Making Every Kernel Count:

High Tech Track Meets, Farmers and Trade Teams

Last week, I marveled over the technology I witnessed at the state track meet, the technical discussions of a trade team and the technology we use on our Kansas corn farms throughout the year. (We also enjoyed some great kettle corn at the track meet!) — Deb Ohlde, Central Kansas Corn Crew Representative

Over 3,500 high school athletes converged on Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University this past weekend. This event showcased some record-setting performances by athletes from Kansas’ smallest towns and biggest cities.  But, as you can see from the photo, for me it was still all about corn, kettle corn that is. This treat is an annual tradition for us at state track.  It is made delicious and fresh by Black Sheep Kettle Corn out of Wichita.

The state track meet has truly gone high tech just like the ag industry. Tape measures and timing with a stop watch have gone by the wayside at one of the biggest high school athletic events in the nation. Race results are captured though fully automated timing, and distances are measured electronically.  Real time results appear on the app on your phone right as they are shown on the big board in the stadium.  The same thing is happening on the farm. Our farmers rely on cutting edge technology like GPS guidance and auto-steering in our tractors and combines. And like the scoreboard and apps at the track meet, yield monitors in combine cabs show how our fields are scoring in real-time during harvest.

Before the track meet, I was part of the staff from Kansas Corn who hosted a delegation of high-level government and industry representatives from India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.  They were in Kansas for a post summit tour following the Ethanol Summit of the Asia-Pacific in Minneapolis, hosted by the US Grains Council.  While touring farms and several ethanol industry partners, participants were able to see the full production and value chain of ethanol in the US.

Part of the trade team in the DDGS building at the Kansas Ethanol LLC plant in Lyons.

Our guests were highly engaged and asked some very technical questions about farming operations, ethanol production and the positive impact it has on the environment.  They also were interested in policy at the state and federal level that can be used to incentivize investment in biofuel technology and to propel consumer use.

ICM at Colwich is a great example of a company on the cutting edge of the exciting biofuels industry.  They not only provide high quality jobs in Kansas, but also have a far-reaching impact on grain farmers. Their constant innovation in process and equipment impacts the ethanol industry, as well as advancing efficiencies in power plants and grain processing facilities beyond the ethanol industry.

Kansas is high tech on many levels.  Kansas Corn was excited to show off the innovation in our state to our recent guests.