have done, therefore never finding innovation and change. So, if we are going to think big, we will certainly at some point fail big. But it’s these failures that in the end make us better than what we were.

Without a doubt, modern agriculture has had its ups and downs getting to where it is today. In other words, it’s failed big on an occasion or two. But because of that, modern agriculture is at the forefront in technology, leading to greater efficiency and safety.

Farmers Use Space-Age Satellites

Recently, at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, former astronaut Mark Kelly talked about the various satellites NASA uses. As he spoke, I couldn’t help but think to myself that farmers also use satellites and other precision agriculture technologies in their line of work to increase yields and reduce chemical use.

American agriculture has employed science and technology to dramatically increase production and choice while lowering prices, but these important changes have also altered the unique experience of farmers and the public in unexpected ways.

No longer are we just producing food for our families; each farmer now feeds 155 people. We are using innovative methods to meet the future global demand of feeding nine billion people, and we are finding breakthroughs in cancer research and eradicating other diseases through the groundbreaking uses of food we produce.

Recognizing U.S. agriculture’s role in the business sector, the Smithson-ian’s National Museum of American History is partnering with farmers, ranchers and American agricultural businesses to build a collection that reflects modern agricultural practices. The initiative, called “American Enterprise,” will be unveiled in spring 2015 and will celebrate precision farming, traceability, environmental practices, irrigation, biotechnology and hybrid seeds.

Contribution To Business

Agriculture has played a vital role in the development of America’s business sector, from innovation and enterprise to the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been a major focus of America’s farms and ranches.

Not only is Farm Bureau partnering with the Smithsonian on this exciting venture, the first donation to the exhibit came from a Tennessee Farm Bureau member, dairy farmer Pat Campbell. Campbell gave the museum a selection of photographs, a computer cow tag and a reader unit to show the change in dairying from a hand-labor-intensive process to a modern, computer-run operation. The donation will also include his personal recollections about how changing technology has altered his work life and has led to greater efficiency and safety.

The Smithsonian exhibit will showcase to the public what farmers and ranchers have known for a long time: Innovation and technology make agriculture a leading business opportunity; we are an industry where failing big isn’t bad – at least once in awhile – and our modern farming practices are changing the world in which we live. All in all, innovation on the farm is anything but business as usual.

Bob Stallman, a veteran cattle and rice farmer from Texas, is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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