More than 160 farmers showed up for our K-State Corn Production School last Friday at AGCO in Hesston. Wow! Some of these growers drove over 100 miles to attend the corn school. When the Kansas Corn Commission started working with K-State and our sponsor DuPont Pioneer, I wondered how many people would attend. Fifty? Seventy-five? Even though I know there is a very strong interest in corn production among our growers, I also know there are many other meetings and activities going on in January.
As I looked at the crowd of 160 at Hesston, I had another wow moment. There were a lot of young farmers in the crowd. Another wow moment came when I listened to growers in the crowd engage with the speakers. They had excellent questions and you could tell by the questions and comments that the crowd was filled with innovators. Yet another wow moment came when I listened to the speakers from K-State Extension. I expected them to be very good, but their messages were excellent. They were on-target and they shared information that the audience wanted to hear. Presentations on weed control, ag economics, drought tolerant traits and fertilization were fresh, interesting and well-received. We wrapped up with the final presentations after a delicious barbecue lunch and then the group toured the AGCO facility. The AGCO staff provided another wow moment with their professional, welcoming attitude. The local extension offices wowed us with their organization and their ability to bring in the farmers from their counties.
K-State crops specialist Ignacio Ciampitti suggested to the Kansas Corn Commission that it was time to hold some corn schools. He put together an excellent agenda and used his social media skills and conventional communications techniques to bring in the big crowd. If you’ve ever met Ignacio, and see his energy and focus, you would probably say, wow!
Our next K-State Corn Production School is this Friday, Jan. 16 in Atchison. It looks like we will have a good crowd for this school as well. We’re looking forward to more wow moments!