Our current generational fight with farm technology

Our current generational fight with farm technology

Willingness to adapt to new farm technologies, or any tech, is often a generational thing

We started field cultivating last week. The following story plays like a broken record each year: My dad wants to get in the tractor and see how things will work. I hop in and ride with him. We work the end rows, and then I set the guidance system. I start pushing buttons, he gets anxious and annoyed with me, we get in a debate about how the technology bothers him… and then I leave.

Related: Don't give up on ag technology because you lose GPS signal on occasion

Thirty minutes later, he calls me and says he really likes the ease in not having to steer the tractor.

TRACTOR CAB TECH: It's easy to see why farm technology can be a debate on multi-generational ag businesses. (file)

I think technology on the farm is simple, a no-brainer, money-saving, and efficient. My dad agrees that investing in farm technology is a good thing, but he does not understand it completely.

I had no combine driving experience before my first harvest in 2012. The implement dealer brought me an "old brown box" to demo for one day. The brown box was John Deere's first console, introduced in the mid-1990s. It's still used today, although its functionality is limited for more complicated applications, like section controls.

I was hooked. It was a good sales move on the dealer's part, as I almost teared up when the "old brown box" left me the next day. Needless to say, we bought a guidance system that year.

Since then, we have implemented technology for the crops and hay enterprises.

Related: Multi-Hybrid Planter Concept Solidifies Ag Technology Expansion

Technology is one of those topics that can cause arguments on our farm, and probably most farms. How do we handle this? Computers are second nature for my generation. My dad has a smart phone, email, and Facebook these days, but the "newness" of farm technology still scares him.

Several people help us on the farm, and each one has different abilities. Sometimes it is difficult teaching someone to use it, and sometimes it is easy. I caught on pretty quickly, which makes me the default computer guru.

I have found that age does not matter when it comes to learning. What does matter is the willingness to try and adapt to new things. Patience is key.

How do you handle sharing tech knowledge on your farm? Comment below or send me a tweet @mariacoxfarm.

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