Letter to Dave

Dear Dave,


Based on what I know today, If I could go back and speak to the me who was waiting for rain and wanted summer to end, I would tell him that he should pump the brakes just a little. How could I have known what time would bring?

I belong to a group called “Area Rainfall” on Facebook, Dave. This is a fun page that lets participants and observers see how much rain has fallen in the area-, most of the posts were simple reports of rainfall and perhaps a time-period for the measurement. As the rain has continued to fall, and combines have continued to sit, the posts have become less mathematical and more emotional. If my observations are correct, I think more people are beginning to think of harvest as more of a post freeze-up activity or perhaps it will be delayed even until next spring. I feel for the farmers as they were already under a lot of stress.

Too much rainfall for me means not as much but it is still an inconvenience, Dave. I put the cattle back on pasture as it was too wet in the yard pasture to feed them. I sometimes drive past cattle on dry, gravel ridge feed lots which causes me to stare and covet that situation. It is a challenge to keep the cattle somewhere that I can access with the tractor without tearing up the pasture too much. Our pasture is precious, so tractor ruts or large areas of disturbed sod make me wince.

OK, break time from grim farming and grim weather-let’s talk technology, Dave. The Grand Farm is a 40-acre technology incubator, located south of Fargo, created to achieve the goal of a fully autonomous farm by 2025. The Grand Farm plans to use autonomous vehicles and robotics first to plant and harvest row crops then progress to other areas of farming. The idea here is not to remove people from the farm but rather to make it possible for one family to operate a farm, with a minimum of hired help-which doesn’t exist in great numbers anymore. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, Dave. Autonomous equipment can be much smaller as it runs 24/7. I know you have participated in several technology advances in agriculture so I thought this might interest you.

Finally, you may have seen that I recently retired from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office as their Dispatch Supervisor. It has been almost 31 years and it seemed like a good time to retire. I also have always wanted to try one more career before I take up the rocking chair and chose something new this summer. Starting November 1, I will be the News Director at Thief River Falls Radio. I worked in radio in the early eighties and nineties and had always wanted to get back into the business. This is my time and I took it, Dave. I will still write for the Northern Watch and still write my letters to you, Dave-however I now have a new place to call work. I look forward to it very much.

Your little bro’

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