Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yes, Tell Me More About Soybeans

It's not much of a secret that I would love to live in the Pacific Northwest. Between the wonderful climate, the endless outdoor activities, and the awesome sites of nature I think it would be so cool to be out there. Yes, I know it is outrageously expensive.....but I choose to ignore that fact. You got to have dreams.

However, living in central Illinois does have its pluses. A "traffic jam" means missing two rounds of lights at an intersection. Crime and crowds are also pretty minimal. And there are wonderful views of the corn and bean fields.

Many long to live the life of a farmer. Up early, to the sounds of a rooster crowing breathing in that fresh air (unless you have hogs) . Morning chores, then off to the nearest town's diner or grain elevator to have some coffee and shoot the bull with others. Then, back home to work more. And, scattered through the day, some great meals with fresh garden vegetables, fresh meat, and lots of gravy.

Well, while not living on a farm, I do think this lifestyle is pretty cool. So, just this week, in an attempt to connect to being a farmer, me and a buddy went to the annual Farm Progress Show, which is held near here.

For a paltry $7, I was admitted to one of the most amazing vendor shows that do not have "adult" sections. Here are just some of the cool things/vendors there:
  • Gravedigger monster truck on display
  • Lots and lots of cool 21st century tractors (including the ones with the tank treads)
  • Tons of seed distributors
  • Several "celebrities" from local farming radio shows
  • Several fields where new equipment is being demonstrated
  • Several informative displays set up by state government agencies (such as the EPA, FDA, etc)
  • Several demos on how to train a horse
  • A boatload of aweome food tents (pork chop sandwiches, 1/2 pound burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches).
  • Booths with info from the various "meat councils"....Beef Council, Pork Council, etc.

But what makes this show is the swag....the freebies. I filled a shopping bag with goodies. Since I love lists, here is a sampling of what was in my bag when I got home:

  • Two yard sticks (one flat one and one that is squared)
  • Three flyswatters
  • 3 packs of wildflower seeds
  • 6 pens
  • 4 pencils
  • a Dodge doo rag (I expect to see a shot of PMaroun wearing it at the upcoming race)
  • Hand cream
  • a magnetic ruler
  • a bumper sticker that says "We Love Vegetarians....more beef for us". You can guess where I got it
  • A utility tool from Pioneer Seeds
  • A tshirt
  • two hats (one will likely result in Mrs. WHW getting a call from a soy cooking oil company --- sweet registration cards :>)
  • a pair of gardening gloves

Here is close to what I was like there:

Video close attention to the billboard at the beginning. Makes me laugh every time I see it.

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