A recent editorial suggests that agriculture’s future is rooted as much in the digital cloud as in the good earth. The writer praised the now-famous Paul Harvey ad, but he says its farm images are “vestiges of a previous era.” He continued, “If you want young people to be interested in agriculture, you need to make it about computers and scientific innovation, not milking the cows before dawn.”
So what’s that got to do with farming? Agriculture has gone high tech in many ways, and folks need to adapt to changes. A farmer shouldn’t aspire to be “half fast” with it all. And the editorial writer is correct. Young people are best suited to use the digital revolution to breathe new life into the world of agriculture. But for old-timers and youngsters alike, there may be times to unplug. Maybe not a techless Tuesday or Web-less weekend—just some natural moments of country zen each day.
Some tech guru supposedly said, “It doesn’t really exist until it’s in your digital cloud.” Every time I drive back to the family farm, I see and remember images that don’t quite fit on a screen—the smell of fresh-cut hay; a new-born calf rising on shaky legs; the sound of kids playing in the pasture on a hot summer day. I guess my digital cloud is in the fog along the creek and mixed in with the dust that rises from the gravel roads.
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