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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Northwest Ag Show


We sell moisture testers. We meaning my dad and brother and I. Every year we have a space at the Northwest Agricultural Show in Portland, OR.
We have testers for hay, grain, grass seed, soil, compost, as well as an alarm that will wake you when it is time to bale and a device that counts the number of bales you have made and how many plunger strokes in your last bale. (this is important for length and density, trust me...)
Dad turned 90 in January. Had a little party at the Rock of Ages rest home. He doesn't live there. He lives with my brother next door on the farm. Had a lot of his friends there. Was a surprise for him. We have church services at the home two sundays a month.
Anyway, back to the ag show. It was pretty dead. I think we sold three testers. Now the point of the show is to get contacts for the rest of the year, but usually we sell enough testers to pay for our booth. Dad works off the contact list all year. He has hundreds of names in a database on his Apple laptop. At 90 years of age he sometimes forgets how to run his laptop but usually with a little prompting it will all come back. This is pretty amazing for someone who started farming with horses. He is pretty sharp.
I am a little worried about the future of agriculture. There is a lot of money out there. A lot of farmers have really made the dollars in the last few years. But I didn't speak with anyone who had confidence in the future of our economy. This huge government spending program has everyone scared and they are not spending money. This is the opposite of what the idiots who are running the country say they are trying to accomplish.
Resource based businesses are what create wealth. As a farmer I should grow crops which are needed to survive. There should be a surplus so that after feeding our country we can export to other countries. Timber and mineral companies are harvesting resources which are then made into goods we need and use. Banks and lawyers are just transferring wealth back and forth between people while skimming a little (or a lot) for their own use.
Of course farmers in this area grow grass seed, which is now worthless, and timber companies export the logs to factories in China, so nothing really works right anymore.
So the agshow was pretty slow for sales. Talked to lots of folks who are holding onto their money because they know they are going to lose it next year. What a positive outlook!

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