It has been a real crop tour couple of weeks with our own Ohio Crop Tour down I-71 and I-75 last week and Ty Higgins’ national trip through crop fields from Ohio to Minnesota as a broadcast media representative on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour.
With a bit of crop tour experience under my belt, I can say that they are very enjoyable and informative, but quite rigorous and downright exhausting. My experience involved early mornings and late nights while trying to organize the group, cater to the needs of my fellow travelers, compile the mountain of data we collected over the two day period, shoot video, conduct interviews, take photos and, most importantly, have fun.
In total, we made 20 stops in 20 counties over two days. The yield measurements would take 20 to 30 minutes or so at each stop and then we would jump in the car and I would compile the data on the way and post it on the web, listening to catchy Bluegrass music with Jon Miller along the way.
At our Circleville lunch on Day 2, we were really in the swing of things and, half joking, I said over some delicious fried chicken that the toughest part of the journey would be ahead of us as we descended into southern Ohio where there is a higher proportion of folks who highly favor firearms. This turned out to be an ominous foreshadowing of the afternoon.
As we pulled up across the road from a field we were going to check, I saw man, probably in his 60s, hastily walking in our direction. With the most charming Reese-smile I could muster, I got out of the car to greet the somewhat agitated gentleman.
I told him we were on a crop tour of Ohio and he promptly asked for credentials. I gave him my business card. As he studied it, he told us how his elderly dad lived there and that he needed to keep a close eye on things. He also was quick to point out that he had guns, big guns, at the ready in the house if they were deemed necessary. My co-travelers said my eyes got pretty big at this point in the conversation.
His initial concern quickly dissipated, though, when I told him more about what we were doing. He was then quite cordial, interested in our findings and pleased to hear about what we were doing. Apparently, much to my relief, no big guns were needed.