If it was up to my associate publisher Stephanie Schartner, she would have me accompany her to every show in every city until the end of time (Well, maybe not that long). I’m fortunate to have someone like her on this staff. Her enthusiasm is infectious.

One show she insisted I attend was the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. last month. It was truly an understatement when she described the event as one of the biggest in the country. It was breathtaking in many ways. The abundance of exhibitors and attendees along with the helpful information through the daily seminars made the West Coast trip worthwhile.

Mike Freeze

PHOTO BY JAVIN LEONARD

For Steph and I, it’s also one of the few chances to meet face-to-face with our friends whom we communicate via phone call or email. We get to learn more about the needs and issues of our readers and partners, and Steph gets to drag me to every specialty deli truck for a taste of shredded beef burritos or slow-cooked peach cobbler (Read about her love of food, recipes and camaraderie on page 40).

In addition to getting my fill of industry news, I also caught a glimpse of its past. Through the vast property that is the International Agri-Center, I often had to walk to the media center that was at the far end from where our trade show booth was located. On the way there, I discovered the Antique Farm Equipment Museum.

In the hall, many vintage tractors, implements and other farm equipment were on display including a 1947 John Deere ‘A’ owned by David A. Mendonca of Tulare. It was restored to its trademark green template and yellow rims, still looking as if it was fresh off the assembly line. Being from Canton, Ohio – the home of the pro football hall of fame – I have an appreciation for preserving the past.

The museum, which is part of the center’s AgVentures! Learning Center, was the acumination of a concept thought up by local farmers to promote agricultural education. As organizers state, walking through the building is like “a step back in time.”

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL FREEZE

When traveling to these trade shows, I get a chance to view a lot of innovation and product enhancements that this industry has to offer. However, it’s refreshing to have an opportunity to view a window of the past to see how the revolution of progress was and still is continuing.

If you happen to be in the region next month, the California Antique Farm Equipment Show will take place April 17-19 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. I would recommend a visit. It is often said that we don’t truly have a hold of our future unless we know our past. It’s always great to see what opportunities lie ahead, but it’s never too late to respect the old school of our industry.