Thursday, November 6, 2014

Learning and Fun on Saturday Morning | by Cole Fredrick

A few months back, I got the opportunity participate in an Art (+) Smart Saturdays program at The Durham Museum. The event featured engineering and focused on Valmont® Industries, Inc., and the products it produces. So, naturally it included Structures, Lighting and, of course, Valley® Irrigation. 

This program was a chance for kids of all ages to come in and see what companies such as Valmont and Kiewit produce or manufacture, and also how they developed. This was a great opportunity to not only talk to kids, but also parents, about the industry, where we have been, and where we are going. I spent much of the time talking with folks about how their parents or grandparents had worked for Valley and the experiences they had.

Many people had grown up on farms and knew exactly what a center pivot was. At the same time, it was entertaining to hear from others that they thought crop circles were from aliens! (I still always describe my job like that when traveling). It was amazing to show them how we produce crops and how technology can link everything together.

We also offered some hands-on projects. I set up a BaseStation3™ module and essentially let the kids play a video game of irrigating. It is always interesting when you tell them you can water the world from an iPhone®. Plus, it is literally like a video game.

The Valmont structures team was also there, and  one of the activities they offered was a gumdrop structure build off. This was entertaining as the kids normally walked away with super sticky fingers and a parent shrugging their shoulders!

This experience helped me realize the importance of educating and especially hands-on learning. What I thought would be a boring Saturday morning turned out to be a great day of learning and visiting.

Which brings me to my last thought, since this was such a good event, make sure to visit the Omaha Children’s Museum where Valmont has an actual pivot outside and a smaller pivot inside for the kids to see! It is called Once Upon a Farm and it is sure to lead to a good time and lots of learning!

Cole Fredrick
Product Manager - Variable Rate Irrigation

Cole has been with Valley Irrigation since 2011, where he manages the Valley Variable Rate Irrigation products. He was born and raised on a farm near Grand Island, NE (AKA "paradise"), and he tries to return back home as often as possible. Cole is a HUGE Husker fanatic! He stays young by enjoying all outdoor activities and almost any sport.