It caused a round of hearty laughter among the handful of people standing in a group. “Did you hear what he said,” one person asked me. “He said tractors are the first thing he thinks about when he gets up in the morning and the last thing he thinks about before going to sleep at night.”
“Sounds right,” I said, which prompted another round of laughter.
That was this past week, and we were a group of farm writers and Agritechnica show staff gathered in the Convention Centre at the Hannover, Germany fair grounds. That’s the site where the Agritechnica machinery show is held every second year. And we were there to attend an advance press preview for this year’s upcoming event, which kicks off in early November.
The person who made that initial statement was an editor for a Dutch machinery publication. I had a chance to visit with him a bit and found out that farm equipment is his passion. After spending time in nine countries on three continents while doing this job, I’ve found that fascination with—or love of—machines is one thing farm boys all around the world have in common, although some feel it more intensely than others.
I don’t think a machinery editor can really do this job well without that sense of fascination. Agritechnica, as you’ve like heard me say before, is the ultimate draw for those who like to be surrounded by an unbelievable collection of equipment. So no surprise then I’d meet someone with that kind of passion at a press preview for that show.
At a dinner the evening before, I had the chance to sit next to one of the people who made a presentation at the press event, Professor Hans Griepentrog, the head of the technology section at the University of Hohenheim’s Institute of Agricultural Engineering. We discussed what the future holds in store for equipment.
Two German equipment manufacturers even coordinated their own press events with the Agritechnica gathering. Those two brands, Grimme and Amazone, included field demonstrations with their announcements, so we could get a look at what their equipment was capable of.
I mean, how good can it get for a gearhead?
As it turns out, it got even better. In Hannover Agritechnica staff had arranged for a few dozen of the manufacturers who will be presenting new technology from their brand at the November show to give writers a advance look at just what they intend to introduce. The show’s international media liaison person jokingly described it as a kind of “speed dating”.
Each writer had a few minutes to sit with a pair of product reps from the brands to get the lowdown on their systems, then quickly move on to the next one. And just like speed dating, it gave us all a chance to find out whom we’d like to spend more time with. But that will have to wait for Agritechnica to start in November.
Now that I’m back home, all I have to do is get over the jet lag, start writing the features Grainews readers will get to see that detail those new machinery introductions. Of course, I’ll have to fly back to Germany in a couple of months to look for more news to share with those who think of tractors first thing in the morning and last thing at night—and those that only think of them occasionally.