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Fantasy Farming is Just One Click Away from Reality

Don't be surprised if farm kids or even farmers gather to 'farm' for fun.

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

November 10, 2014

2 Min Read

Don't mess with someone on Sundays during the fall while they're watching their fantasy football points add up. It seems some get more wrapped up in fantasy football than they do the actual football games!

My son spends Sunday afternoons with his smartphone, checking on various games. But he's not checking so much on the score as he is what the players on his "fantasy team" are doing.

It gets so intense that some people actually gather before the season and have fantasy football drafts. There are leagues everywhere. It's just for fun – or so they say. Some people, including my son, seem pretty intent on playing. They even keep league records and the whole nine yards.

What does this have to do with farming? Plenty. "Fantasy farming" is all but here now. There are various farming games that you can play already. I think my wife is checking Facebook or email, and she's actually playing a virtual farming game. You can even play with other people, or so they tell me.

The topper was when I heard emails come into her phone when she wasn't around. I checked to make sure it wasn't important. It wasn't – at least not to me. She didn't agree. It was a couple of email messages sent by the game to her email account informing her of things that had happened on her "farm."

It's only a matter of time, if it isn't going on already, before several farmers or maybe farm kids who eat and breathe this technology get together and start a "fantasy farm." Maybe they will all be involved in one operation. Maybe they will each have their own farm and compete against each other to see who can raise the most corn, or make the most profit.

I probably shouldn't knock it since I haven't tried it, but I think I would prefer the real thing – real farming. I also prefer watching real football, so maybe I'm just out of the loop.

The only thing about "fantasy farming" is you wouldn't be investing and risking real money.

Nevertheless, if I see someone smiling and find out it's because a field of corn just made 300 bushels per acre, I think I'll err on the side of caution. Was it a real field in the real world? Or was it a virtual field in a fantasy land?

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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