I'm heading overseas again. I say that matter of factly but 34 years ago when I became an ag journalist I didn't think leaving the country was part of the responsibilities. However, I've had the good fortune to travel to many countries in Europe over the past few decades and I enjoy the conversations I have and the way I learn from people.
This week I'll be in France learning more about farm tires and how Michelin takes on the challenge. The company that invented the radial car tire is also an innovator in radial farm tires (though they didn't invent them). A couple of my competitive colleagues will also be along for the ride and we'll get to see tires made, learn more about farm tires and also pick up some interesting perspectives by visiting an international destination.
My friend Max Armstrong who is much more well-traveled than I, often talks about the value of international travel. "You get the perspectives of other people and it opens your eyes to how people see us," he has said.
That's my impression. Over the years I've had lively, and productive, discussions about biotechnology in Europe. I've learned more about crop protection research from those companies based overseas. And I've connected with ag journalism colleagues as well where we also talk about key issues impacting the equipment business and more. It's a diverse world and one that we should work to understand.
I know it sounds romantic to go to France (and no my wife isn't joining me) but I'm there to learn more about industry issues, and to better understand this changing global market. Issues that happen in farm country are often impacted by global changes and policies. It helps to leave home from time to time.
I'll try to blog from Europe to share a little of my experience with you this week. I hope you find it interesting. So check back later this week to see what I've learned.