Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 17, 2014

Miers examines agricultural changes

By Brent Brown Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Decatur County farmer David Miers has seen plenty of changes when it comes to his vocation over the last quarter of a century.

On Monday, during a meeting of the Greensburg Rotary Club at Decatur County Memorial Hospital, Miers explained just how much has changed in the last 25 years.

And many of those changes sound as if they came from the mind of famed sci-fi novelist Ray Bradbury instead of a John Deere engineer.

A sixth generation farmer and distinguished agriculture alumnus from Purdue University, Miers has harnessed the latest technology in order to make his local operation a continued success.

That technology has included the use of farm implements that operate via a Global Positioning System (GPS), tractors with five times the horsepower of those used when Miers began farming, harvesters that can bring in as many as 16 rows of corn at a time, and planters that can do an amount of work that would have taken multiple machines to accomplish as recently as two decades ago.

Miers, who heads Miers Farm Corporation, described the myriad changes as simultaneously “amazing” and “shocking.”

From tractors that essentially steer themselves based on GPS monitors, to drones that farmers can purchase and fly over their fields, checking for crop irregularities, the presentation brought into focus the necessary marriage of technology and agriculture. As times have changed, farmers have had to change with them.

One aspect of farming that is unlikely ever to be altered, however, is the necessity of finding qualified individuals to handle the futuristic technology needed in today’s fields.

Miers said individuals hoping to be up to the task will need proper education, the ability to adapt to an ever-changing technological environment and a willingness to learn. He added that experience in programming is also a must in a field where many farm implements are now operated through state-of-the-art computer technology.

Miers should know.

A 1970 graduate of Purdue University, the local farmer is known as much for his volunteerism and community efforts as he is for his push toward farming innovation.

Among the speaker’s numerous honors are entry in the Decatur County Agriculture Hall of Fame and a stint as Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture under former Governor Evan Bayh. Miers is also a recipient of the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash Award.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; brent.brown@greensburgdailynews.com