I am city boy. My paternal Grandfather was a farmer, but we only got to go to the farm for a few days a year on vacation. When I think about the Mississippi Delta, I think about Blues, characters, food, and cotton in that order. My friend Tim Price of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association seems intent on having me learn more about agriculture, so I got an invite to the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show at the Cook Convention Center, February 25-26.
Agriculture is a BIG deal
In case you don’t know it, cotton, and agriculture in general, is a big deal. I certainly didn’t anticipate the size of the show, the number of people attending, or the number of exhibitors. I was like a fish out of water or a tourist to another planet, gawking at the huge pieces of equipment, asking some pretty stupid questions to the salespeople, while contemplating the process of turning those white, late-summer Delta feilds into Levis and Oxford dress shirts, and trying to imagine what those gadgets, both mechanical and electronic, do.
Farming ain’t like sod-bustin’ and riding around on a hot open tractor anymore. Tractors, and whatever that other equipment is called, have cool designs, are air conditioned, and have lots of electronics. There is an incredible amount of automation.There is a lot of technology involved in farming – everything seems to be computer and GPS based, and the users are tech savvy (in technologies that are way above my head). Farmers are connected – there are numerous farming blogs, Facebook pages, and tweeters out there. The marquee had QR codes, and the Show has an excellent smart phone app.
This show enhanced my interest in modern agriculture, and now that I know what a gin saw is, I would like to see some in action. So in additon to my regular Blues and food pilgrimages to the Delta, I am going to get Tim to take me along with him on some agriculture excursions.