August 29, 2023
Midland Radio recently launched its new external speakers, making communication that much clearer on the farm.
Farmer Todd Westerfeld spoke to Midland Radio about the use of Midland's new external speaker.
Todd Westerfeld's family farm is located in Moddy, Texas. That's about 20 miles south of Waco.
“We grow about 5,500 acres between my father and I. We’ve got the rotations between hard red winter wheat, corn, and cotton depending on the field tide and depends on the rotation we run on it.”
Westerfeld said it's hard to know when the family farm began so he believes he's either a fourth or fifth generation farmer.
Either way, the farm will look a little different next year.
"My dad is actually in his final year so he will be retiring so to speak after this year. He’ll still be helping a little bit around the farm. This is his 45th crop. I think he’s grown cotton all but two of them. It will be an interesting period after this year when I start taking over everything on my own, hiring new guys, but I look forward to the new challenge.”
The unpredictability of farming is what Westerfeld said is his favorite part of the job.
“My favorite thing is definitely just the fact that there is never a year that is the same. Every day is different, every year is different, there’s no set schedule, no set yield, no set weather pattern. Whether it’s good or bad, it just keeps you engaged because it’s ever changing."
He said that means you have to go out with the same level of intensity each year.
“That’s probably the most rewarding part is knowing you have to put forth full effort, no matter if it’s a terrible year or a good year. You never know if it’s going to be a good year and if you start getting lazy, start getting frustrated, you’re going to miss out on the good years. When you do have one of those good years, it makes everything worth it.”
Communication is key on the farm and Westerfeld has experienced a myriad of obstacles in this area.
"Obstacles on the farm usually revolve around the amount of noise you find yourself around in every task that you perform."
Westerfeld turned to Midland Radio to help solve his communication obstacles. He has the MXT500 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio and MXT400 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio installed in many different vehicles on the farm.
"These are by far two of my favorite Midland products."
However, he also paired the MicroMobiles with handheld two-way radios, something he said other farmers shouldn't overlook.
"The handhelds are fantastic for making adjustments to the planter; especially when it comes to stuff like the section control settings, seed spacing so having MicroMobiles that will pair up with the handhelds is probably my favorite aspect of Midland Radio.”
Westerfeld has been using Midland's new SPK200 Amplified External Speaker on the farm.
"It has only improved communication on the farm. Using the external speaker has really helped us increase the ability to clearly understand the incoming speaker without having to ask for a repeat, followed by leaning closer to the radio. We love pairing it with radios in semi’s since they are one of the louder in cab vehicles we run, and now having the ability to get the added volume in a vehicle like a gator is extremely beneficial, especially now that you don’t have to worry about remembering to grab a handheld to use while you’re driving, which isn’t always the best in an open cab vehicle," he said.
Paired with the MicroMobiles, Westerfeld said the SPK200 Amplified External Speaker brings communication he can count on.
"Being able to added a constant radio source into an open cab setting without worrying about the elements you find yourself in."
He recommends other farmers invest in amplifying their communication tools to fit the elements.
"It will broaden your ability to put communication into pieces of equipment you commonly use on the farm that until now hasn’t been a great option."
Westfeld said improved voice clarity has only led to increased efficiency on the farm throughout every season.
"Even though seasons run throughout the year, when you’re able to communicate clearly the first time consistently you save little moments that add up over time. Not only that but pairing this speaker into something along the lines of an ATV vehicle is a great addition to the farm because it is what we typically use during planting and harvest seasons when we are fine tuning equipment, so hearing clearly the first time goes a long way in making sure you stay as efficient as possible," Westerfeld said.