March 24, 2022
Planting season has arrived.
We spoke with Midland partner, Greg Peterson of The Peterson Brothers about how walkie talkies are crucial to their planting season processes.
The Peterson Brothers- Greg, Nathan, and Kendal, are fifth-generation farmers in central Kansas.
While the farming operations are mostly run by the three brothers and their dad, the entire family lends a hand.
“It’s not just the three brothers and our dad, it’s all of our families. Everybody pitches in a little bit," Greg said.
The Petersons have crops and cattle on their farm. Crops they grow include wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum, and different forages for the cattle.
Not only do the brothers farm, but they also have a social media presence, travel to speak and advocate for agriculture, blog about agriculture, and open their farm up for tours; weddings; and overnight stays.
For Greg, farming isn't just work, it's a passion.
“My favorite things about farming is getting to work with my family, getting to be outside, work with animals and plants, and being out in nature. It’s also knowing that you’re growing food that people get to eat. Being part of that is just really rewarding.”
One way the brothers advocate for agriculture is by creating videos for their Youtube channel.
“In 2012, we started our first music video, ‘I’m Farming and I Grow It.’ That basically went viral and it got five million views in a week. We were on national TV and we’ve been going ever since then branched out to educational posts, blogs, and videos to where we’re utilizing social media to entertain and expose people to agriculture," Greg said.
The goal of the videos was to educate those who didn't grow up on farms or were unaware of common farm misconceptions.
“When we made our first video, it was designed for our friends to watch. We have a lot of friends from high school and college who really didn’t know anything about agriculture. They didn’t know a single thing about farming and didn’t really think about where their food was coming from. That was the reason we got started and it’s still the reason why we’re making videos today," he added.
Greg and his brothers have 267,000 subscribers on Youtube,
“There are a lot of people, especially in bigger cities that don’t think about what farmers do so we’re trying to bring awareness to agriculture.”
His favorite video of theirs is, "Forage Harvester."
The brothers don't just want to educate those outside of agriculture, but also remind those who are farmers of why they love what they do. Greg said he hopes their advocacy encourages the younger generations to pursue their interest in agriculture.
“We know that we have a lot of kids that watch our videos and our videos can help them get excited about farming. The videos can give them some role models," Greg said.
With planting season right around the corner, the Peterson Brothers are gearing up for what is a busy time of year.
“Planting season is a really important time in farming because so much of what happens the rest of the year starts with planting. Making sure you get the seeds in the ground at the right time, having all your inputs at the right level, and all these different things is important.”
Because of the importance of planting season, all processes must be put into place ahead of time to ensure everything runs smoothly.
“If your logistics get messed up or you can’t get ahold of someone, you can make mistakes that cost money and keep the field from being planted accurately.”
Peterson said the sheer cost of planting season is unfathomable to many outside of agriculture. Farms can spend tens of thousands of dollars worth of seed and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fertilizer.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how expensive farming is.”
The Peterson Brothers use Midland's X-TALKER T71VP3 walkie talkies on the farm.
Communication is especially important during planting season.
“There’s a lot of communication that goes into planting and we appreciate the Midland equipment. All the logistics and making sure we have everything ready to go is crucial.”
With a lot of moving parts in their operation, walkie talkies are key to providing reliable communication.
“Communication is everything, just like in any small business. Especially for families that work together like ours, it’s not just a one person operation, it’s a lot of moving parts so communication is even more important.”
While cellphones are an option, they are not as efficient as walkie talkies. Efficiency is crucial on farms, especially during planting season.
“They really help to be able to have instant communication. Obviously, you have cellphones and can text or call, but it’s not as instantaneous as having the radios. Being able to talk to each other instantly in that way really helps.”
For the Petersons, walkie talkies are their favorite radios because of how portable they can be.
“The handheld walkie talkies are really nice to have because then you can have them when you’re not in a tractor. You’re able to go from one spot of the farm to another while being able to communicate with everyone immediately.”
There are many aspects to planting season and it keeps the family spread out on the farm. Greg said sometimes there will be a planter in one field, air seeder in another, someone shuttling seed between both fields, lining up the fertilizer, spraying, and prepping the fields. Having instant communication throughout these processes is not only a matter of efficiency, but also preventing catastrophic financial mistakes.
"One mistake in communication or decision-making can cost you thousands of dollars at the snap of a finger," Greg said.