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Commentary: Take a Bold Step in Uncertain Times


The saber-rattling continues on trade, the partisan bickering continues on the Farm Bill, and the doom and gloom predictions about the agricultural economy fill the news. No wonder farmer optimism, usually high this time of year, is declining. Some of the rhetoric I have seen, especially in the general media, has bordered on extremist. CNN and Bloomberg, which have a bias against the current administration, have been particularly draconian in their portrait of the farm economy.

While times are tight and prices are low, one thing we have learned from the past is that there are also opportunities for those who are willing to be bold. Over the past 3 decades there have been down cycles in agriculture, some more severe than others. Yet, those farmers who have been able to survive and who have taken the risk to expand have been rewarded when times improved. Has that time come again?

We at Hoosier Ag Today and Farm World think so. We have taken the bold step by acquiring the 39 year old, Indiana-Illinois Farm Show. Dick Sherman, who operated the annual indoor farm equipment show, announced earlier this year that he was going to shut down the operation because of hard times. We at HAT and Farm World see the glass as half full and decided to take a bold step to take on the show. We believe in the future of agriculture and see profitability and sustainability in that future. We also see that technology and innovation will be a key part of that future. That is why we are re-tooling the show to focus not only on farm equipment but also on cutting-edge technology and innovation.

We are seeking to partner with other agribusinesses and farmers who want to take a bold step and position themselves for the future. Research has shown that, during tough times, farmers are looking to make changes in their operations. This can mean trying new products, new technology, and new providers. The opportunity for agribusinesses is to take a bold step and reach out to connect with those producers. This show will be a great way to do that.

Oh, we had had plenty of naysayers who remind us that times are hard, especially in the equipment sector. However, if someone does not step up and step out, who will help drive this dynamic future of agriculture we all like to talk about? Hoosier Ag Today and Farm World are going to take that bold step. We invite you to join us December 11 – 13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo.

By Gary Truitt