Optimism in an Out of Office Message

March 30, 2010

Planting takes specialized equipment on a small scale for research and development efforts.

Friday afternoon I was trying to reach a coworker.  I looked on the office instant messaging system and a rush came over me – there was an out of office message saying he was planting just outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. Immediate reaction? Pick up the phone and call to see how it’s going!

It’s a high tech version of what has happened for generations. It used to be conversations at the general store or maybe the church social.  It passed from neighbor to neighbor and town to town.  Now, the news gets out quickly & electronically – and for those of us on or connected to the farm, hearing it creates a rush of excitement.  Optimism strikes.

Kendall Bonds, western region testing lead for Monsanto cotton breeding, was the person who started the chain of excitement for me this year. Kendall is leading the effort as we expand our cotton breeding efforts in Texas.

He and his team were planting trials in South Texas where we announced a new testing center that will connect to the new megasite in Lubbock.  By running trials in the south, we can use additional environments to use in breeding and testing cotton varieties.

When I saw his message, shortly after I picked up the phone, I sent out a tweet.  A couple of hours later, I thought to check with a fellow tweeter, Kelly Whatley – @kelly_girl (twitter/blog) – whose husband Jon grows cotton outside of Corpus Christi.

Jon Whatley of J&K farms in Odem, TX takes his 24-row planter to the field.

She replied with “We are finished with grain and moved on to getting the cotton in the ground. Most guys are about the same.  It’s great to be back to productive work after the drought debacle of last year. Love seeing green in the fields!”

After a few more exchanges I found a few photos of Jon running his planter Saturday morning.  Yep, the optimism is there.  I caught it in the out of office mSessages,  read it in the tweets and definitely see it in the photos!

Luke Carpenter, Adam Chavez, Jared Pounds and Scott Tutle pause during planting for a smartphone photo to share.

Planting season is here!

If you are sharing your planting story on twitter, please use the #plant10 hashtag so its easily searched for and if you are blogging about it like Kelly, please share your link in the comments section.  We’d love to see how it’s going in your area.

One Response to “Optimism in an Out of Office Message”

  1. Nick Says:

    Best wishes to all the farmers (and researchers and university agronomists!) on getting in the fields in a timely manner this spring. And on a safe planting season!


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