Next week my title takes a short vacation. For some time I've been editorial director at Farm Progress, responsible for a range of details, issues and such running our 19-magazine family of editors and production folks. But every year about this time, I turn that hat around (you can never really take it off) and bringing the other title to the front - machinery editor.
Since the early 1980s I've been covering farm machinery. I enjoy it and most readers know I like checking out the latest new tools you can put to use on your farm. In February, the National Farm Machinery Show opens its doors in Louisville, Ky. The familiar - though vastly enhanced - Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center becomes my home-away-from-home for a few days. It's a good time.
And already I'm lining up appointments for next week to see new stuff from Michelin, Caterpillar, Kubota, New Holland and more (if I left you out don't worry I'm stopping by your booth).
It's an exciting time in agriculture. Farmers are making money (while living in fear that the prices will eventually drop), and they're investing in their farms. That makes for a happy, and big, crowd.
I'm just hoping the quiet winter weather - on the whole - remains so for travel next week. No whining, we do what we can with what we have, but it's nice when you can actually drive around the city.
As for my friends who head for Tulare for World Ag Expo? Have a grand time, I've made it there too - but Louisville is on my schedule most years - can't squeeze in two shows in one week and I wish they didn't overlap. But that's how it works.
Anyway, if you're at the show and you see me walking around with a camera (and my big blue camera bag) say 'hi.' If you see me with my camera-on-a-stick and you're not sure it's me, just don't give me that weird look many do asking in their heads: Why is that guy carrying a camera on a stick.
I'll be wearing a National Farm Machinery Show Media badge, so you probably can't miss me.
And do what I do when I go to ANY farm show. Enjoy yourself. Nowhere can you get more information in a short time as you can at a major farm show. And we'll plan on seeing you all in a few months in Boone, Iowa for the 2012 Farm Progress Show (Aug. 28-30) or in Grand Island for Husker Harvest Days 2012 (Sep. 11-13). Boy, is time going fast this year!
And after next week - I turn the hat back around and become editorial director again, just in time to head for Commodity Classic. Ah, I love winter meeting season.