By Gary Joiner

It’s interesting how a conversation between two people can impact thousands.

It was 1971. A personal friend of Gary Vermeer told him that he intended to sell his cow-calf business. The friend was tired of the hassles of baling hay and finding dependable hired hands to help put up the square bales.

The next morning in Pella, Iowa, with help from his company’s engineers, Vermeer chalked the initial design of the modern round baler. The “One-Man Hay System” was ready 45 days later.

The world of agriculture changed from this one conversation. Round bales are a prominent part of modern livestock production.

That’s agriculture in so many ways. An opportunity presents itself, and creative solutions are found.

Texas farmers and ranchers have conversations every day about challenges and ideas to solve them. The challenge can be equipment, marketing, regulatory, labor or disease and pests, among many others. There are no easy answers, but that doesn’t mean a solution won’t be found. Some of the best minds in agriculture are working hard to find the next best thing. It will be discovered on the land, in a research laboratory or greenhouse or, perhaps, at the kitchen table. You never know where.

Innovation is a constant companion. Just like the vision of the modern round baler nearly five decades ago, ingenuity propels agriculture forward.