The Big City

I took a weekend trip to the “big city” this weekend to see my little sister and help her celebrate the big 25. She and her husband rent a home in Kansas City, which by most accounts is not a huge city but compared to McPherson – is more like New York City. There is a drug store on every corner, Starbucks lingering at every intersection and just over 2 million people hitting the streets and businesses every day. Life – and traffic -does  move a little faster in Kansas City.

I guess I hadn’t thought a lot about how the size of a community affects your way of living and how different life can be when living on a farm versus living in an apartment on the 29th floor of a downtown building until a lady working at a retailer in KC asked if “we had DVR or TiVo out there?” Really, out there? I live in central Kansas, not Africa. Yes we have DVR and yes we have any television channel you could find on your own television. The power of satellite is pretty amazing.

Are we “farmers” and “rural people” really seen by others as behind the times and out-of-the-loop? I know we have to work to educate people on how we grow our crops and feed our animals but I didn’t think that education needed to include a segment on how we go about our daily lives.

I think most city folk would be surprised by the amount of technology that is used on most farms. My husband uses GPS to steer his tractor, a yield monitor in his combine to tell him the moisture level, weight and bushel-per-acre of the corn he is currently cutting and laboratory testing methods to tell him the nutritional make up of the cattle feed.

We really aren’t behind the times, we are just off the beaten path. There are some areas that are still lacking access to broadband but new and different technologies have made the Internet accessible to almost anyone with access to cell phone service. Technology has made its way to rural America and farmers are putting it to good use.

I take for granted people’s understanding of farm life and it’s comments like the one I received this weekend that remind me people are generations removed from the farm and worlds away from dirt roads and cows. It’s our job to remind them that we have access to the same comforts and technologies and instead of reporting to a desk everyday, we instead report to a tractor or combine to grow food to feed our growing world – including those working in the high-rises of the big city.


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