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From the editor: September-October 2015

The birthplace of ideas


 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, innovation is defined as: the action or process of innovating; a new method, product, idea. The origin of the word is late middle English, derived from the Latin verb innovare. And the origin of the ideas? The sky – and the imagination – is the limit.

This past summer, my co-workers and I took part in the 2015 North American Manure Expo, held in Chambersburg, Pa. A hotbed of innovation and ideas, it’s one of the few shows that allows manufacturers and dealers the opportunity to actually showcase their equipment in action. Plus farmers and custom applicators love to come to kick the tires and see the newest products. And, in some cases, even get a feel for it behind the wheel of a tractor.

The 2015 show definitely didn’t disappoint with dozens of new products and services announced and exhibited. Even some of the latest application technology from Europe was on display with hopes of finding interested buyers in the North American market.

I love equipment shows like Manure Expo. There’s something thrilling and strangely satisfying about being present for the launch of a product or idea, seeing the spark of interest flare in the eyes of the audience, listening to the resulting questions, basking in the excitement and anticipation of the new.

Every issue of Manure Manager includes a few pages of new product and service announcements and this issue is no different. We also have coverage of a special event held in August to celebrate an important milestone for an innovative manure management product, originally launched at the 2013 North American Manure Expo in Guelph, Ont., Canada.

This issue also highlights innovations of the past with an article about a Michigan dairy operation that is no stranger to taking a chance on new ideas and was recently celebrated for that fact. There are also features showcasing new innovations, including a New York dairy operation that recently installed a fairly new manure treatment technology – results from innovative on-farm work being done in California aimed at conserving water by applying liquid dairy manure through drip irrigation, plus research out of Canada investigating proper disinfection techniques for transport trailers to help halt the spread of animal diseases.

Creativity and innovation don’t take place in a vacuum. They need to be encouraged and nurtured through a supportive network or community. Manure Manager and its sister agriculture publications recognize this. That’s why we have plans to launch an education expo aimed at encouraging senior high school students to consider a future career supporting agriculture either through engineering, manufacturing, research, technology or another job sector. Not everyone has to be a farmer to be involved in agriculture. Readers can expect further information on this new project later next year.

As always, we encourage our readers to share their innovations and ideas with us. If you have something to showcase or brag about, don’t hesitate to contact the magazine c/o the editor at mland@annexweb.com.