Scott Stoner and his wife, Louise, raise horses and hay near Clancy, Montana. They attended the 2020 American Farm Bureau's Annual Convention in Austin. Amid educational workshops, speakers and networking, attendees have the chance to take in agricultural tours to catch a glimpse of what agriculture looks like in different parts of the country. This was Scott's experience.

There are many reasons to attend the American Farm Bureau Federation annual conference. Great workshops, seeing and listening to President Trump, the trade show, and seeing our fellow farmers and ranchers from all over the country are just a few good reasons. Also, the Ag Tours are quickly becoming my favorite.

First we went to the American Miniature Horse Farm where a rancher named Tony raises and sells minis all over the world. He has approximately 165 head. We even got to see a 9 day old baby mini! Next we headed to Alamo Industrial, where they fabricate tractor-mounted mowing machines, both rotary and flail, as well as sickle bar mowers. Their biggest customers are state Department of Transportation folks from all over the U S. From welders to CNC machines, to the paint booth, these machines are customized to the tractor and to the customer.

After that we drove over to the Caterpillar facility. Here they build engines for all of their heavy equipment, industrial use, and generators. We watched robots assemble piston assemblies, install them in bare blocks and then send them down an automated rail for each component to be installed by employees. It then goes into a booth for testing pressures and correct operations. If it passes, it ships out!  What a fascinating tour!