This summer, we hosted a soil health field day with our local NRCS and Conservation District, and partnered with our county Farm Bureau for the legislative tour. Beforehand, Mike had the "pre-people" jitters.
Sheilah: "Mike, why that nervous look? Are you feeling ok?"
Mike: "We've a lot of work to do to have all these people at our place. The barn floor needs fixing. The doors need painting. And the fences need weed-whacking. How're we gonna get all this done?"
Sheilah: "Just like everything else, one step at a time. I’ll help get the barn cleaned out and swept, so you and your dad can get the floor fixed. I can get those doors painted, too – if you can get them hung. The weed whacking, though, that’s all you. Don’t worry. We’ll get it all done. And what doesn’t get finished will be just fine."
Mike: "Ok. Sounds like we got a plan; now to find time to get it done."
Then came the sweat work
Sheilah: "One hot Sunday afternoon, we swept the barn out."
Mike: "Then, I got the doors hung for her to paint. Boy, a little bit of new paint sure made a big difference."
Sheilah: "Mike and his dad got the barn floor fixed up. Tables and chairs were dropped off and set up. Everything came together."
Mike: "You think anybody is going to come? We did all this work, and no one'll probably show up."
Sheilah: "People will come. Just wait and see."
Mike: "We had a nice turnout. About 40 people came, including a local state senator and a state representative. The day started off by looking at a corn field soil pit. We talked about soil organic matter and how we're trying to build ours with cover crops. One of our seed reps talked about the yield potential in our field. Another seed rep talked about the importance of cover cropping and shared stories of other producers' successes.
"Next came lunch in the barn. Nobody slipped through any holes in the floor. We got legislative updates from Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau's stance on a bunch of topics. We also got Harrisburg news from our senator and representative."
Sheilah: "Mike was also asked to speak about GMO labeling topic for Farm Bureau. I think he talked longer than anyone else."
Mike: "After all the political updates, we ended the field day talking about the composting project we're involved in. All in all, it was a great event, and it turned out better than we hoped."
Mike Reskovac is president of Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association. The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist.
This opinion is not necessarily that of FarmProgress.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.