Phones and farm technology |

Phones and farm technology

Americans have more telephones than ever, yet they answer them less frequently due to robo and unwanted calls. It makes life difficult when someone tries to call another person, and the caller’s number is unknown to the recipient. As with most of you, if I don’t recognize a number or the name to which it is attached on my caller ID, I don’t answer. I often later type the number into a search engine and check it out. Nine out of 10 times the number comes up as a scam caller and I’m glad I didn’t answer. Since politicians pass the laws, no matter how much they try to crack down on intrusive, unwanted calls, they will not include political phone calls in the list of banned calls.

Sometimes it’s better to go old school when contacting another person. Last week a friend who is also an avid researcher of the Civilian Conservation Corps sent me an article from the Port Huron, Mich., newspaper about a CCC “boy” having his 104th birthday and the fact that he served in the Black Hills. Originally from South Dakota, he ended up living in Michigan. The article mentioned he has difficulty hearing so I wrote him a snail mail letter. Along with that was information on the CCC Museum of South Dakota, located inside the Hill City Visitor Center as well as a copy of one of the books I wrote, The Civilian Conservation Corps in and around the Black Hills. For him, the letter will be better received than a phone call.

The younger set laughs at our ineptness when it comes to using cell phones and other technology. Turn the timeline around. Ask your kids if they have an understanding of 78 and 33 rpm records, LPs, or record players. Consider talking to your grandchildren about 8-track tapes, and your great-grandchildren should learn about Victrolas and wax cylinders. (Victrola doesn’t even appear in my computer spell check.)

The latest technology is in use by farmers, and today’s generations have it made. Modern planters can be hooked up to digital monitors that are in the tractor cab to signify when one of the planter boxes is not dispensing seed. The feeder tube might be plugged or it could be some other mechanical problem, but with the notification of a beep, the farmer can stop and rectify the situation.


Now tractors have glassed-in cabs with GPS. Being in a glass cab requires air conditioning. Heaters and radios are regular amenities. Standard on current tractors include instructional (buddy) seats, seatbelts, workstations to hold a laptop and, like nearly every vehicle made today, cup holders. Cabs create a healthier atmosphere since volumes of dust aren’t as likely to be breathed and the noise level is filtered to protect hearing.

Before anyone says how easy farmers have it these days, think about the amenities office workers and commuters have. Aren’t these the same features that are considered necessities to most everyone? Farmers’ days are still long, yet these devices help farmers have better conditions as they do their work more efficiently. Technology comes to the rescue over the vast spectrum of occupations and generations. ❖

Peggy Sanders

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