If a 1920s Farmer Went to the Billings MATE Show, He’d Think it Was Like Star Wars
Today is the beginning of the MATE show in Billings, which stands for Montana Agri-Trade Exposition. It's a chance for farmers and ranchers to see the offerings of what might make their operation better and more efficient.
The Home and Health Expo also coincides with MATE in the adjacent building at the Metra.
It's amazing that people around this country, not so much in Montana, but other places, don't have a clue on how the food gets to the grocery store.
If they would have had a MATE show in the 1920s can you imagine the difference? Take a farmer from the '20s and show him what's available today for technology; it would look like a Star Wars movie (or the equivalent of an out-of-this-world movie from the 1920s).
The first tractors that were available didn't even cost $5,000. Today you can't buy a radiator for one of the new tractors for five grand. The price of wheat during the 20s was two bucks.
The price of wheat in 2016 was $2.40 at one point. Now try to pencil out a $400,000 tractor, a third of a million-dollar sprayer, or a half a million dollar combine. It's tough even with the price where it is this year.
Keep in mind when the price tanks next year because of a great U.S crop or a better world supply, your payments on that half a million dollar combine are still due. For many of us, money is not the reason why we do it -- that's obvious.
So if you do head to the MATE show and are marveled at the equipment and the prices, don't assume we are all wealthy enough to have that type of machinery.
Zero percent financing can sure make us all look wealthy though.
See ya tomorrow at 5 a.m.