Dave writes back
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Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

My brother, David, responded last week to the letter I emailed him. David is the Service Manager at Erickson Implement in Carrington, ND and is teaching farmers how to use a field guidance system. He wrote a story about this I thought everyone might enjoy.
 
 WHEN I SIT HERE WRITING THIS EVENING ONE THING IS EVER PRESENT IN MY MIND. GPS AND CASE IH LIGHTBAR GUIDANCE SYSTEMS. SINCE JANUARY 31, 2001 I HAVE BEEN DEMONSTRATING THESE SYSTEMS AND GIVING SEMINARS ON THEIR OPERATION AND APPLICATION TO THE POINT THAT I CAN THINK OF NOTHING ELSE. IN CASE YOU WONDER, A LIGHTBAR GUIDANCE SYSTEM IS A SMALL LIGHTED BAR THAT IS MOUNTED IN YOUR TRACTOR, SPRAYER, OR FERTILIZER SPREADER. IT USES GPS SIGNALS TO GUIDE YOU STRAIGHT IN A FIELD WHILE APPLYING CHEMICALS, FERTILIZER, OR SEED. MY SEMINARS REQUIRE ME TO AWAKE AT 5:00 AM AND PREPARE TO LEAVE HERE BY 6:00 FOR A SMALL TOWN COFFEE SHOP AND AN EARLY MORNING BREAKFAST MEETING WITH 10-15 FARMERS. THERE IS USUALLY A STOP ON THE RETURN TRIP FOR A VISIT AND A DEMONSTRATION WITH SOMEONE ALONG THE WAY AND THEN I RETURN TO WORK BY 11:00 AM. WHEN MY DINNER BREAK IS THROUGH I BEGIN CALLING THE FARMERS THAT I WILL MEET WITH TOMMORROW MORNING. I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS THE INTEREST THAT I HAVE IN THIS NEW HIGH TECH MARKER SYSTEM OR THE CHALLENGE TO BE , " THE MAN", THAT EVERYONE LOOKS TO WHEN THEY WANT TO BUY A GPS SYSTEM THAT KEEPS ME GOING OR IF IT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES RIDING ON THE OLD TWO ROW CORN PLANTER. WHEN I WAS DRIVING BACK TO TOWN TODAY MEMORIES OF SITTING ON THE PLANTER AND RUNNING THE LIFT LEVER AND THE ROPE FOR THE MARKERS WERE GOING THROUGH MY MIND AND I WAS COMPARING THE OLD MARKERS TO THIS NEW GPS MARKER. THE OLD MARKER REQUIRED DAD OR WHOEVER WAS RIDING ON THE PLANTER TO STOP AND LIFT THE PLANTER WITH A LEVER AND THEN PULL A ROPE TO ALTERNATE MARKERS. TODAY'S MARKER REQUIRES A KEYPRESS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST ROUND AND ANOTHER AT THE END OF THE FIRST ROUND, FROM THERE ON YOU MUST ONLY WATCH A BUNCH OF LIGHTS TO GUIDE YOU IN THE NEXT ROUND. WHEN I LOOK AT WHAT I AM DOING I THINK THAT I MUST BE A LITTLE MIXED UP, I AM GOING THROUGH A LOT OF WORK TO SELL THESE THINGS. MAYBE IT WOULD BE EASIER TO JUST RIDE ALONG AND PULL THE ROPE ON THE OLD TWO ROW PLANTER. BUT I WILL CONTINUE MY HIGH-TECH WORK AS I DON'T WANT TO END UP PARKED IN THE TREES-LIKE THE OLD PLANTER