I made my Big Iron debut this week, a year into my position as editor of Agweek.
I had never attended the show before and made my way to West Fargo, N.D., Wednesday morning for a couple hours of networking, mingling and learning. Oh, and a fresh sunburn, given the fact that I have the complexion of an underground Irishman.
Despite the heat, I enjoyed myself.
When I began this job a year ago, I was very new to the ag industry; still am, in fact (there’s a lot to learn; seems like you aggies need to be chemists, mechanics, soil experts, seed experts, tax experts, animal breeding experts — all around geniuses in general). I grew up in a farm town in North Dakota, though, so the industry isn’t all foreign to me. I often accompanied my bestfriend on those trips to the field each Sunday after church to bring her dad a Spam sandwich so he didn’t have to leave the combine until it go too dark, or he got too tired.
The agriculture industry is diverse, complicated and broad. But it’s an industry full of hardworking, friendly people who never seem to tire of sharing their stories and experiences, as long as coffee (or a beer) and a meal are involved.
I met a lot of great people at Big Iron this week. And I wasn’t even mad that I had to share my burger with the swarm of bees that wouldn’t buzz off (OK that’s a lie; I was mad).