Thursday, February 20, 2014

Welcome to California | by Ben Hirschfeld

The Valley booth at World Ag Expo.
I have spent most of my life in Nebraska. I grew up on a row crop farm with not much in my world besides corn and soybean farming. All or most of the sections of land were in squares of 160 acres or rectangles of 80. Year in and year out, everything pretty much stayed the same.

California farming is a TOTALLY different story. I see sections of land that are in triangles, squares, and other odd shapes around bodies of water, cities, mountains, etc. I am seeing so many different crops. There are trees in the fields! That is crazy to a small town, pretty sheltered, Nebraska kid.

However, I also see quite a few similarities between the two states. Being at the World Ag Expo and speaking to so many people helped me realize this.

Whether a farmer is from Nebraska, California, Texas, Idaho, Nevada, Mexico, or ANY other place, there is one constant. Every one of them is striving to improve his (or her) operation. Some are trying to improve yield. Some are trying to improve management practices. Some are striving to conserve water.

Just like every other business in the world, the business of farming is constantly changing. Sometimes, farmers are changing on their own because they want to. Much of the time, they are changing because they HAVE to. The ones that carry on from generation to generation are the ones that are constantly striving to improve.

Ben Hirschfeld
Advanced Technology Order Manager

Ben has been with Valley Irrigation since 2008. He grew up on a row crop farm in Nebraska, and has been involved in agriculture ever since. Ben, a die-hard Cornhusker fan, lives in Omaha with his wife, Carolyn, and his children Abe and Mia, and enjoys chasing his kids around to all their different events.