Would Old MacDonald be a geek today?

Would Old MacDonald be a geek today?

Growing up, most of us sang the classic children’s song “Old McDonald had a farm.” Today’s average farmer is a far cry from what is portrayed by Old MacDonald in that timeless nursery rhyme. Today’s farmer still cares for the animals and soil like Old MacDonald however the way farmers go about that care has changed greatly. Today farmers are more likely to have a smartphone here and tablet there than they would have just a few years ago, a laptop in a tractor or a combine there is a reality too.

Farmers like many others can have a lot on our plates and some farmers even run 24/7 farms so we look for every advantage we can to multitask and manage our time better. At the same time, farmers, by nature, are caring people and technology has allowed us to effectively manage our operations while providing more time to spend with our families and to help our communities than before.

Farming, like many other professions, has ups and downs — weather can cause harvesting or planting issues, things break and prices go up and down. However what makes it all worth it is the time spent with our families and communities that brings us all back around. If through various technological advances we can become better fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors and friends –it truly makes us better humans.

In the end I think Old MacDonald would be just as big of a geek as Steve Jobs because it would allow him to be a better human being while taking care of the farm too.

Maybe we should consider adding a verse like this:

Old McDonald had a Droid, e-i-e-i-o

And on that Droid he had farm tools, e-i-e-i-o

cow info here, crops info there

Here a cow, here a crop, everywhere a tech tool

Old McDonald had a Droid, e-i-e-i-o

Thanks to Janice Person for the help with the lyrics
Image is from Duck Duck Moose Design and the webpage for their Old MacDonald App 


  1. daringrimm says:

    Wait! What if OldMcDonald had an IPhone?

    1. raybowman says:

      Then he would clearly be underserved ;^)

    2. raylindairy says:

      Don’t know he should be smart enough to know better 🙂

  2. Susan Crowell says:

    Your post is really timely. Just got back from an open house at a local dairy farm that updated its parlor and new freestall barn. The fourth generation farmer, 67, was most tickled about the RFID ear tag identification system and reader that can automatically sort cows as they’re leaving the parlor into a side area for A.I. or other attention. “We don’t have to chase them anymore!” he told me. And that’s easier on both cows and man! The sons were telling me about the sophistication of the milking units that can detect minute changes in the conductivity of the milk, which possibly signal the start of pneumonia, for example, and means they can give that cow the care she needs before she’s really sick.

    Your observation, however, that the technology really makes today’s farmer (man or woman) able to be a better manager, and hopefully, better fathers, mothers, etc., is the best result.

    We posted some pics from the visit on the Farm and Dairy Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150354981545793.344336.51679830792&type=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like

    1. raylindairy says:

      Thanks Susan I think that farmers use of technology to be better family members is too often overlooked.

  3. Yes, if Old Mac is like Steve Jobs it would definitely be an iphone.

  4. What a great post! I recently read that 93%the of farmers who have cell phones are smart phone users while the of general public cell users only 83% have smart phones. Farmers are actually ahead of the trend.

    1. raylindairy says:

      Farmer’s are some of the most innovative people I know.

  5. comagnation says:

    As soon as I read the title of this blog I had to continue reading. I am a proud farmer and proud tech geek. Old McDonald was obviously a successful farmer and in today’s world of agriculture technology is needed to be a successful farmer. There are so many apps being created specifically for crop yields and cattle EPD’s, and more are in development as we speak. My grandpa just turned 80 and he has a MacBook. He loves cruising the Internet looking at antique tractors, farm supplies and even uses Facebook. I love to hear others agreeing with my opinion that agriculturalists are at the cutting edge of technology and social media. Great blog!

    1. raylindairy says:

      Thanks for visiting and telling the story of your Grandpa’s tech use.

  6. Love the lyrics! Farmers rock!!

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