Saturday, March 01, 2008

Commodity Classic final thoughts...

I drove home this morning through TN and KY and in the bright sunshine and wheat fields looking slightly greener, I experienced my first spring urgings. Of course, I am reminded the #1 item on my "Too due" list is the Hippo-Tillage Oath:

First, do no compaction.

The roads are at their marshmallow softest. More winter undoubtedly awaits and I need to lose 10 pounds before my summer clothes will fit painlessly. Still, the days are getting longer.

More trivia from Nashville:
  • The freebies were most excellent this year. My absolute favorite - other than the Asgrow Pickup I was ineligible to enter for - was the YieldGuard VT Triple remote weather station. You had to get a high score on a Whack-a-mole game to win one, but I faked an old Spanish-American War injury, and they gave me one to get rid of me. Without a doubt, between free food and gadgets (GPS units, etc) this was by far the most lavish handout bonanza I've ever been to.
  • Charlie Cook was superb, although I had forgotten as emcee about the delay on satellite transmissions. The most amazing thing he said was he was just as flabbergasted by the Obama and McCain surprises as we were. He thinks we are in the midst of a unique event in history. Oh yeah, you will soon be able to subscribe to his newsletter with a credit card. Charlie told more in 20 minutes about this election that you could get in 20 hours of reading.
  • Had a chance to fill in some of the blank that is our new Secretary of Ag. I dunno - about all I can say is there was no hint of budging on the administration positions in that speech.
  • Kudos to the wheat growers and the cinnamon rolls. Nature's most perfect food. I had 14. And somebody was giving away ice cream that looked like dry cottage cheese. Big favorite!
  • We had 'em jammed in like a revival meeting at the USFR Round Table taping. I couldn't stay but reportedly no animals were harmed.
  • While there were big crowds it wasn't hard to get to an expert within minutes, especially the machinery dudes. The access to people-who-know and better yet can let slip hints about tomorrow was worth the trip alone.
  • Signup for the Corn College was brisk. I was informed by my boss I would be speaking at both sessions. Also we'll be taping round tables for USFR there as well. But mostly it will be The Ken Ferrie Show.
  • There was less "How long's it gonna last?" and more "How do we make the most of right now?" Also, serious buzz about bringing Jr. back and the Changing of the Guard. A few were beginning to to see an estate tax train wreck about to occur.
  • Rising protectionism is not getting the alarm it should, except for the wheat growers. This is really short-term thinking. Ag should be on the forefront defending NAFTA and rational immigration policy despite the political flack this will cause, IMHO.
  • Mike Rayburn, the guitarist who performed at the General Session killed! I did not know you could even do things like that with a guitar - let alone that fast. Had a few jokes worth stealing as well. Not that I would do that, of course. Dow AgroSciences outdid themselves booking him. [Look - I know it's a blatant plug, but Dow has been making the General Session better for all of us for many years and this producer is grateful.]
  • I had about 10 guys come up and tell me their wives thought my woodworking article was really funny. The poor schmucks didn't realize the ladies were laughing at them as well.
A good time was had by all. And up until the time I left, no indictments had been issued.


Unknown said...


Thanks for doing your part in making this Classic a great event. I would say the General Session started and ended with great talent.

Randy P. Krotz

Anonymous said...


A poem you might like. Things don't change very much over the years.

A Walk in the Country

The spring wind raises fine dust from the road.
Everybody is out, enjoying the new leaves.
Strollers are drinking in the inns along the way.
Cart wheels roll over the young grass.
The whole town has gone out to the country.
Children scamper everywhere and shout to the skies.
Songs and drum beats scare the hills
and make the leaves tremble on the trees.
Picnic baskets and jugs litter the fields
and put the crows and kites to flight.
Who is that fellow who has gathered a crowd?
He says he is a Taoist monk.
He is selling charms to the passersby.
He shouts, waves his hands, rolls his eyes.
"If you raise silk, these will
grow cocoons as big as pitchers.
If you raise stock, these will
make the sheep as big as elk."
No one really believes him.
It is the spirit of spring in him they are buying.
As soon as he has enough money,
he will go fill himself with wine
and fall down drunk,
overcome by the magics of his own charms.

Su Tung P'o (A.D. 1036-1101)
Translation by Kenneth Rexroth from his book "One Hundred Poems from the Chinese"