Tag Archives: 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit

Farmer Vacation

26 Sep

As a farming married couple, our vacations usually revolve around something ag related. One of my fondest memories of when we were dating was a road trip to pick up equipment in eastern Nebraska. I call it vacationing with a purpose.

Our latest trip, while not solely tied to agriculture, was for the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. (I blogged about that last time.). We were part of the agriculture contingent, so I think it fits our vacation modus operandi pretty well.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

Since both of us had been to Jackson several times, we skipped a lot of the regular attractions and sought out a couple sights we hadn’t seen before. While in this part of the world, you can literally stop every two minutes for a photo op, so you really have to pace yourself. It’s so gorgeous, but I didn’t go overboard with my paparazzi tendencies and was proud of myself for just soaking in God’s majesty.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mead Family Ranch

We, of course, saw the Tetons. It was a great time of year to visit because the leaves were starting to turn. Unfortunately, the West has had a horrible fire season, so the air was pretty smoky and limited the clarity of our views. Even with the haze, it is always incredible to be at the foot of these mountains.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

We also stopped to see the Moulton barn on Mormon Row. Probably one of the most photographed barns in the world, it is part of a series of homesteads settled in the 1890s. It’s inspiring to stand where these Pioneers once broke ground and endured back-breaking labor to survive.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Moulton Homestead on Mormon Row

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler by the famous Moulton Barn

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Me in my pregnant glory (24 weeks, a.k.a. 6 months) with a pretty awesome backdrop.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

It wouldn’t be a true Farmer Vacation without us investigating their irrigation system. Water was still flowing through the homestead properties.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The 1,756,892 picture ever taken of the Moulton Barn. That’s an approximate figure.

We stopped in Moose, Wyo. (yes, Moose) for lunch and visited the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor’s Center. Named for the late Senator from Wyoming, this center features spectacular views and interactive displays. Our main reason for detouring over to Moose, was to find the penny-smashing machine for a friend who collects them. We thought it was a fun reason to visit a place we’d otherwise not bother with.

Then we headed through Grand Teton National Park. For you married folks out there, you know how road trips can go. One person wants to stop at all the cool sights. The other person is worried the stopping might get out of control and we’ll end up spending eternity in northern Wyoming. So, all this to say, I wanted to get a really pretty picture in Grand Teton NP. There was a slight disagreement about it. The photo never happened. The end.

We then took a loop through Yellowstone National Park. We came through the south entrance by Lewis Lake, headed west to Old Faithful, looped up through Madison, Norris and Canyon Village, headed back down along the Yellowstone River, and went out the east entrance. We had many a bison encounter, saw a myriad of geo-thermal activity, and enjoyed gorgeous sights.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Because this was mostly a driving tour of Jellystone, we didn’t see a lot of wildlife. However, the bison viewing was abundant.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Yellowstone’s version of a cattle drive.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Old Faithful

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Gibbon Falls

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

One of the reasons for hazy pictures. It couldn’t possibly be my amateur photography skills.

One word of caution to you fellow travelers out there. Don’t assume you can find a hotel room along the way. We had planned to stay overnight in Cody, but after stopping at five hotels and checking a couple websites, it appeared that out of 30+ hotels in this town, the only one that had rooms available was the Cockroach Inn. So instead of delaying our drive with a nice meal at a good sit-down restaurant, we grabbed some quick McDonalds and hurried down the road to Thermopolis where a bed awaited these weary travelers.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Hot Springs State Park

While I was none too happy about my vacation fare including fast food, the detour to Thermopolis ended up being a fun one. We took a little drive to see some of the farm ground outside of town. Then on our way back through town, we stopped at Hot Springs State Park. Tyler has fond memories of playing in the mineral pools as a kid. Although I’ve been through Thermop many a time, I’ve never actually stopped at the park, so it was long overdue.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Wyoming State Park website says, “Over colorful terraces along the Big Horn River at Thermopolis flows water from mineral hot springs. More than 8,000 gallons flow over the terrace every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.”

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Swinging Bridge over the Bighorn River. I’m afeared of heights, but I went across it anyway.

Then we headed back home so Tyler could get back to cutting and combining our beans, silage harvest, irrigating, etc. and I could get back to the 47 things on my to-do list.

After a long, stressful summer, it was so nice to get away for a few days. If it weren’t for Governor Mead’s invitation to the Summit, we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere this summer/fall. I was desperate for one last trip together before Baby Girl Lauck arrives, and wasn’t looking forward to traveling in November when I’ll feel whale-esque. So hooray for vacationing with a purpose!

Where’d you go this summer?

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. – Proverbs 2:8-9 (NLT)

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2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit

24 Sep

We were honored recently to attend the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit hosted by Governor Matt Mead. The experience was full of amazing information, incredible innovation, and brilliant, solution-oriented minds.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The group of participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. This was the agriculture technology break out session. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

The Summit was hosted in Jackson, Wyo. and leaders and decision makers from across Wyoming and beyond gathered to discuss strides made in health care, agriculture, energy, and more. In his opening remarks, and throughout the event, Governor Mead emphasized his vision for Wyoming as a global technology leader. Not only is he interested in our major industries incorporating up-to-date technology, but he is pushing for technology to become an industry in and of itself in Wyoming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

During the agriculture panel, we heard from Agricultural Retailers Association President Daren Coppock (podium), John Deere Director of On-Board Applications Ronald Zink (middle), and Simplot SmartFarm Technology Director Allan Fetters (right).

Tyler and I were invited as farmers who are successful at adapting technology in our operation. We were incredibly honored to attend and were amazed at what we experienced. We heard from brilliant minds working on remarkable solutions to real-world problems. We networked with interesting and genuine people. We found it humbling and encouraging meeting people outside of agriculture who were interested in our farm. And we were energized by positive, solution-seeking attitudes.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto addresses the agriculture technology break out session.

Even though they are outside of our expertise, we found the discussions on health care and energy fascinating. Overall, we found the discussions full of similarities among all industries. We all face a fast-growing array of technologies and innovative processes. Likewise, we all are trying to adapt while weighing costs, addressing implementation challenges, and convincing stakeholders to adjust. No matter the challenges, though, there are incredible minds working on solutions to every problem!

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike Griffen with Simplot Grower Solutions discusses the use of mapping to improve farm yields and to use inputs more effectively.

Tyler and I were very pleased at the emphasis placed on agriculture at the Summit. Technology is the key to sustaining farms and ranches and feeding the 9 billion people our world is estimated to hold by 2050. Some of the key ag technologies featured included:

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

John Deere’s Ronald Zink displays a John Deere 8245 R with GPS capability.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s “EM sled”. This sled attaches to an ATV/UTV and the equipment sends electromagnetic pulses into the soil to produce maps, including soil type, elevation, and landscape. These maps are useful in variable rate application and seeding technology, where the user builds zones in their fields and applications are adjusted to meet specific conditions.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s Allan Fetters displays an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone used in crop analysis.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike discusses this soil moisture probe, which can be used to evaluate water usage and help producers apply variable rate irrigation.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Maps created from satellite imaging which capture photosynthesis. This can indicate crop progress and yield potential.

These technologies allow producers opportunity for higher yields, increased profitability, and better environmental stewardship. Farmers are able to implement conservation practices for better soil health and reduced erosion. Water, fertilizer, chemical, and fuel are used more efficiently with fewer passes over the field and variable rate applications.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The Mead Family Ranch in Jackson, Wyo. The Mead Family hosted the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit guests for a dinner with incomparable views.

The 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit was a fantastic opportunity to network with innovative leaders, learn about exciting advancements in important industries, and to advocate for our industry as representatives of modern farming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler and I with Governor Matt Mead (center). We were honored to be recognized by the Governor as successful adapters of technology on our farm.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. – Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT)

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