Pro Farmer promises nothing to scouts on its annual Midwest Crop Tour but hard work, long days and the chance to get really dirty. For most, it does not sound like the best way to spend a week in mid-August.
But the tour attracts a group of regulars who come back every year to gauge the potential of corn and soybeans around the region as well as reconnect with people they met on previous tours.
“I am still interested in what the crops are doing and we learn a lot,” said Rodney Frick, an Illinois farmer on his fourth crop tour. “But it is also about the friendships we form.”
Frick joined his first tour in 2005 after getting back into farming full time following 12 years working construction. He has come back every year since, although this year he will have to cut out a little bit early to attend his daughter’s wedding.
The welcome session on the first night of the tour, when scouts get their marching orders for the week, often feels like the first day of camp. Veteran scouts swap war stories about how their crops are growing and share laughs about past tours.